Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 25th.

Monday. 27th.

350 Sunday. 26th. CFA Sunday. 26th. CFA
Sunday. 26th.

A clear, mild day with a bracing air. Afternoon an hour whiled away in the Correspondance which is a luxury, I attended divine service and heard in the morning Mr. Pierpont from Romans 6. 21. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.” The point seemed to be to show that the consequence of sin is always evil, to an extent irremediable over which man cannot exercise a fight to change and God never does. The better plan is then rather to avoid than to repent.

Mr. Barrett in the afternoon from 1. Peter 4. 1. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” An endeavour to place in a strong light the energy inspired by the doctrine and example of the Saviour as contrasted with the passive doctrine so often imputed. Mr. Barrett has corrected his manner so that he is not bad as he used to be.1

Read a discourse of Sterne’s as usual. 1. John 5. 3. “And his commandments are not grievous.” This was upon the practice of zealots in religion to inflict penances upon themselves as a kind of propitiation of the Deity for their Offences. The discrimination between legal indulgence and excess is one of the moral niceties settled more often by the feelings of the individual than his reason. Evening, H. G. Gorham came in for an hour after which writing. Saw James Fields today about my Pamphlet and asked him to propose to Mr. Ticknor.2


For earlier judgments on Rev. Samuel Barrett’s sermons, see vol. 4:296–297, 410–411.


The young James Thomas Fields was at the point of becoming a junior partner in the publishing firm of William D. Ticknor & Co., later Ticknor and Fields ( DAB ).