Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 10th.

Monday. 12th.

Sunday. 11th. CFA


Sunday. 11th. CFA
Sunday. 11th.

Morning clear but attended with the degree of cold we have been having which is so unusual. I arose after having had an uneasy night and attended Divine Service through the day. Mr. Frothingham preached in the morning. Text taken from Psalms 145. 8. “Snow and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word.” It was upon the idea so frequently expressed that the severities of the Atmosphere were Judgments of God. Resisting this as an improper construction he proceeded to reconcile the rigour of the elements with the beneficent character of the Deity, and produced a conclusion that was agreeable to the words of the Text. I did not succeed in grasping the Sermon and am therefore reduced to this lame account of it. Mr. Parkman preached in the Afternoon a Sermon that happened to be peculiarly suited to my state of feeling. Romans. 11. 33. “How unsearchable are his Judgments and his ways past finding out.” It was an examination of the apparently unequal operation of Providence upon the merits of Men. The exaltation of the vicious in health, fortune, friends and honor, and talent, with the corresponding depression of the Virtuous by severe trials in all these. He came to the conclusion from these that it is not for man to exercise his Judgment in questioning the correctness of such dispensations, but it is for him in faith and hope to trust that the Deity envelopes in darkness that which it would not befit us to know, but that which is in fact the certain course of his Justice. I said this was suited to my State of feeling, because it seemed as if I was myself somewhat tried. On subsequent reflection however, I felt ashamed of myself for considering any thing which I was experiencing as trial. 196And though I had never remitted a moment my trust in the Deity, I thought I was sinful in repining at all when I had been so eminently favoured throughout my life.

Read a Sermon of Massillon’s. Upon Prayer, from Matthew 15. 22. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David.” He considers the reasons urged against Prayer in two heads. 1. That Men do not know how to address the Deity. 2. That they are not in a fit state to do so. These he refutes. But I do not consider the Division or the refutation very striking. The fitness of individual Prayer can not be questioned. To the most miserable it is a relief.

Evening read one of Barrow’s Sermons upon the Profitableness of Godliness which seemed to me more masculine. Then the Spectator.