Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 12th.

Monday. 14th.

Sunday. 13th. CFA


Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

Morning cloudy but it afterwards cleared away. I finished copying the letter to my father which is always a tedious operation. Attended divine Service all day and heard my Classmate Hedge. His Sermons pleased the mass, but they were very dull to me. So much so that I know little beyond the Texts. That of the morning was from Matthew 23. 26. “Thou blind Pharisee! cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also,” upon the value of internal Piety. The afternoon’s was from James, 1. last verse. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself un-177spotted from the world.” The word religion he affirmed to be a wrong translation, the proper word being “service.” The text is a beautiful one. It means more than any Commentary.

I afterwards read a Sermon of Massillon’s from Matthew 4. 4. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” The subject, attention to the word of God. Division twofold. 1. The Disposition proper to go to Church with. 2. The Disposition with which we listen to the word. Subdivision 1st. part. 1. In order to benefit yourself by a wish to improve. 2. In a spirit of humility and self debasement. 3. In a spirit of thankfulness. 2d. part. 1. With an earnest and sincere conviction of the divine authority of the word delivered. 2. In a spirit, not of critical niceness to judge of the Speaker, but with a sense of the value of religious instruction. The Sermon was a very good one. But the very regular and invariable mode of building a Discourse by the French becomes tedious through its uniformity.

Evening read a little of the Life of George 4th but not much, as my Wife was not quite well. Finished the Lectures of Fuseli with which I have been pleased. They have given me a good deal of knowledge of the Artists and of the different portions of the Art itself. Finished as usual with the Spectator.