1745 December 1 (Sunday). Mr. Vinal was engag’d to preach to Day for Mr. Gee, So that though I had been oblig’d to preach for him the first Time I should be in Town, yet now I was at Liberty and chose to go to Mr. Checkleys, where I had the Benefit of being at Communion (after his sermon on Isa. 50.10). Din’d with him and preach’d p.m. on John 1.11. At Eve deliver’d a sermon to my mother and Brethran and divers other Relations on Gal. 2.20. O that God would accompany with his Blessing. Lodg’d at sister.
William Vinal (HC 1739), later minister of the First Congregational Church at Newport, R.I., 1746-1768. SHG 10:412-415.
Rev. Samuel Checkley.
1745 December 2 (Monday). A.M. Visited Mr. Gee — din’d at Mr. Webbs. N.B. he made a present on one of Mr. Dickinsons Familiar Letters. P.M. at Mr. John Brecks. At Eve at Mr. Foxcrofts — first saw one of the Philadelphian Fire-places. Was with my Honour’d Mother also. Lodg’d at sister Bettys with Parkman.
Rev. John Webb.
Jonathan Dickinson, Familiar Letters to a Gentleman upon a Variety of Seasonable and Important Subjects in Religion (Boston, 1745).
Rev. Thomas Foxcroft.
1745 December 3 (Tuesday). Neighbour David Maynard junior brought my mare to me at Brother Samuels with an Affectionate Letter from my Wife. Din’d at Brother Alexanders. P.M. I rode to Cambridge, was at Mr. Rands — lodg’d at Mother Champneys, and thank God I am so Comfortable after my late Illness!
John Rand (HC 1748), later minister at Lyndeborough, N.H., 1757-1762. See D[ennis] Donovan and Jacob A. Woodward, The History of the Town of Lyndeborough (n.p., 1906), 614-615.
1745 December 4 (Wednesday). Rode Home. Mr. McAllister and Mr. Priest my Company some part of the way. Would Bless God that I find my Tabernacle in Peace, Especially in such a Time of Calamity as this, especially among some of my Neighbours. N.B. More of Mr. Grouts Family taken ill of the Throat Distemper, and Two of Mr. Winchesters.
1745 December 5 (Thursday). Public Thanksgiving. On Rom. 12.1. O may we be truly sensible of the Divine Benefits and of our Obligations to Him therefore! that we might present ourselves a living Sacrifice etc. which is our Reasonable Service!
1745 December 6 (Friday). Visited at both Winchesters and Grouts. Having receiv’d a Petition from Mr. David Crosby in Worcester Gaol that there might be a Contribution here for him, I Yesterday desir’d the Deacons of the Church and the selectmen of the Town to meet at my House this Day. And they accordingly came; but they all declin’d our complying with Said Petition. N.B. Mr. Wheeler and James Ball here, and were full of Grievance and perplexity about the proceedings of the North Precinct. N.B. Had the sorrowful News of the Sudden Death of Mr. Joseph Rice of Marlborough, who was going last Tuesday to [illegible] but dy’d before he got home.
1745 December 7 (Saturday). Sarah Henry came last night, and works here this Day, making a pair of Leather Breeches for William.
1745 December 8 (Sunday). Repeated the Remainder of Sermon on Rom. 12.1. Mrs. Kelly and her sister Dunlop and Mr. Jonathan Bellows wife din’d here. At Eve visited Mr. Seth Rice’s little Daughter lying at the Point of Death.
1745 December 9 (Monday). Great Concern upon my Heart respecting our Northern Brethren who this Day meet to Elect a Minister. The Lord grant them Grace and direction and overrule their spirits to do what may be for the Divine Glory and for their own truest peace and Welfare! Old Mr. Maynard here to have some alterations made in his will. N.B. Mr. Seth Rice’s little Daughter Hannah (of 2 and 1/2) dy’d last night.
1745 December 10 (Tuesday). At the Funeral of Mr. Seth Rice’s Daughter. At Eve visited Abraham Batchellor who is on the Recovery. At Eve also Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Jedidiah How were at my Home. Mr. Wheeler very full in informing me what their North Precinct had done Yesterday. That about 30 Voters were present — that 20 chose Mr. Martyn and 10 were against him; and he said a number more, though not Voters yet of interested persons joined in the opposition. Mr. Wheeler would fain have me, write a Letter to Mr. Martyn to inform him how the Case is Circumstanc’d that he may not be abus’d with a false Representation. But I utterly declin’d it — especially could not from hearing only one Side. He ask’d me what I had against his doing it (or to that purpose). I told him no one could hinder writing to him, if he Should do it in a suitable Manner. He pull’d out a paper in which he said a number of them had drawn up something of that kind, and would fain have me look of it to See whether I could approve of it; but I utterly declin’d it and refus’d so much as to look of it. But he seem’d much taken with my yielding that he himself and those who join’d with him against the Vote might write to Mr. Martyn to inform him of it. Open, but dull, cloudy Raw Weather. Heard that Boston was rejoic’d with the Return of the Governour from Louisburgh, and thence the Joy Spreads over all the Province.
