1727 January 1 (Sunday). This Morning I preach’d upon [blank] And on the Same text in the Afternoon. It is very Necessary I should Strengthen my Resolutions and mend my pace in the Christian Course, if I would finish Well. Alas! how many Seekers are those who trifle in vain Efforts; when it is our great Duty to Strive to Enter in at the Strait Gate. A Strait Gate truly is the Gate of Life (and so it ought to be) but do I not prove my Self the Author of many of the Difficulties that add to its Straitness? O that I might obtain the quickening Grace of God to inspirit me, and make me fervent and Constant to the End of my Life! but particularly this Year I am now Entering upon that I may have a more Comfortable reflection upon it, and account to give of it, than of the Year past. And as I beseech the Influence of the Divine spirit and Grace in My Soul, I would likewise the Divine Conduct in the Blessing upon my bodily and secular Affairs, that I may do and Enjoy Nothing but to the honour of God.
1727 January 2 (Monday). I rode to Mr. Swifts according to appointment made with Mr. Barrett and Mrs. Leasingby to meet them there at one o’clock. And though I was precisely at the hour, they did not wait for me. However, they were not So long gone before Me, but that I caught up with them a mile of Two further down. We were in at Livermore’s and din’d there. It was heavy riding and sometimes rainy; so that it was somewhat tedious! I lodg’d at Father Champneys.
Reverend John Swift of Framingham.
Joseph Livermore of Framingham.
Samuel Champney, Sr., Parkman’s father-in-law.
1727 January 3 (Tuesday). I rode to Boston and found my Fathers family comfortable (Thanks to God).
1727 January 4 (Wednesday). Towards night I went to Mrs. Edwards’s (the widow of my good Friend John Edwards) and pay’d the Ballance of our Account. Thence I went to Deacon Greens printing house and paid him for my years news, etc, etc. I had design’d to have been upon my Journey home, but it continued such dark and wet weather that I defer’d it.
Bartholomew Green (1666-1732) of Boston, printer of the Boston News-Letter.
1727 January 5 (Thursday). I went to Lecture and heard Mr. Prince Excellently preach on Prov. 27.1. I met with my dear friend Mr. Greenwood after his long absence from me and was made acquainted with his Design of Setting up an experimental Course of Mechanical Philosophy. I hope it will be followed with the Divine Blessing and all his other good Designs succeeded. Mr. Gee invited us to dine with him. I spent a part of my Afternoon with a great deal of Delight (there being other very good Friends there) but I was oblig’d to Engage my Self in my Necessary affairs. It was raining but I was much constrain’d to go as far as Cambridge and I reach’d there.
Reverend Thomas Prince of the Old South Church.
Reverend Joshua Gee of Boston.
1727 January 6 (Friday). Brother Champney and Sister Ruth rode with me home. It was very Serene weather but as heavy travelling as I can remember through the Late Excessive Rains. We got home very timely and I found my Family well. God has carry’d me through many a Difficult Journey, and given me great occasion to magnifie his goodness, extended in this Last.
Samuel Champney, Jr., Parkman’s brother-in-law.
Ruth Champney, Parkman’s sister-in-law.
1727 January 7 (Saturday). Mr. Barrett has appointed to Change on the Sabbath approaching, but I have heretofore met with so many disappointments there, I was very full of concern lest I should be put to some Difficulty. However I rode over to Hopkinton, which when I came to I was wel Satisfy’d in finding him ready to ride to Westborough. Here was Elder Barrett and Mr. Charles Coffin, which made me to be Chearfull again.
Samuel Barrett, Sr., of Boston, the father of the Reverend Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.
1727 January 8 (Sunday). I preach’d at Hopkinton (in their new Meeting house) on Phil. 3.13.14 a. and p.m. After the Exercises I found it necessary to return home, they having no Hay at all at Mr. Barretts and severall Horses to provide for.
1727 January 9 (Monday). It continues (as it has been ever since Friday) very foggy and rainy weather. Brother Champney much afflicted with the Tooth ach.
1727 January 10, 11, 12 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). I was variously Employ’d in reading Mr. Joseph Addisons Works, vol. 1, 12 [rwb 2?], etc, etc. Captain Fay came desiring me to visit his son, but my circumstances would not allow me.
1727 January 13 (Friday). Brother Champney went home.
1727 January 15 (Sunday). I preach’d on Luk. 13.24, a. and p.m.
1727 January l6 (Monday). A fierce storm of Snow.
1727 January 17 (Tuesday). Mr. Holloway Sent his Lad for me to [see] his Child. I rode over and found it but alive. I pray’d with them for it, and then the Child Chang’d and Expir’d while I continued to Instruct, Exhort and Support the Heavy and Sorrowfull Parents under the grievous Loss, it being a fine son of his own Name and in its 3d Year. Mr. Cushing to see me and lodg’d with us.
William, Jr., son of William Holloway of Westborough.
Reverend Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.
