Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 18th.

Monday 20th.

Sunday 19th. CFA


Sunday 19th. CFA
Sunday 19th.

Morning clear but quite cold for so late in the season. I read in the morning the memoirs of the prince of Montbarey, one of the Noblesse of France at the time of the Revolution.1 Rather a sensible man, but with all the follies and the vices which brought on that whirlwind.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham from 1. Chronicles 15. 36. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel and all the people said, Amen,” upon the part which the people should take in religious exercises. A question very sensibly discussed by him arriving at the conclusion that forms were not material where the spirit was present. I am myself rather inclined against our form as not requiring the participation of the individual. My feelings are always more involved when I am present at the reading of the Church Service. Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me. Exodus 20. 5 in the afternoon. “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third or fourth generation of those that hate me.” An explanation of this terrifying text, and limitation to the Jews, and their discipline.

After my return home, I read a Sermon of Sterne’s. Ecclesiastes 7. 2.3. “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting.” He begins the discourse quaintly enough by a flat denial and 208then explains it in the only way of which it admits as applying to the state of feeling which adversity or prosperity respectively generate. Sterne writes very neatly, but his mind was not a devout one.

Evening, I walked up to the Boylston Hall with the view of hearing the Concert of the Handel and Hayden Society but the tickets being all sold, I returned and took my Wife with me down to Mr. Frothingham’s. There was a great deal of company. Mr. Wales and his family, Mrs. Foster and her son, and Mr. Beale and his daughter. Home at tea.


Alexandre Marie Léonor de Saint Mauris, Prince de Montbarey, Mémoires, 3 vols., Paris, 1826–1827.