Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 11th.

Monday. 13th.

Sunday 12th. CFA Sunday 12th. CFA
Sunday 12th.

I stopped reading Moore this morning, as my Wife appeared to wish to have me read it aloud, and began Wraxall’s Memoirs,1 a work far more amusing than I had expected.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Colman from the 5 Matthew 8. “Blessed are the pure in heart.” A very sensible discourse upon the duty of regulating the mind. Mr. Colman is however not a favourite with our Community on account of his restlessness of character.2

Afternoon, Dr. Ware Jr.3 from Isaiah 62. 1. “For Sion’s sake will I not hold my peace and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” I had never before heard this gentleman and was therefore the more anxious to do so. He preached without any written discourse and his object was to gain a contribution for the propagation of religion. He began by laying down as his basis that the safety of the public depended entirely upon the will of the majority. Upon that degree of moral and religious principle which could be disseminated, therefore, the only reliance in times of public danger could be had. He drew the distinction between moral culture and intellectual culture, showing that most of the efforts at education were directed to the latter and not the former point. He adverted to the enormous increase of the Country and to the hazards to which religion was exposed 203unless new efforts were made. He divided these into four heads—the risk from the system of voluntary worship, that from sectarian divisions in small towns, and those arising from the emigration to the West. To counteract these he thought each parish should contribute as much for the support of a missionary as it did for it’s own teaching. The discourse was ingenious but not convincing. The emigrants carry their principles with them. If they are as strong as were those of their ancestors they will effect much. If not, our labour will be in vain. The West will no doubt govern the Country. We must submit to misgovernment for fear of not having any at all.

Mr. Walsh was absent today. Read a discourse of Sterne’s today.4 Psalm 4. 6. “There be many that say, who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.” The search after happiness exemplified by the miser, the epicurean, the philosopher, and found only with the religious man. A pretty discourse upon a text I remember hearing discussed by Mr. Greenwood. Evening out to see Mr. Brooks. R. D. Tucker, C. Brooks and W. G. with his wife.5 Home early.


Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, Posthumous Memoirs of his own Time, 3 vols., London, 1836.


Rev. Henry Colman, who had been involved in numerous theological controversies while Unitarian minister in Dedham and Salem, had left the active ministry to devote himself principally to agriculture in Deerfield ( DAB ).


Dr. Henry Ware Jr. (Harvard 1812) was a professor in the Divinity School at Harvard and an overseer.


There are at MQA two editions of Laurence Sterne’s Works owned by CFA, one, that of 1802 in 7 vols. which had belonged to Peter C. Brooks, the other of 1823 in 4 vols. which was given to CFA in 1825 by his classmate John H. Richardson. Also there, are JQA’s copies of Sermons, 2 vols., London, 1785, and Works, 10 vols., London, 1780.


Charles Brooks and William Gray Brooks were sons of Peter C. Brooks’ brother, Cotton. Richard D. Tucker, Boston merchant, was a friend and frequent visitor at the Brooks home.