Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 18th.

Monday 20th.

Sunday. 19th. CFA


Sunday. 19th. CFA
Sunday. 19th.

A very clear, fine day. I read Chateaubriand for an hour after which attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach from 1. 187Timothy 6. 4. “Evil surmisings.” A very excellent discourse upon the bad constructions put upon conduct, so general in the Community. This is perhaps one of the prevailing defects in our lives here. We are quit of the grosser vices in a degree to indulge more largely in the smaller. Afternoon Ecclesiastes 3. 10. “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.” Mr. Walsh accompanied me in a walk and afterwards dined.

I read a discourse of Dr. Barrow from Ecclesiastes 3. 17. “I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked.” Upon the necessity of a future state of rewards and punishments as a corrective of the manifest injustice of this world. Dr. Barrow does not see the merit of the old Platonic doctrine of the self compensating power of virtue. He thinks nothing of the rewards of this life as an incitement to good action without the notion of the future state. This is a topic almost too extensive for human skill. What the system of divine justice is cannot be comprehended, but that it is so utterly inactive in this life, I am by no means disposed to believe. Evening, at Mr. Brooks’ with my Wife. Nobody there. We had a quiet time and then home.