Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 5th.

Monday. 7th.

Sunday. 6th. CFA


Sunday. 6th. CFA
Sunday. 6th.

The Season has been an uncommonly fine one this year, and though growing cooler is yet very pleasant. Morning passed reading Sir James Mackintosh, then to Meeting as usual. Mr. Frothingham preached all day. Morning from 2. Esdras. 1. 27. “Ye have not as it 171were forsaken me, but your own selves, saith the Lord.” It was upon the self-indulgence of men which subverted all ideas of duty. I did not follow it from my unlucky habit of abstraction. The Afternoon’s discourse was from Micah 4. 5. “For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” The idea of the deity, the religion of man has been different in different ages. The worship of God has been construed often to mean the strangest series of actions. But the true worship is the cultivation of the virtues, to that let every one adhere. I will not say that I succeed in giving any notion of the Sermons, perhaps nothing more than my own reflections upon the Texts guided by what I hear.

Read a Sermon of Massillon upon the forgiveness of injuries. His division was in two parts. 1. The Motives to forgiveness derived from the insufficient reasons we have for hatred and revenge. 2. The rules of pardon, which he defines to require more than the false reconciliations among men. The character of Massillon’s Oratory is singular. It depends upon the meanest view of human nature. He seems to have read Rochefoucauld to some purpose. Take for Example his definition of the friendship of men. He says three motives cause it. Similarity in taste, Interest or Vanity. This may be true but there may be a mixture at least of something better. All his eloquence is therefore fulminating.

Evening, read part of the Life of George 4th. Thoroughly Foxite. E. B. Hall called and paid a visit. I continued Mackintosh and read my usual Spectators. The Woman continues about the same.