Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday 29th. CFA Sunday 29th. CFA
Sunday 29th.

This was a morning of as great heat as any we have had, but we had a tremendous shower at noon which refreshed the herbage if it did not greatly cool the air. I began today Dr. William Paley’s Horae Paulinae1 being a system of evidences made up of casual coincidences in the various writings of Paul.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt from Hebrews 3. 2. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” A very neat discourse upon hospitality full of allusion to ancient manners and of good doctrine upon this subject. Perhaps I have something in this matter to charge against myself. J. H. Adams dined with me. Afternoon Sermon from 2. Colossians 3. 14. “Above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” Charity is among the most pleasing of the Christian virtues. It expands the heart and exercises the affections. Mr. Lunt’s view was a sensible one but I was not attentive.

Read a Sermon by Bishop Tillotson in the English Preacher. Psalm 119. 165. “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Upon the effect of Religion to tranquillize the mind. After working my usual exercises through, I began a sort of review of 85the Address of the Republican Members.2 Evening at the Mansion. The air cooler.

1.

A copy (London, 1790) is in MQA.

2.

On the “Address” and CFA’s review of it, see entry of 3 Aug., below. On the equivalence of “republican” and “democratic” during this period, see Hans Sperber and Travis Trittschuh, Dictionary of American Political Terms, N.Y., 1964, p. 368.

Monday 30th. CFA Monday 30th. CFA
Monday 30th.

A very warm day, but the heat was tempered with us by a high wind blowing with violence, which though warm was better than calm. I rose early and went to Mr. Greenleaf’s Wharf and took a bath, alone. Then home where I sat most of my time occupied upon the Review I undertook yesterday. Of this I finished three numbers which I inclosed in a Note to the Editor of the Courier. This is a new step that I have taken and has not been done without reflection. My feelings would have led me to continue neutral between the parties but my principles would not. The Address is a step into the jaws of Nullification which I can never follow, and if I mean to acquire any influence at all which I must resist. For the letters to Mr. Biddle have leaned the balance the wrong way for me. Afternoon I read a little of Pliny’s Panegyric, and a few of Bayle’s letters.1 Evening at the Mansion to tea. The air growing cooler until it became much changed.

1.

Pierre Bayle’s Letters (3 vols., Amsterdam, 1729) is in MQA.

Tuesday 31st. CFA Tuesday 31st. CFA
Tuesday 31st.

A cool morning. I accompanied my father to Mr. Greenleaf’s Wharf where we took a bath. The water many degrees cooler than yesterday. After breakfast went to town. Time taken up in commissions. Called to see Mr. Felt and procured the Lecture of which I was in quest. He showed me the State Records and his work in compiling them and arranging their order for binding. A very valuable labour which does as much credit to him as to the State that authorized it.1

Then to my own house to get from there some specie about which I had become uneasy and therefore proposed to change it into Treasury Notes. This done with various other commissions, I returned home better satisfied with my day’s work than I commonly am.

Sent my papers to the Courier. They will furnish another experiment upon the popular feeling. The letters to Biddle are the first of my efforts which ever broke the walls of party. It remains to be seen if these will do the same. Afternoon, Pliny, and Bayle. My father came 86up in the evening with his glass which we found and amused ourselves looking at the Islands of the bay.

1.

Joseph Barlow Felt had in process the arrangement of the state records of Massachusetts in categories and, ultimately, their binding in 326 volumes. They remain in the State Archives as “The Felt Collection.”