1727 January 18 (Wednesday). I was at the Funeral of Mr. Holloways Child. I rode upon Mr. Holloways Horse both Yesterday and today. It was raw, bleak Weather and I find I caught a cold. I could not go to the Grave but turn’d in at Mr. John Pratt Juniors.
1727 January 19 (Thursday). I had a Sore troublesome night of the last, having the Teeth ach and ague in my face. Mr. John Fay, Junior sent a Man and horse fore [sic] me, but I was so ill and the weather so Wet that I was prevented.
1727 January 21 (Saturday). I was pretty well recovered from my indisposition. Mr. Balley came to our house Expecting to Meet Mr. Jenison, whom they had engaged to preach at that part of Marlborough call’d Stony Brook, but he came not.
Benjamin Bayley of Marlborough. Hudson, Marlborough, p. 321.
William Jenison (Harvard 1724), later minister of the Second Church, Salem, Mass., 1728-1736. Sibley, VII, 371-374.
In 1727 this part of Marlborough was incorporated in the new town of Southborough.
1727 January 22 (Sunday). I preach’d a.m. on Luk. 13.24; p.m. on Heb. 4.1. The Lord Graciously forgive my unprofitableness!
1727 January 23 (Monday). Mr. Pratt brought me his horse to ride to his Brother John Fays. I went up accordingly and found him in grievous pains. I pray’d with him and used my Endeavours to Comfort and Relieve him as far as Means so poor as those I am impower’d with, might be Effectual.
1727 January 24 (Tuesday). Mr. Cushing came to see me. I find next to inconceivable Benefit by having frequent Conversation with my friends, especially with my Brethren in the ministry. But I am griev’d they can have no greater advantage by me. The Father of Light communicate Wisdom to me but especially make me wise in the Things of God! Mr. Cushing lodg’d with me. Mr. Cushing return’d home. P.M. I was much affected with what I read in the Life of Mr. Mat. Henry, of his wonderfull Labours and Serviceableness. Example seems to have a far greater influence upon me than precept, since it so gratifies my under powers, my imagination, and curiosity; and thereby captivates my affections. Its sad that my understanding and Judgement are no more Employ’d upon the purity and perfection of the Divine Laws, and the infinite Justice, Supremacy and goodness of my God that injoins their observance! But I am glad I can any way be wrought upon, and brought to my Duty.
[Additional note: An account of the life and death of … Mr. Matthew Henr: … who died June 22d, 1714 … Chiefly collected out of his own papers, and faithfully published by W. Tong. London: Printed for M. Lawrence; Em. Matthews; and S. Cliff, 1716.]
1727 January 27 (Friday). Mr. Samuel Willard of Boston Merchant was brought here by his Kinsman Mr. Simon Willard of Hassinamisco. I noted well his excessive antipathy against Mr. Thomas Smith (a Preacher) with whom he was formerly exceeding intimate. There is Sad work when Such sort of Companions fall out and rake into the Dirt and Dung hills of their Conversations to blaze the Mystery of iniquity about the world when it is Shamefull so much as to think of what is done of them in secret. But I hope God has given his grace to Mr. Smith and that he has truly repented of all his Youthfull Sins. God Grant Mr. Willard the Same, and I would not forget my Self. But I am Oblig’d to acknowledge the Goodness of God in the Restraints granted to Me, So that I never was carried to the prodigious Enormitys of Such Men. Yet God forbid I should Pharisaically Say I am not as other Men.
(Harvard 1723). Later minister at Biddeford, Maine (1730-1741). Sibley, VII, 281-287.
Son of Benjamin Willard, one of the original proprietors of Grafton, Mass.
(Harvard 1720). Son of a Boston merchant and later minister of Falmouth, now Portland, Maine, 1726-1795. Sibley, VI, 400-410.
1727 January 28 (Saturday). My Heart in the Evening too indifferent and Slightly [?] in my Examinations. O Lord Quicken thou me in thy Way! To the Dust my Soul cleavest fast.
1727 January 29 (Sunday). This was a good Day in Several regards. I was much affected with the Sermons I Delivered from Ps. 95.7. Today if ye will hear his voice. But it had been better if Mr. Willard of Boston and others at my house had not at noon been so full of unsuitable Discourse. God forgive wherein I in any ways countenanc’d it by my Criminal silence. The Evening I would not let go off without some very Serious Enquirys what if this be all the Day that Ever I shall hear the will of God in? What if I should die before another Morning? Let me now put My Self into some actual Readings for my Last hour.
1727 January 31 (Tuesday). I rode to the South part of Marlborough (call’d Stony Brook) to Dr. Bellus’s, to see Mr. Willard, and here was his Kinsman that had been up with me. I tarried here till near night and then rode up to Mr. Brecks. N.B. Captain Willard’s Characters of Mr. Ebenezer Gee and Mr. John Mountfort at Boston.
(Harvard 1722). Sibley, VII, 76.
(Harvard 1722). Sibley, VII, 101-102.