Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday. 5th.

Friday. 7th.

Thursday 6th. CFA Thursday 6th. CFA
Thursday 6th.

This was the day appointed according to immemorial usage for a day of fasting and prayer. It is not so now employed and has not been for many years but rather on the contrary for amusement and private festivity.1 The day was fine as it always is, and as usual the common was alive with boys playing ball. I like the scene. It is the only one of the whole year, we see in this country devoted to innocent amusements.

Attended divine service in the morning and heard Mr. Frothingham deliver a very good discourse upon fasting to which however he assigns very little value as an exercise. I do not remember the text, but I think his doctrine was slightly in extreme, for I fancy there is some weight in the example of Jesus who fasted forty days in the wilderness, as well as in the theory of its reducing the mind to a better sense of it’s own condition.

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Walk with Mr. Walsh, and he dined with me together with T. K. Davis who came in by accident. They sat talking after dinner, so that I preferred their company to the afternoon service. After which we strolled round the Common until tea time. Mr. Brooks then came in and we had quite a merry time. After which another lazy conversation until eight when they left. I did little afterwards, except a chapter of Agathon.

1.

On the spring fast-day in New England, see vol. 3:209.