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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Saturday 13th

13 December 1862

Monday 15th

15 December 1862
14 December 1862
Sunday 14th



Cool and clear. Attended Divine Service at the chapel in Portland Street, and heard Dr Taylor preach a Sermon, Mr Martineau officiating for the rest of the Service. The Discourse was mainly addressed to the question now agitating the Church here in consequence of the publication of a small volume by Bishop Colenso, as to the authority of the Scriptures. Late events show more than ever the insufficiency of the basis on which that church rests. It demands implicit assent to its own creed though it originated in a refusal to abide by that of the Romish253 Hierarchy which certainly was as much entitled to that sort of deference as any that could spring up after it. The claim of infallibility can scarcely be set up by a later power which had refused to admit its existence in the earlier one. If it be admitted that the Deity wrought out results through human means, it is natural to infer that there continued always more or less imperfect agency. There can be no doubt that the Jewish race was of this class. Hence it may be justly inferred that the Scripture narrative though in substance the week of extraordinary inspiration get in the detail showed the natural imperfection of its authors. Assuming this for a moment to be true the right to judge of the extent of this inevitably followed. All Protestant nations much claim it, for the denial is a virtual surrender to the Roman Church. Episcopacy is now in the midst of its struggle with this problem. The issue can scarcely be doubtful. But time can only work it out. We were very quiet. I took a walk with Mary around to the park, and on my return I found Mr and Miss Lampson paying us a visit. Another visit from Mr Gray, but he had nothing new. The Steamer from America gave no sign as yet.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA62d348