Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 3d.

Monday. 5th.

86 Sunday 4th. CFA Sunday 4th. CFA
Sunday 4th.

Morning clear and pleasant. My little boy John, appeared so unwell and feverish that after consultation, my Wife concluded to send for Dr. Woodward who gave him medicine and talked of fever. This always alarms and makes me uneasy. I wrote a little in the morning and read Mr. Frothingham’s Article in the Christian Examiner upon Sartor Resartus.1 I am disappointed by it. There is no attempt to get over the difficulties in the way of a clear understanding of the topic of the book. Some pretty sentences and some rather severe strictures in Notes upon other writers, but no attempt at systematic explanation.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt preach from 2 Peter 1. 4. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” Also from Galatians 1. 23.24. “But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” Sensible sermons as are all of Mr. Lunt’s. With a little less of uniformity they would be much aided by his manner. I this day however occupied a new Pew much further from the Preacher and the novelty of my position rather diverted my attention. Joseph H. Adams came home to dine with us.

Read a discourse of Dr. Barrow upon the proof of the Deity from general consent of mankind. Psalm 19. 3.4. “There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard: their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.” There is undoubtedly some weight in this argument of universal agreement and yet it is in itself but secondary inasmuch as in itself it proves nothing. Man is fallible. His ideas are limited and may deceive him. Therefore this argument standing alone is not full but aided by others is cumulative. Evening, Josiah Quincy Jr. and T. K. Davis made a visit and were amusing in their conversation. Awake late with the children.


Rev. Nathaniel Frothingham’s essay-review appeared in the Christian Examiner, 21:74–84 (Sept. 1836).