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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Saturday 22d.

22 August 1863

Monday 24th

24 August 1863
23 August 1863
Sunday 23d.

Attended Divine service at the church of St James’s in Piccadilly. This one of the great number planned by Sir Christopher Wren. It has in the exterior nothing to mark it. The tower and steeple are poor, thin and mean, whilst the body is as common-place as a factory. Inside however the aspect changes. The arrangement is regular and simply but elegant. Well lighted on three sides by the favor of the situation, the galleries both north and south do not cumbrous, and the Corinthian Columns which support an arching roof remove all appearance of angularity and baldness. There is in addition some very rich and ornamental moulding in the ceiling. Behind the altar is some carving in wood by Grinling Gibbons of a most exquisite kind, and looking as perfect as when first put on. Sir Christopher himself alludes to this interior as the best thing he was capable of for the accommodation of a large number. I think it is as fine as any thing I have seen in London, and it fills my idea of the true place for Christian social worship. The Gothic is only suited to the Catholic idea of blind adoration conducted with pomp and show. Perhaps the finest interior I know is that in Brattle Square in Boston. The objection is that the fine columns rather obstruct the unity of the view, and the light from the windows which are too small is scanty. The services as usual. The sermon on the letter that killeth and the spirit that giveth life a little above the average. The remainder of my day in quiet at home. Prepared my forms of Despatches for next week; took a long walk into Kensington Gardens and in the evening, worked vigorously and successfully in bring up the arrears in this record occasioned by my absence since the month began.

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=DCA63d235