May 3, 1744

1744 May 3 (Thursday).  Preach’d at the Private Meeting at Mr. Grouts,[1] on 1 Cor. 3.7.  But few men, the Same Number of women.  N.B. Bekky Hicks[2] rode with me.  We call’d at Captain Fays[3] when we return’d.  Mr. Stephen Fays [crossed out] Wife was there.  She desir’d to Speak alone with me, the Conversation the most unaccountable and intolerable that ever I met with Making Exceptions against the most inexceptionable parts of my Sermon today; and declaring her great Dissatisfaction to my preaching in general, and to my Ministration, and yet in plain Terms said she could not given [sic] any Reason why.  Upon my reproving her for her unreasonableness, She freely Submitted to it, and when I ask’d her whether She thought these Things proceeded from the Spirit of God, She freely acknowledg’d that She did think they did not, but from the Contrary.  But She desir’d I would not be angry, for She knew it was the Effect of prejudice reigning and prevailing in her against me, and She pray’d me to tell her what She Should do to get rid of it, or what I could do to help her?  I ask’d here whether She did not think She was under the influence of a Party Spirit.  She Said it was most likely.  I told her the Apostle directed me to rebuke her Sharply that she might be Sound in the Faith and this therefore (I told her) I now did, for it was great Sin and wickedness which She was guilty of herein, and I pray’d her to consider how horrible and how dangerous it was to be So much under the Influence of Adversary and bid her beware — with divers other Such Expressions — which She thank’d me for and we concluded.  When I came home Captain Timothy Brigham of Southborough was here on a Message from Madam Stone to request me to go to Mr. Stone’s tomorrow, their Infant Child being deceas’d and Mr. Stone being gone to Norwich.

[1]Joseph Grout.

[2]Daughter of John Hicks.

[3]John Fay.