Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 14th. CFA Sunday. 14th. CFA
Sunday. 14th.

Mild day. We appear to go on without winter extraordinarily. I have gone out daily dressed as in October. Dwight last evening asked me to reflect upon a proposition of his to require of the Banks to keep at least one sixth part of their capital in specie, while discounting. And I looked into Mr. Gallatin’s Pamphlet respecting it.


Attended divine service and heard a Mr. Peabody1 preach from Luke 11. 2. “And he said unto them, when ye pray, say Our Father.” A sensible sermon upon the duty and effects of prayer, accompanied with the very coldest of all cold modes of going through all the rest of the service. Afternoon Ephesians 6. 4. “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Mr. Bartol talked of the proper care of educating the young. Both these gentlemen made long poetical quotations. The tone of Unitarian preaching is essay writing. I do not think it can be called practical religion.

Read a discourse of Sterne’s upon the inequality of God’s dispensations. Psalms 73. 12.13. “Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.” I was pleased with this discourse because it recapitulates the strongest arguments upon the question, particularly that connected with man’s free agency, which I think perfectly conclusive. Evening at home. Visit from Mr. Beale and his daughter Ann, who stayed until a late hour. Then writing.


Probably, Rev. William Bourn Oliver Peabody of Springfield; however, CFA knew of him as a frequent contributor to the North American Review (vol. 4:324–325) and had heard him preach; see entry of 9 April 1837, above.

Monday. 15th. CFA Monday. 15th. CFA
Monday. 15th.

A cloudy morning but a beautiful day. I went to the Office, and was occupied in Accounts as usual but without making much progress. A visit from Josiah Adams whose balance against me I paid.

Met Edward Brooks who called me into his Office and had much talk with me upon the subject of his late Speech. His friends and the Bank interest generally are up in arms and will make him feel it severely. I told him so and he has ventured it. As gently as I could, I ventured to suggest to him the propriety now of having his course clearly chalked out in his own mind and adhering to sound principles at bottom. He said he should go on, but I have my doubts. He is quick on the trigger but easily pacified, and will probably absent himself thus implying an admission of greater error than he has committed. I stated to him my conversation with Dwight and his suggestions which I thought deserving of reflection. He was too warm to attach much weight to them at the moment but I think he will do so afterwards. We were much interrupted, but it took much of the morning.

Home after a pleasant walk. Herodotus. Father Jobert. Evening Lockhart and Lecture which goes slowly.