Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 20th.

Monday. 22d.

117 Sunday. 21st. CFA


Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

This day was a continuation of the hot weather we have already experienced for such a length of time. My Wife and Child seem to be doing prodigiously well considering the exhausting character of the Air. In looking over some old matter I found a part of an examination of Demosthenes’ Oration, which I had done some time ago. Upon reading it over, I found that it was too good to throw away and therefore began to reflect upon the possibility of working it over into something. The undertaking is not trifling, but should I be discouraged from things merely because they are great, it is clear I shall always be dabbling in small.

Attended divine Service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham. The heat was so great however that I could do little in the way of attention, particularly in the Afternoon. The Text in the morning was from 2d Samuel 24th Chapter, 14 verse. “And David said unto God, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord, (for his mercies are great) and let me not fall into the hand of man.” The Chapter is a singular one. David decides upon taking an account of the People of Israel against the advice of his Officers. He repents of the Action immediately after it is committed, and deprecated the punishment which God was to inflict upon him. He has a choice of three evils, Famine, War, or Pestilence. He selects the latter. Mr. F. thought the whole allegorical, excepting the Census, David’s repentance and the Plague. He conjectured that the Sin probably consisted in some scheme of aggrandisement which David meditated. And the conclusion which he draws from the whole subject was the blessing that we were not allowed to chuse our future fate, and the advantage of confiding in God in preference to Man. On the first branch he introduced a very pretty illustration from Southey’s Thalaba. I called for a minute to see Mrs. Frothingham, met Sidney Brooks who has just returned from New York.

The afternoon’s Sermon was from the 119th Psalm 105 verse. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” An examination of the practical benefits of the Christian religion as a guide to human conduct. The heat was excessively oppressive in the Meeting House. Returned home and cooled myself reading Massillon. His next Sermon in order was upon the duty of Humanity in the great. Text. 6. John 5. “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes and saw a great Company come unto him.” One would think he might have found a more pertinent extract and more directly to his point. The Chapter would have done better,1 for it is the Story of the Loaves and Fishes. 118He inculcates Humanity first as a duty. By Humanity he means the three virtues of affability, protection and charity to the poor. In the second place he considers it as a pleasure and an advantage to the giver. The whole concludes with an application to the King, and an exhortation. Evening with my Wife. Afterwards, Grahame and the Spectator.


That is, would have provided a more suitable one.