See Kent, Northborough History, 23-24.
1745 December 11 (Wednesday). I Visited at Moses Winchesters where Betty Chamberlin was ill of Sore Throat — at James Fays, where Silas Pratt was ill of a Fever; and Mr. Grouts whose Children were much better: at Mr. Williams’s also whose Wife continues ill. N.B. In my going today had some Earnest Talk with Justice Baker on the Affair (which our committee are now gone to Boston upon) respecting the Petition of the North side to the General Court last year, to be freed from paying my Salery from June 5 to October 20.
1745 December 12 (Thursday). North side Committee for waiting on Mr. Martyn with their Call, not going over to Bolton yesterday when the appointment was (for they refus’d to go over because Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Ball and other opposers would go over with them) went over to him to Day. Very Moderate, pleasant Weather.
1745 December 13 (Friday). Molly rode to Grafton, to see whether her Gown was done at Mr. Batchellors.
1745 December 14 (Saturday). Lieutenant Aaron Forbush kill’d a Pigg which weigh’d 114 for me. At Eve Jacob Rice.
1745 December 15 (Sunday). I had chose to repeat Old Sermons last Sabbath that I might be both in Season with my Preparations and might Deliver the whole of what I Should have to say upon the Subject in one Day, but though I had provided a Matter of 16 pages yet I could not finish the Subject without waiting upon the Sabbath, the Things which occurr’d to my Mind were so needfull and as I thought would be so usefull that I could not omitt them. My Text was Rom. 6.13, middle Clause. In the Close I was very fervent, the Lord grant it may not be in Vain! As to the Weather, Cold Day.
1745 December 16 (Monday). Mr. Wheeler here all the afternoon. Selectmen met and having receiv’d Order from the Council Board that the Town Should be assess’d, issued Orders accordingly to the Assessors for that Purpose. Cold Weather.
1745 December 17 (Tuesday). Mr. Cushing din’d with Me and spent the afternoon with me. Ebenezer today (Ah! Quantum mutatus ab Expectione nostra) work’d with Daniel How in the Cedar Swamp in making Shingles.
1745 December 18 (Wednesday). As we have had a fine Moderate Season except the last Three Days, So of no Snow since that which fell November 12. But now comes a fierce storm, Cold, Windy, Snow.
1745 December 19 (Thursday). P.M. I rode over to talk with Deacon Newton about his Success at the General Court in the Affair of my last Years Sallery. At Eve came my Kinsman Hearsey from Boston and lodged here.
1745 December 20 (Friday). Mr. Hearsey goes to Oxford to wait on his wifes Aunt Griffin. Old Mr. Maynard Signs and Declares another Last Will and Testament. Lieutenant Aaron Forbush and Edwards Whipple the Witnesses. Snow. Ebenezer sledds Wood. N.B. Old Mr. Maynards Sledd.
1745 December 21 (Saturday). Lieutenant Tainter here. He bemoans the Condition of his Brother Thomas Harrington at Waltham.
1745 December 22 (Sunday). Cold, cloudy Day. I preach’d a.m. on Heb. 9.27. P.M. I repeat’d from Col. 3.4, the Introduction but fill’d up the Exercise with the first part of sermon on Phil. 1.21, the first 12 pages. O that since it is settled by the Decree of Heaven that I must die I may So reallize that my Life may be a truely Christian Life — that for me to Live may be Christ and to die Gain!
1745 December 23 (Monday). Captain Maynard here and informs me that the soldiers are not likely to return from the Frontiers, according to their Expectations. That therefore he does not expect to see his son much before spring. Would be glad (being there is now opportunity) if I would write him a Line — which Request I readily comply’d with.
1745 December 24 (Tuesday). Daniel How thrashing Rye with Ebenezer. Thomas Winchester came and Thrash’d a.m. and p.m. kill’d Two Piggs which weigh’d about 100 apiece. Deacon Forbush to Worcester with his Daughter Hannah to keep Mr. Jenisons House.
