Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 4th.

Monday. 6th.

Sunday. 5th. CFA


Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

Morning cloudy with a slight sprinkling of snow but not sufficient to cover the ground. I amused myself in the morning looking over a book of Dr. Alcott’s lately published.1 This is one of the great dreamers of the day who commit ridiculous follies and think it wisdom.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach from Proverbs 18. 14. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” A beautiful discourse moral and consolatory.

Afternoon, F. Parkman “Deuteronomy 6. 6 and 7. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way and when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” Upon the instruction of the young, together with an episode upon cruelty to animals. The worthy clergyman hazarded a little clerical play upon words, for which in private life he is so remarkably. He is the most of a parson by nature, I ever met.2 Mr. Walsh dined with me but I walked alone. Afternoon reading the last discourse in the works of Dr. Barrow. 1. Corinthians 3. 16. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you.” Upon the Holy Ghost as a separate being from God, his nature and Office. This discussion involves the whole question of the Trinity. I have never felt any great avidity for that sort of discussion. The mind has much matter for exercise strictly within its limits of comprehension. And when once pushed into open sea it is apt to sink. The Holy Ghost is of all the mysteries of the Christian religion the greatest, and I feel myself incompetent to approach it. In the evening, at home. Nothing of consequence. I read a little of Chateaubriand’s Martyrs3 and finished Lamartine.


Amos Bronson Alcott, Conversations with Children on the Gospels, 2 vols., Boston, 1836–1837.


For earlier comments on Rev. Francis Parkman, see vols. 3:51, 204–205; 5:249; 6:53, 125.


Les martyrs, ou le triomphe de la religion chrétienne, 3 vols., Paris., 1810.