A very clear day with the wind at the north west and quite cold. Morning Mons. de Tocqueville, whose book ranks close to Montesquieu’s. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Farley of Providence preach from Psalm 55. 19. “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” A view of the impassibility of a large class of the human race who from various causes of prosperity or otherwise acting uniformly upon them lose all sense of the superintendence of the divine Agency. Afternoon. John 19. 25. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother.” A brief examination of the story of Mary as gathered from the record in the Gospel, together with some ingenious applications to the maternal and filial principle. Mr. Farley dined with 251us. His style is good and his manner far better than is customary with us, but I was not very much pleased with the man altogether, and yet without being able to say exactly why? He appeared to me more superficial than clergymen commonly are. And I am far from thinking them in this generation extraordinarily profound as a class.
Read a sermon of Sterne upon evil speaking. James 1. 26. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that man’s religion is vain.” It is a little remarkable that the Author in this discourse occasionally draws his own picture, whether with or without knowledge, I do not know. The contrast between his words and his acts, between his view of the moral obligation as well as of the sympathy which should regulate conduct in his writings and the performance as recorded by his contemporaries finds a record in some of his discourses, particularly in the beginning of this. For the rest, there seem some very good distinctions between the love of scandal leading to censorious talking, and the force of an exemplary line of conduct, repressing vice without indulging in malignity. Evening, Mons. de Tocqueville.