Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 18th. CFA Sunday. 18th. CFA
Sunday. 18th.

Morning clear and warm although the heat was tempered by an Easterly wind. I passed sometime in musing upon my father’s survey of his lot and certain schemes which had suggested themselves to me in connection with them, and then prepared to attend divine service as usual.

Mr. Lunt preached all day, in the morning from John 20. 29. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” Upon faith and the predominating disposition of the age to believe only the evidence of the senses, as if this was not a bar to all progress. James 1. 19. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” He was particularly eloquent upon three points, profane swearing, detraction and anger. Mr. Lunt has perhaps more power than any other of the Clergy, in this vicinity. He has natural eloquence if he would give it more vent and he writes with great beauty besides.

In the afternoon I read a Sermon of Dr. Barrow, in continuation of the series on the Apostle’s creed, Ephesians 4. 6. “The God and Father of all.” This was meant to show why God was called the father, as creator, of us as intellectual beings after his own image, and related to us in good &ca. whence he draws a practical conclusion. A very good discourse and not doctrinal.

In the evening I accompanied my father to the Episcopal Church for the purpose of hearing a Lecture upon Intemperance from Mr. Taylor, the Seaman’s Chaplain in Boston. I had heard so much of him without ever having heard him that I was desirous of knowing how far his reputation for rude eloquence was in my opinion deserved. After a long exordium in which he apologized for his being so unprepared he took a text from Titus 2. 21. “Teaching us, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world,” and then descanted in a somewhat irregular manner 97upon the causes of the evil arising from intemperance particularly its degrading and demoralizing tendency. He maintained broadly that no christian could be intemperate and pretty strongly intimated that all who were guilty of the vice stood no chance in Heaven. His language was poor, his repetition frequent, his ideas often grotesque, and yet he had points about him, many of our higher clergy might study to advantage. His style sometimes rose to a high order of eloquence merely because he put into it the feelings of nature. He related several curious anecdotes respecting members of his society of seamen and concluded with an appeal to the feelings of the people against licensed houses. We returned home late and I soon retired.

Monday 19th. CFA Monday 19th. CFA
Monday 19th.

A very clear and warm day, perhaps the most so this season. Shortly after breakfast I perceived the men upon the hill and soon joined them. They soon set to work, a part in digging the well and a part to plough for the cellar. Thus my undertaking commenced this day. May God prosper it, for I occasionally have had my misgivings. At any rate it will perhaps amuse and occupy me. I spent most of my morning there giving the directions which were rendered necessary in the starting. I also went over to see the ledge worked by Colburn, at which they appear to be very much encouraged. They can furnish Stone easily provided it turns out of good colour of which at present there appears every probability.

Returned home just in time for me to get along with nearly all my usual quantity of Livy. Afternoon, a large portion of my time consumed in a similar way. I took great interest in all their movements. Walked down to the Canal to get the answer of the dealers in lumber. It was so much higher than my calculations that I concluded to postpone at least for the present but in this I am disappointed. Evening quietly at home. Mr. and Miss Beale came in to pass a short time. Excessively fatigued.

Tuesday. 20th. CFA Tuesday. 20th. CFA
Tuesday. 20th.

After visiting my site where the diggers had made six feet progress in the well, I went in the Carriage to town, with Mary and Elizabeth C. Adams and the little daughter of the former, Fanny, who were on their 98way to Medford to pay a visit to Mrs. Angier. We stopped at Mrs. Frothingham’s where I left them and went to the Office, but I found for once I had nothing to do. My duties here appear to be pretty well performed and I have a recess of ten days when they begin again. I returned in the Carriage alone shortly after one. The afternoon was passed partly at my site, partly in rambling over the hills with my father and Mr. Price Greenleaf, partly in a very agreeable bath. Evening quietly at home.