Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 24th. CFA Sunday. 24th. CFA
Sunday. 24th.

Morning cloudy with an appearance of snow. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach a sermon upon Christmas from Isaiah 35. 1. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He took a view of the effect of the birth of Christ upon the world as figured out in the text, the state of extreme depression in which all nations were at that time from which they were relieved by the spread of the gospel. Mr. Young followed in the afternoon in a sort of fluent Essay upon the same subject. Isaiah 9. 6. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful.” I was glad to find Mr. Young did not give into the late theory that this text had no reference to the Saviour.1 On the contrary his main object appeared to be to show it’s verification under the circumstances of his birth and of his life.

Read a very short sermon of Sterne’s from Hebrews 12. 14. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness; without which, no man shall see the Lord.” The doctrine of peace is among the most fascinating presented to us, but I am unfortunately of opinion that man has pugnacious propensities implanted in him which prevent any great probability of an increase of the happiness of men through this source. Still the doctrine 368never can be out of place in the mouth of a minister of the gospel. I missed today the presence of Mr. Walsh. On the whole the most judicious friend I have and a man I regret being unable to assist effectually. Afternoon writing, and evening at home. G. Gorham came in and chattered away part of the time.

1.

On the issue of Old Testament prophecy as currently raised and CFA’s position on it, see vol. 5:340, 394.

Monday. 25th. CFA Monday. 25th. CFA
Monday. 25th.

A very mild, lovely day for Christmas day. I went to the Office where however I cannot say that I was enabled to effect much. I called at the publisher’s but my pamphlet was not yet out. I at last was a little impatient and looked so vexed that Mr. Ticknor was induced to make an extraordinary exertion which produced about a dozen copies before night. Went home to call with my Wife and Mr. Brooks and Mrs. P. C. Brooks Jr. upon this Madame Caradori who is here. I do this not from any particular fancy for the lady but out of respect for the feelings of Sidney Brooks who wished his friends would notice her. She appears a middle aged woman without much beauty but with no great pretention. I left her after a short and awkward visit and returned home to read Herodotus. I am reviewing the books. Afternoon, as my father’s answer did not come and as time presses I concluded to go on with my Lecture as an experiment. It runs easily.

Tuesday. 26th. CFA Tuesday. 26th. CFA
Tuesday. 26th.

Morning cold. I went to the Office as usual and from thence to the publisher’s where I procured several of my pamphlets. I was occupied in sending them about especially to Washington. I have now come out with my name,1 and the anxiety which I feel upon the subject is great, for to write what is in itself of no value or has nothing at all to recommend it would be mortifying indeed. Received a letter from my father authorizing me to use any papers I like so that I can now go on.2 Short walk and home. Herodotus which I go over pretty carefully. As Mr. Davis called upon me to say that I must be ready for next Tuesday I sat down after dinner and worked without much cessation until tea time. After tea, I went to a Lecture to hear Alexander H. Everett who talked about General Warren. He introduced one or two anecdotes which were new and curious, but the great body of the Lecture was dull. Home at nine, but intending to go to a party at Mrs. Gray’s which I however gave up as my Wife appeared not very well, continued my 369work, but as Mr. Everett announced that he should give another Lecture next week I did not hurry myself so much.3

1.

C. F. Adams, Further Reflections upon the State of the Currency in the United States, Boston, Published by William D. Ticknor, 1837, 41 p. The title acknowledges that the work is a sequel to an earlier published work, which is further identified in the first sentence of the text as Reflections, “printed in the month of February last.” However, Further Reflections differs in two important respects from CFA’s earlier pamphlet publications: it was issued under his own name rather than anonymously or pseudonymously, and it was written for pamphlet publication rather than as a series of newspaper articles. See entry of 25 Feb., above, and Duberman, CFA , p. 56–59.

2.

JQA to CFA, 21–22 Dec., Adams Papers.

3.

Presumably, Everett’s lecture was one of those sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society.