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.