Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 3d.

Monday. 5th.

Sunday. 4th. CFA


Sunday. 4th. CFA
Sunday. 4th.

Yesterday closed another Year since the day of my Marriage. And I have the pleasure of looking back upon it with unmingled satisfaction. 128I have never had occasion to regret the occasion of which it was the Anniversary, though not a few had doubts about my judgment in precipitating it.1 My affairs so far turn out as favourably as I could expect, and I have during the last revolution been blessed with a Child to make my happiness complete. May my humility keep up with the degree of my prosperity, and may I never be led to forget, that all things that I enjoy are the gifts of a beneficent Deity.

My day was a quiet and a pleasant one today. I attended Divine Service all day. Heard Mr. Frothingham in the Morning from Ezekiel 37. 3. “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? and I answered, O, Lord God, thou knowest.” But what the purpose or what the connection of the discourse with the Text I must candidly confess I do not know. I heard an Allusion to the present Polish struggle and to Lord Byron’s effort for the Greeks but nothing farther. Mr. Palfrey of Washington2 preached in the Afternoon from 1 Corinthians 15. 53. “And this mortal must put on immortality.” Of course the discourse was upon the immortality of the Soul, with the usual arguments upon it. The Chapter from which it is taken is a very remarkable one being a reason throughout for well doing on account of the promised future life.

Returned home and read Massillon’s Sermon upon worldly glory. Text from John 8. 54. “If I honour myself, my honour is nothing.” In my humble opinion the best of all I have read. The position assumed is that no glory is true unless combined with the fear of God. The division of worldly glory is into three points—the first, Worldly honour, which he asserted had no foundation to rest upon in matters pertaining to our present condition, whether wealth, rank or the rest of the factitious advantages, the second, brilliant talents which are often but a false light to their possessor, the third, distinguished successes, the offspring of fortune and without security. All this will never support a man. It is the fear of God which will carry him through the trials of life with confidence and with honour. The close is brilliant.

Evening. Tired of writing. Can do nothing with my review and begin to give up. The Spectator as usual.


See vol. 1:xxxii–xxxiii; also vol. 2:363, and above, vol. 3:167.


Cazneau Palfrey, Harvard 1826, was the minister of the Unitarian church in Washington; see Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ; General Catalogue of Bowdoin College, 1794–1950, Brunswick, Maine, 1950.