Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 29th.

May. 1837. Monday. 1st.

234 Sunday. 30th. CFA


Sunday. 30th. CFA
Sunday. 30th.

The day was clear but not warm as the wind which for a day or two has kept steadily from the West, this morning took it’s usual direction at this season. I read Wraxall in the morning previously to attending Divine Service. Heard Mr. Frothingham from Genesis 1. 11. “whose seed is in itself.” A very good discourse upon the different effects produced by external circumstances and internal energy upon man’s character. The great foundation however is in the latter which converts the incident at first sight appearing unfavourable to it’s use and benefit. Mr. Walsh did not come near us today.

Afternoon. John 6. 27. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life,” and a Sermon of Sterne. Ecclesiastes 9. 11. “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all.” A very brief examination of that subject of chance with a touch at the common places upon the subject. There is enough however to reflect upon even in the triteness of them. I have experienced somewhat of the truth of the text in both senses, first, by the enjoyment of advantages I had done nothing to merit, second by the want of success attending the exercise of what may relatively speaking be perhaps called skill. And yet in both cases I have not been led to any conclusion but one of entire trust in providence which ordains these things far better than we can do for ourselves.

Evening at home. Conversation with my Wife which on this day she generally prefers to reading. After which I finished Wraxall. On the whole, rather an interesting book written by a man evidently disappointed in his political career, not having himself had very high motives of action, and therefore very prone to disbelieve the existence of them in others.