Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 31st.

Monday 2d.

January. 1837. Sunday. 1st. CFA


January. 1837. Sunday. 1st. CFA
January. 1837. Sunday. 1st.

The morning was cloudy with snow. I could not avoid reflecting upon the passage of another year and the commencement of a new one. My blessings continue as ever. I am favoured in all external goods beyond the lot of most mortals and want only the consciousness of doing something to deserve them. But things do not favour my success as a politician and I believe I must make up my mind to quit that field. Literature may still furnish resources and to that I propose hereafter more to devote myself. In doing this however, I am perfectly free from any remorse of conscience. During the late political canvass my pen has been felt and it has produced effect at the same time that I have done nothing that I can regard with a single emotion of regret. My course has been bold, direct, independent and effective. I have solicited nothing for myself and declined it when it was offered me. I have no wish for place in itself and should refuse almost every thing of the kind if voluntarily offered. But I should like reputation because that is the result of a man’s own acts, and to me it would be grateful on account of my descent. For this I will still continue to try with undiminished ardor. If I can get it without place, why so much the more to my credit. At any rate, I felt more cheerful today than usual. My depression has passed away, I hope, and I shall now go on peacefully in the regular performance of what is set before me.

I attended divine service this morning and heard Mr. Frothingham from 1. Samuel. 11. 14. “Then said Samuel to the people, Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” An occasional Sermon upon the entrance of the new year and the feelings which it might be expected to occasion. He rested mainly upon the avoiding of discouragement and the necessity of a vigorous action of the will with which every thing is possible. This is to an extent true, but when I look about me and see so many persons with high vigour and different degrees of mental power who are nevertheless struggling almost for life, I think there is a necessity for various qualifications to the general remark.

Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me. Afternoon John 11. 9. “Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in the day.” A very good discourse upon the use and employment of time. I afterwards read a very short Sermon of Dr. Barrow upon the crucifixion of Christ. 1. Corinthians 1. 23. “But we preach Christ crucified.” He briefly gives reasons why the Saviour should have submitted to so humiliating a punish-158ment and so dreadful a degree of suffering. But the discourse is short and appears very imperfect. Evening at home. Cold. Nothing new. Read Mrs. Trollope’s book.1


Some earlier reading in Mrs. Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans had been undertaken in 1833; see vol. 5:53.