Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 15th.

Monday 17th.

Sunday 16th. CFA Sunday 16th. CFA
Sunday 16th.

Morning clear and warm but it cleared with a shower before evening. I was occupied for some time in assorting MS. which I keep on with slowly, perhaps too slowly. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Walker of Charlestown preach.1 In the morning from Matthew 6. 13. “Lead us not into temptation.” Mr. Walker first considered the question which this text always presents, whether the Deity can ever be supposed to tempt man, and answered it by a distinction, between the idea of sin and that of trial. God may put us to trial from which we must extricate ourselves by our own energies, but he never would put us into a position where we must infallibly become guilty of sin through inability to resist it. The preacher then went on to explain the text as praying for removing trial, and he descanted upon the tendency of men to seek in their incapacity of resistance the excuse for an indulgence of their criminal inclinations. The great merit is the removal of temptation. A very powerful and excellently moral discourse.

Afternoon 2. Corinthians 5. 4. “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” A discourse upon immortality, the influence which the dead have upon the living and the certainty of their not being extinct although dead. Mr. Walker dined with us as also Mr. Degrand who came in rather late.

I read after service a Sermon of Dr. Barrow’s much shorter than common upon the same text and subject with that of last Sunday. The truth of the Christian religion as compared with others, proved by the falsity of others. This discourse took up the Pagan and Mahometan faiths, and disposes of them briefly. Evening, at home. Read some chapters in President Goguet.


James Walker, minister of Harvard Church in Charlestown, whose wife was a cousin of ABA, and who was later president of Harvard College; see vol. 3:113.