Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

78 Saturday 14th. CFA Saturday 14th. CFA
Saturday 14th.

Pleasant day. I went to town. Occupied as is usual with me in Accounts and in doing commissions. Office where I concluded to sum up my Annual settlement and leave the error which I cannot explain. This is vexatious but I cannot help it.

Returned to Quincy accompanied by Joseph H. Adams who dined with us. Afternoon I read Pliny and dawdled away some time. Evening Mr. Beale and his daughters and Mr. and Mrs. Wales Jr. paid a visit. E. C. Adams returned with my Wife and also passed the evening, I accompanying her home.

As the time passes, I am more and more impressed with the insignificance of my use of time. Speaking of this, A. H. Everett came in only for a moment and proposed to me to write more about Mr. Biddle, but I declined having no wish to aid the Administration in its projects which appear to me to run so much against the best interests of the people.

Sunday. 15th. CFA Sunday. 15th. CFA
Sunday. 15th.

A warm day and cloudy but cleared before sunset. I occupied myself in copying the remainder of the MS Journal which I wished to execute but did not quite finish it. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Briggs1 preach from Ecclesiastes 9. 2. “All things come alike to all.” Rather a peculiar view of this text as applied to the moral discriminations of life, the inequalities of character resulting from the inequalities of condition, all which vanish whenever the artificial necessities of life cease to control. He illustrated by the case of the late Steamer Pulaski in a striking and quite eloquent manner.2 Though not generally animated he had passages of great power. Afternoon, Matthew 18. 2.3. “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

Afternoon, read a sermon of Buckminster’s being the 24th and last of the volume. 2 Peter 1. 5.7. “And to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance and to temperance patience and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, charity.” The meaning of these terms and the combination required of knowledge with godliness and charity. Perhaps lit-79tle can be said beyond the text itself. Evening at home. Thomas, my mother’s man came today with the luggage and informed us he had left the family at Providence detained by Louisa’s sickness.3

1.

On Rev. George Ware Briggs, see vol. 5:385–386.

2.

The steam packet Pulaski from Savannah, after calling at Charleston, on 14 June sailed with 153 passengers bound for Baltimore. On the same night off Wilmington, N.C., its boilers exploded. It sank rapidly; there were only 17 survivors (Daily Advertiser, 23, 25, 29 June, p. 2, col. 4; p. 2, cols. 1–2; p. 1, cols. 5–6 respectively).

3.

That is, Mary Louisa Adams; see above, entry for 21 Aug. 1836.