Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 9th.

Monday. 11th.

Sunday. 10th. CFA


Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

A very fine day and growing warmer thus balancing the average of heat of Summer. I felt recovered this morning and occupied myself in reading Jeremy Bentham’s Defence of Usury. An essay having very considerable acuteness and although not uniformly sound yet with much of sound thinking.1

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Green from John 20. 29. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” Faith, and an argument upon evidences drawn from concurring testimony, or rather the negative argument of absence of contradiction pretty ingeniously applied. Afternoon I believe from John 2. 27. “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” The use of divine worship upon a fixed day, and of forms of worship supported by a variety of the usual arguments. Mr. Green is neither original nor particularly forcible, and yet I thought both his discourses ingenious.2

Read a Sermon of Sterne upon the advantages of Christianity to the world. Romans I. 22. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” This is maintained rather from a comparative view of the attributes of the Deity according to the Christian idea and to that of the ancients, than from any argument of superior moral excellence in action. I read also some of Malthus3 as I have still clinging about me some favourite notion of writing on the present state of our affairs. Malthus writes well, but he mystifies.


CFA’s reaction was probably to the application of laissez-faire principles to the acquisition of money. His copy of the 3d edn., London, 1816, is in MQA.

313 2.

Rev. James D. Green of Cambridge Mass. Register, 1837).


Thomas Robert Malthus, Principles of Political Economy. At MQA is the Boston, 1821 edition.