Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 21st.

Monday 23d.

Sunday 22d. CFA


Sunday 22d. CFA
Sunday 22d.

The snow which had been heavy all night continued to fall throughout the day although not so rapidly. I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham upon the cardinal virtues of temperance and fortitude, the text from the book of wisdom but I have been unable to recover the place. Afternoon, Mr. Ripley from Matthew 2. 1.2 “There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” I have as it appears to me lost much of the virtue of attention, for I can say little of the nature of either of these discourses. Ripley is however no favourite of mine.1

Dine and walk with Mr. Walsh at home. Read a discourse of Dr. Barrow from Acts 2. 27 “because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” This was upon that passage in the Apostles creed, “he descended into hell” and it stuck very considerably in the throat of the preacher. He begins by saying that it was a late insertion, he goes on to explain away the meaning of hell and ends by confessing he does not know what to make of it. My own mind has often been startled at the idea of the descent of the Saviour into any place of punishment, and I am from this sermon confirmed in a rejection of it. Evening quietly at home. Afterward, writing.


On Rev. George Ripley and CFA’s earlier reaction to his sermons, see vols. 3:149; 6:66, 260–261. See also CFA’s objections to his theological opinions, entry for 13 Nov. 1836, above.