Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 30th.

January. 1838. Monday. 1st.

Sunday. 31st. CFA


Sunday. 31st. CFA
Sunday. 31st.

A mild day gradually clouding up. I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach from John 7. 37. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried.” A meditative discourse upon the passage of time and the last day of the year. I felt it as every man who has attained the middle age in life feels that old and regular truism which notwithstanding never loses it’s force.

Afternoon, an old Sermon varied so as to extend and continue the idea, Joshua 10. 13. “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed.” Mr. Frothingham entirely denies the fact, puts no faith in the statement, and proceeds to make an application of the text to the passage of time and the various feelings entertained by individuals respecting it.

Read a discourse of Sterne. John 5. 39. “Search the Scriptures.” Short and sensible, remarking upon the inattention to the beauties of the Bible prevailing in England. This is not at all an objection to be made among us. Probably no community in the world is better acquainted with the Scriptures than our’s, and none which draws so much of it’s sense of beauty from it. Nevertheless there is justness of thought in this discourse. At the close, a slap at the Romish Church, which seems to have been very much to his taste.

Evening with Mr. Frothingham to Boylston hall to hear the Oratorio of the Messiah. Madame Caradori was announced as about to take part the consequence of which was a throng. We sat up in the gallery where we soon found the air almost intolerable. She sung three of the Solos and one remarkably well: “I know that my redeemer liveth.” The chorus also was well got up, and sung with tolerable precision. But I am not entirely partial to the sort of music. It has neither the impressiveness of church music, nor the brilliancy of operatic music, and is an attempt to confuse the two things when essentially different. Yet there are some passages of sublime conception in these which place Handel at the top of his art. Home after Caradori had done and before the close. Continued writing.

Thus passed a year which to me bears record of far more pleasure 372than pain, of rather more occupation than it’s predecessors and perhaps of greater enjoyment. To retain a grateful heart for all that I am blessed with so far beyond my deserts is the study of my life.