Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 23d.

Monday. 25th.

Sunday. 24th. CFA


Sunday. 24th. CFA
Sunday. 24th.

Morning cloudy with an appearance of snow. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach a sermon upon Christmas from Isaiah 35. 1. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He took a view of the effect of the birth of Christ upon the world as figured out in the text, the state of extreme depression in which all nations were at that time from which they were relieved by the spread of the gospel. Mr. Young followed in the afternoon in a sort of fluent Essay upon the same subject. Isaiah 9. 6. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful.” I was glad to find Mr. Young did not give into the late theory that this text had no reference to the Saviour.1 On the contrary his main object appeared to be to show it’s verification under the circumstances of his birth and of his life.

Read a very short sermon of Sterne’s from Hebrews 12. 14. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness; without which, no man shall see the Lord.” The doctrine of peace is among the most fascinating presented to us, but I am unfortunately of opinion that man has pugnacious propensities implanted in him which prevent any great probability of an increase of the happiness of men through this source. Still the doctrine 368never can be out of place in the mouth of a minister of the gospel. I missed today the presence of Mr. Walsh. On the whole the most judicious friend I have and a man I regret being unable to assist effectually. Afternoon writing, and evening at home. G. Gorham came in and chattered away part of the time.


On the issue of Old Testament prophecy as currently raised and CFA’s position on it, see vol. 5:340, 394.