April 1, 1726

1726 April 1 (Friday).  William Wilson of Concord, a poor Shiftless man Lodg’d with us Last night, and about the same time Simon Tainter[1] (who had been with me some time agoe) was with Me in a very Heavenly and Devout Time, Conversing of his State and preparations for his admittance into the Communion.  I was upon My Preparations as also the 2nd Day.

[1]Of Westborough.  He was admitted to the church, April 3,1726.  Westborough Church Records.  Simon Tainter, who later became a deacon, and who lived until 1763, was a good friend of Parkman.  Harriette M. Forbes, The Diary of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman (Westborough, 1899), pp. 11-12.

April 4, 1726

1726 April 4 (Monday).  One of Mr. Ward’s Cows went home.  What man would not think it worth Noting that [he] has Seen the mighty Contests and Brawlings that are often made about the most inconsiderable things of this kind, and the Reflections cast upon the honesty and uprightness of those of Sacred Character (because they ought to be Examples to observe), if there is not a peculiar preciseness and Exactness in making up the minutest part of an account.

April 12, 1726

1726 April 12 (Tuesday).  I rode down to Association at Marlborough.  Present, Mr. Swift,[1] Mr. Breck, Mr. Prentice,[2] Mr. Loring,[3] Mr. McKinstry,[4] Mr. Cushing,[5] Mr. Gardner,[6] Mr. Cook,[7] Mr. Barrett, Mr. Burr[8] and myself.  Mr. Swift opened the Association with prayer, and Mr. Thomas McKinstry[9] proposed a Matter between himself and one of his parish, in which he requested our Sentiments and advice concerning the best Manner of Managing it.  He had preach’d a Sermon from these words in Eph. 5.20: “Giving Thanks alwayes for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  In which Sermon he maintained that we ought to give Thanks to God not only for Prosperous but Even Adverse Dispensations.  One Putnam (and Sundry others Combining) had been Set Against, and Still manifested uneasiness at Such Doctrine and this man was Resolute to make a stir about it.  He had alwayes been Discontented with Mr. McKinstry but now Charges him as inorthodox.  We therefore wrote a brief Declaration according to Mr. McKinstrys Request in This Wise.


Application being made to us the Subscribers, conven’d at Marlborough April 12, 1726, by the Reverend Mr. John McKinstry, Setting forth that he had delivered certain Doctrine as follows, viz., that the Children of God ought to give thanks to God at all Times for all his Providence to us, Whether they be prosperous or Afflictive, and the Doctrine was Dissatisfactory to some of his Brethren.  Our Opinion hereupon being Desired we freely Declare that we judge said Doctrine to be agreeable to the Sacred Scriptures and Sentiments of the most Judicious Expositions of Orthodox Divines.  Sign’d by Ebenezer Parkman, John Swift, Robert Breck, John Prentice, Israel Loring, Job Cushing, John Gardner, William Cook.  Having din’d, Mr. Axtil[10] of Marlborough Desir’d advice of the Association in his Case, who for irregular Behaviour and Discourse with respect to one Tabitha Rice[11] (who had laid a Child to his son), and the Church, likewise in Managing the Affair, was suspended.  But his Infirmity of understanding rendered him incapable of the plainest Counsell and Direction which from Everyone given him.  Mr. Cook also Proposed a Cause between Two of his Parish who were uneasy with one another in a Bargain they had made about some Land.  But some other Business Engaging me I took little notice of it, Seeing it was not in my Power to advantage it any manner of way.


Association Breaking up, I rode with Mr. Barrett as far as Mr. Eagers[12] of the Town where my Horse broke, but Lighting upon Mr. McCollisters[13] Son upon a Horse I rode home.  My Beast was Safe at my own Barn.  Brothers Champney[14] and Hicks[15] were to see us.

[1]Reverend John Swift of Framingham.

[2]Reverend John Prentice of Lancaster.

[3]Reverend Israel Loring of Sudbury.

[4]Reverend John McKinstry of Sutton.  Benedict and Tracey, Sutton, pp. 33-35.  He was not a member of the Marlborough Association.  Allen, Worcester Association, pp. 5-7

[5]Reverend John Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[6]Reverend John Gardner of Stow.

[7]Reverend William Cooke (Harvard 1716) of Wayland. Sibley, VI, 134-138-

[8]Reverend Isaac Burr (Yale 1717) of Worcester.  Dexter, pp. 163-165.

[9]This should be Reverend John McKinstry.

[10]Thomas Axtell.  Axtell was the subject of several discussions by the Marlborough Association.  See Allen, Worcester Association, pp. 12, 19-20.

[11]The daughter of Edward Rice of Marlborough.  There is no record of the birth of her child close to this date, but there is a record of a daughter, Sarah, born to Tabatha Rice, July 10, 1723.  Tabatha Rice married one Nathaniel Oakes or Oke, Feb. 20, 1726/7.  Marlborough Vital Records (Worcester, 1908), p. 160, p. 304.

[12]Either Zachariah Eager or his brother Zerubbabel, both of whom were residents of Marlborough at this time.

[13]Probably John McCollister of Westborough.

[14]Samuel Champney, Jr., of Cambridge, Parkman’s wife’s brother.

[15]John Hicks of Cambridge, Parkman’s brother-in-law.

April 23, 1726

1726 April 23 (Saturday).  We were in a sad Commotion by the Hills being fir’d.  Robert was Exceeding unfortunate to burn the Brush after long uneasiness through my fears of his persuasions.  I gave him leave to set fire to the most Distant Heap and the last in the wind, but the Leaves were drie and the wind fresh so that it put us to great Labour to carry it.  It burnt about 20 Rod of my fence and would have Consum’d without a period if I had not receiv’d Neighbor David Maynards Help, and been very Diligent my Self.  But before Neighbor Maynard came, it raged to such a Degree that we grew so hot and faint as Severall times to give up and Robert[1] Lay’d himself down in an Expiring posture, till quickened by a New Resolution.  It got Lead upon the Fence before Help came.  Through Divine favour we put a stop to it to our great Joy att about noon.  It continued to burn indeed, but not to run and Spread.  We were oblig’d to have an Eye over it continually, and I was not, many times, without fear of its catching again because Towards night there were great Gusts of Wind, Thunder and Lightning and very little if any Rain.  This was the more terrible as happening in the middst of my Preparation for the Sabbath.  But God was very Gracious.

[1]Robert Henry, Parkman’s hired hand.

April 28 1726

1726 April 28 (Thursday).  I rode down to Marlborough and preach’d the Lecture from Acts 16.24.  After Lecture I paid Colonel How[1] £3.10 for Beef I had of him and Mr. Wood 20£, which (with 10£ at one time and 20£ at another before) made up the 50£ which I borrowed of him last Year.  I paid him the Interest also which was 1£ 25 Shillings.  I made up with him also for Sundrys had in his Shop.  Here was Mr. Thomas.  Mr. Wood presented Me a Dozen of long Pipes, and Mr. Amsden presented Me a pair of Tobacco Tongs.  It was between 10 and 11 when I got home.  Bass and Shadd sent to us.

[1]Thomas Howe of Marlborough, an Indian fighter, Justice of the Peace, and representative of the town.  Hudson, Marlborough, pp. 382-383