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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0011-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-10-24

Sunday. October 24th. VIII.

Missed Prayers as usual and went to breakfast after having enjoyed a delightful night’s rest. I employed my morning in reading Don Juan, a copy of which entire, I bought yesterday. It is a work which contains an amazing deal of poetry and still it is vicious in the extreme. I cannot help admiring some of its magnificent descriptions although I should be condemned by the moral world. I attended Chapel and heard Mr. Walker1 preach a short sermon. I was pleased on many accounts. In the first place he was a little variety to our monotonous course, in the second place he was short and lastly he was pretty good. His text was, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” It must have been striking or I should not have recollected it. He abounds in corresponding sentences and striking remarks. He first spoke of what liberty was; he said it could not exist without restriction. He then argued that restriction was not inconsistent with liberty and then applied his ground to the text arguing that when we had become accustomed to the restrictions of religion, we were then free. An argument which was easy to answer. At least I thought so. In the { 419 } afternoon I was employed all the time in writing my Journal. I finished the longest Lecture I have yet taken off and was rejoiced. I attended Chapel again in the afternoon and was as usual very much edified by a Sermon from the good old President Kirkland. He is an intolerable bore.
In the Evening I wrote a letter to my mother2 and my low spirits returned again. I cannot tell what it is which weighs me down so completely. I have not felt such desolation for a long, long time. I will trust in God for he is my only support. The rest is but weakness. I relieved myself however very considerably by writing in this way, as she certainly has a right to know all my feelings. She however is so tender and fragile herself that I feel almost as if I was obliged to support her instead of her relieving me. After this was over, I went to Richardson where I conversed with him for the remainder of the Evening. I have to convict myself of drinking so unphilosophical a liquor as Gin to night, but so it was, I took quite a large dose. We conversed for some time upon different subjects, few of any purpose, but there is something pleasant in him, which makes me feel agreably, particularly in my want of society. Retired early. XI.
1. Presumably James Walker, a Congregational minister in Charlestown, Mass. (Mass. Register, 1824, p. 85).
2. Missing.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/