My morning fled from me very rapidly, partly perhaps because I got up late, and partly from the routine I commonly pursue with the children now. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt from Hebrews 12. 11. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” A series of reflections very well adapted to the consolation of the mourners of yesterday, and clothed in the beautiful style characteristic of the preacher.
Afternoon, a very curious dissertation upon the mechanic arts which must as I suspect have been written for some other occasion. Exodus 35. 35. “Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer in blue and in purple, in scarlet and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.” He maintained that the passage from which this text was taken shewed the estimation in which among the Hebrews mechanics were held, and that the subsequent distinctions which had depressed them were a departure from the true mode of thinking. Bezaleel the son of Uri is called by Moses one filled “with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship” and appears to have held the first rank among his brethren. This should be the case now. The labour of the hands was a necessity in America and should not be neglected even by the more favoured in wealth. He alluded to the Fair now held in Boston, or the display of the mechanic arts and recommended every body to visit it. Mr. Lunt’s discourse was adapted to a popular audience and contains much sense and just reflection. But when he equalizes mechanics with orators, statesmen or legislators, it would have been fair to draw a line between the inventors and the mere executors. The one class undoubtedly deserve a high place in intellectual rank, but the others rank but one degree over animals—at least when considered only in reference to results. On the whole, the spirit of the discourse was essentially democratic, which is fast becoming the tone of our clergy, a strange revolution.321
Read a discourse of Sterne. Proverbs 3. 17. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.” An argument upon the beaten topic of Virtue its own reward, by proving a vicious life not happy and a religious one not gloomy. The force of it is weakened by a concluding doubt and reference of religious conduct to the future state. This makes an anti-climax which injures the effect. Took up a volume of my father’s collection of voyages which I looked into for the purpose of gathering ideas. Evening Lady Montague.