Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday 31st.

Monday. 2d.

Sunday. April 1st. CFA


Sunday. April 1st. CFA
Sunday. April 1st.

An excessively gusty day with a few drops of rain in the afternoon, but on the whole clear. I attended Divine Service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham preach, though with not much benefit to myself I regret to say. The Texts were from 12. Jeremiah 5 “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan,” and from 9 Matth. 13. “Go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” I am ashamed to admit that I can do nothing in the way of analysis of the Sermons.

Afterwards I read one of Massillon’s Sermons and as I thought a very good one upon Charity. Text 6. John 11. “And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks he distributed to the disciples and the disciples to them that were set down.” He considers the Chapter from which this is drawn as embodying the common excuses made against Charity. 1. The deficiency of means, and the demands of necessity. 2. the poverty of the times. 3. the multiplicity of objects. After successively confuting these, he lays down the true rules for dispensing Charity. 1. That it should be secret. 2. That it should be general. 3 Done with mildness and delicacy. 4 With discrimination and vigilance. On the whole it seems to me that this Discourse contains a summary of the Doctrine and in fact exhausts the Topic. And 273it is the first of all those I have read by this Preacher that deserves that kind of praise.

I perfected the first volume of Scotts Napoleon and am on the whole satisfied with all the views of the Work excepting those in which Great Britain is concerned where he is altogether laudatory. This in human affairs is scarcely ever possible and the mere fact of it’s happening throws suspicion upon the disposition of a Historian. I read a little of Eugene Aram to my Wife but not much. And I thought I would turn back and review the first seven Chapters of Paley.