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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Saturday 19th

19 December 1863

Monday 21st

21 December 1863
20 December 1863
Sunday 20th

Chilly and cloudy. Attended Divine Service at the chapel in Little Portland place which we propose now to leave, after attending it two years. Mr Martineau preached a sermon on the life of Jesus Christ. It seemed to me to put out his humanitarian notions more absolutely than I had ever noticed them before. He intimated that the Savior indulged his own conviction that he was speaking from the father very much as Mahomet or the veriest Visionary might honestly do. I can by no means be reconciled to such a doctrine. I firmly believe that Jesus spake and never man spake and acted as never man acted. In all the records of the past524 I find nothing which however good does not carry with it the mark of human infirmity. It is not then possible for me to believe that when Jesus made declarations so strong and clear of his special agency, he was not fortified by an inspiration from Heaven of which he was himself conscious, to tell the truth. I failed to follow the mysticism which ended by endeavoring to bring his theory into some sort of metaphorical harmony with the doctrine of the Trinity. This is a difficulty I have always experienced with Mr Martineau. He is metaphysical and hard and cold. The English church is remarkable for generally preaching nothing. Mr Martineau is always meditative and sometimes logical but he has no practical power. I scarcely knew where I may better myself, but I feel that further attendance here is of no use. A very quiet day. No visit but one from the Peruvian Minister. The news from America is on the whole very favorable. The abstract of the message of the President quite satisfactory. I read a good deal of the last number of the Quarterly Review. Especially an article on the lives of three Bishops of the English Church. It lays open clearly enough the strife that rages within. Evening, a little more of Vanity Fair.

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=DCA63d354