Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 13th.

Monday. 15th.

Sunday 14th. CFA Sunday 14th. CFA
Sunday 14th.

The day was a fine one. I was as usual occupied until service time when I went to Church. Mr. Greenwood Of Boston preached. He is sensible but not very exciting. Romans 11. 36. “For of him and to him and through him are all things; to whom be glory for ever, Amen.” The foundation of morality the Will of God, with an examination of those arguments of men who fearing to rest every thing upon what they call authority fly to secondary causes as a substitute, such as utility, and beauty. I thought this a very good discourse. That in the afternoon interested me less. It was upon the immortality of the Soul. Job 14. 14. “If a man die, shall he live again.” The taste of the day with us is the heavy style of preaching of this gentleman who without any striking defects of manner has few or no merits.

In the afternoon I read a Sermon of Dr. Barrow’s upon justifying faith. Text the same with that read last Sunday. This is a doctrinal question which I had never attended at all to before. He explains justification to mean a liberation from punishment, or remission from sin, and contends against the meaning given by the Council of Trent sanctioned by some passages of St. Paul, of an inherent righteousness or infusion of grace. Something of the “grace suffisante” celebrated in the provincial Letters.1 Barrow is a strong writer but I confess I do not see the perfections ascribed to him by the English Church.

In the evening, Josiah Quincy2 called to pay a visit. Conversation general. I accompanied him half way home and was amused by the interest he appeared to take in my contemplated building here.


The Lettres provinciales of Blaise Pascal.


Josiah Quincy IV (1802–1882), son of Josiah Quincy III (1772–1864), president of Harvard; see vol. 5:118.