1745 December 25 (Wednesday). Thomas Winchester Went to Boston with the Two Piggs on my Mare. I borrow’d Mr. Williams’s Mare and rode (though not sent for, yet a bright Comfortable Day inviting and hearing that a number of Ministers were to be there) to Grafton Fast. I arriv’d just at 12 yet forenoon Prayer was not much more than half done. I sat in Mr. Prentice’s Pew. Mr. Bliss and Mr. Hall were the Ministers that were come to Assist. Mr. Bliss preach’d on Heb. 4.16. At noon at Mr. Prentice’s. Mr. Hall pray’d p.m. and Mr. Bliss preach’d again. His Text Mat. 5.16. Stay’d to Supper. Mr. James Fay requested that Mr. Bliss might preach at his House tomorrow at 11 o’Clock. I did not sett myself against it, but permitted it, but did not give much Encouragement that I should be there myself, having divers Things before me that would be like to hinder me. At coming away had Some Talk with Mr. Prentice respecting his Disgust with me which arose (and as I conceive continues) from my Sermon at a Former Fast there, but he said that was all over with him. What he waited for was that I would come out — boldly for the Cause of God and let him come freely into my Pulpit and then He Should be free to ask me into his. I told him it was necessary to regard my people (by this Time Mr. Bliss came to us) and I know well that my people would be greatly disgusted and I did not think it wise or prudent to give way to it. I ask’d Mr. Bliss to my House. N.B. Mr. Hall agreed to preach a Lecture to my Young People this Day fortnight. I call’d at Cornet Shermans and at Abraham Temple’s. From Temple’s Mr. Abner Newton was my Company to Westborough. Found my Tabernacle in Peace, and myself comfortable though it was a Cold Evening. To God be the Glory! and may [t]here be an abiding Influence of what I have heard!
1745 December 26 (Thursday). Though it was last night a most Clear and bright Night yet this Morn was thick Cloudy, and anon it snow’d; and it prov’d a Stormy Day. Wrote Mr. Bliss a Letter and sent it to Captain Fays by my son Thomme. N.B. Mr. Williams here while I wrote it. P.M. Justice Baker here, enquiring after a Colt, which he thought might probably strole away last night after me as I pass’d by his House, but I saw none.
1745 December 27 (Friday). When the Storm Clear’d away last night the Wind rose very high. It was a Night of Strong Gusts that rock’d and Shook the House very much, but God Mercifully preserv’d us and upheld our Dwelling. It prov’d a Windy and Cold Day. Ebenezer and Thomme thrash’d Rye. Brother Hicks from Cambridge lodg’d here last Night. P.M. Mr. Matthias Rice and Mr. Thomas Goodenow here. They told me that Mr. Wheeler had said among them [the Northside People] and particularly to Mr. Livermore that he was advis’d by an Angel to turn among them; and also in what he did in going over to Mr. Martyn (at the Time that their Committee went to Carry his Call) that it was the Angel of the Church in Westborough. I reply’d that Mr. Wheeler was here, but that I refus’d to meddle with their Affair: nor did then see Mr. Wheelers Paper not a word of it nor know I what was in it. And this I now repeated to them, that I did not desire to have Concern with their Affairs nor to meddle with them. At Eve Thomas Winchester return’d from Boston — got 12 d per pound for the Pork and brought up 1/2 Bushel Salt, but it being Rainy while he was in Town he went to none of my Friends as I had appointed him to.
1745 December 28 (Saturday). Thomas broke out Flax a.m. P.M. he went home. Moderate, pleasant Day. Ebenezer winnow’d some Rye. Thomme I sent to Mr. James Maynards, he being Collector for the Parish.
1745 December 29 (Sunday). A.M. on Heb. 9.27, and p.m. Repeat’d on Mat. 13.39. It being the Last Sabbath of the Year I was Desirous to Meditate on the Last Day [of] Each Mans Life, and the Last Day of the World. May it please God to make the word Savingly Efficacious to our Souls! I endeavour’d to impress these Serious Things upon my Family — and may God be pleas’d to accompany what I have done with his Blessing!
1745 December 30 (Monday). A tedious Snow Storm. Adhere to a Custom I am in of Reading Lowth in the Morning. Have not yet finish’d Fullers Church History, but keep on in it. P.M. Old Mr. Maynard, Old Mr. Whipple and Captain Maynard here.
1745 December 31 (Tuesday). Storm continues. At my preparations for the Sabbath. At Night Very high Winds. Might it please God of his abundant Mercy to grant a suitable Sense of the Transitoriness of Time! humble Me for and through the Blood of his Dear son, pardon the sins of the Year past, and of my whole Life! And O might I be ready for the Close of my Life, as well as the Close of the Year!