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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Saturday 8th

8 April 1865

Monday 10th

10 April 1865
9 April 1865
Sunday 9th

Summer has burst upon us in these three days, much as it does sometimes in America. Went in company with Mr Alward, to attend the service at what is called the Catholic, apostolic Church in Gordon Square. The interior is Gothic but of the lightest and most elegant taste. There was moreover abundance of sunlight to furnish warmth and relief. Although still of opinion that it is unsuitable to modern social Christian worship, I think if resorted to at all by those fund of ceremonial services, this style is the most tolerable. How different from the gloomy, monkish grotto of Margaret Street. I found the services at this apostolic Church not the customary ones. A book was put into my hands, from which I soon perceived that great alterations were made in the common form. The service of this day was a communion service. There was a studied approach to the Roman Catholic forms, and to some of the doctrines. The lifting up of the bread and wine, the use of candles and the fumigating censer, the bows and genuflections at the altar, the chanting of most of the responses were close imitations. The phraseology looked to me as close upon transubstantiation. Almost all present young and old, of both sexes went up to partake. The duration exceeded two hours. A very short homily, as it was called, by one of the brethren, which contained nothing. The attendance fair but not full. People mostly of the inferior class. The officiating person is denominated the apostle. This is the offspring of Edward Irving, whose preaching created an excitement about forty years ago. Like Joe Smith of Mormon notoriety, he ran into the vagary of the gift of tongues. So far as I could judge of the prayer book, it is innocent and honest enough. Home where I found that Mrs Dayton to whom I had sent to invite her to visit the zoological gardens, had left for oxford yesterday. So I went myself with Mr Alward. The fine weather had drawn not many people, and for the first time I enjoyed the visit. The hippopotami seemed to delight in the water. Mr Alward dined with me, and we went over by invitation to see Mrs Parkes, where we spent an hour. He was sleepy and prosy as usual, She is sprightly and intelligent.

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=DCA65d099