Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 15th.

Monday. 17th.

Sunday. 16th. CFA


Sunday. 16th. CFA
Sunday. 16th.

Morning clear and fine weather. I arose feeling as awkward and lowspirited as if I had not ever left my Parents and had a home of my own. Occupied in my study bringing my books and things into my usual train. Attended divine Service all day as usual and heard Mr. Frothingham in the morning from Exodus 32. 1. “And when the People saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, ‘Up, make us Gods which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.’” The moral to be drawn from this is the ingratitude of man, and his forgetfulness of all favours shewn him, also the patience taught by the divinity in concealing his end beyond our understanding. Men are apt to repine but the purposes of the Lord are pure and righteous altogether. Afternoon Text. Job. 38. 4. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” A lesson strongly deserved by the presumtuous confidence of our day by which man is exalted. Now man is a weak 158and ignorant and consequently fallible mortal, which makes it highly necessary that he should be modest.

On my return home I read a Sermon of Massillon’s upon Fasting. Text. Matthew. 6. 16. “When ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance.” The division was into the obligation and the extent of the Rule. It was a severe censure of the habits of the idle and luxurious who evaded this principal injunction of the Catholic faith. To me, it had of course no material interest. Fasting does not strike me as a part of the dispensation of Christ who teaches us to use the things of this life as not abusing them. Read an Essay of Lord Bacon’s on Ceremonies and Respects. Quiet Evening with my Wife and the Spectator.