January 15, 1746

1746 January 15 (Wednesday).  Rode to Neighbour Cooks on purpose to talk with him, but I found Neighbours Josselin[1] and Belknap there, for which Reason I proceeded further to visit the South East Corner.  N.B. Mr. Belknap walk’d with me and we had Some Conversation about Mr. Cook.  He told me Mr. Cook had desir’d him some Time ago to go up with him to my House.  I pray’d him to meet me towards Eve at Mr. Cooks — he consented.  He told me likewise that he himself had been admitted into the Southborough Church.  I went to Mr. Bradish’s and pray’d him to meet me at Mr. Cooks by and by (he being also a Man that I knew Mr. Cook would ken to).  Visited Mr. Jonathan Bellows Family; he was not at Home.  I din’d at Mr. Chamberlains.  At Parting he told me that Mr. Cook had heretofore desir’d him to go up with him to discourse with me, and upon that I told him I Should be glad to see him at Neighbour Cooks this Very Evening.  Visited Neighbours Ithamar Bellows and Family and Josselin’s.  Afterward I return’d to Mr. Cooks, found the Three Men aforesaid there.  I acquaint’d them with my Conduct towards Neighbour Cook in my proceedings with him; and intimated what his had been towards Me.  He also made his Replys; in his own boisterous and coarse manner, and the Brethren mediated and endeavour’d to bring him to a right Understanding and Submission; but (whilst I was there) in Vain.  I lamented my unsuccessfullness in my Attempts: and at Parting offer’d him my Hand in Token of my readiness to be reconcil’d if he would Comply; but ineffectually.  When I was mounted on my Horse to return home, he came out and seem’d to express his desire of Forgiveness; and thereupon — giving him my Hand told him I was willing if he acknowledg’d, and was Sorry for his undutifull Conduct towards me in Time past, and would Carry it (by the Help of Grace) in a Suitable Manner becoming his Relation to me, for the future.  This he seem’d once to Consent to, but afterwards drew back from it; and Seem’d to expect an acknowledgment from Me also with regard to my Carriage towards him — which I could see no ground for; and ask’d whether it could be expected when I admonish’d those under my Pastoral Care whom I found defective, if it came Close to them and they should frett at it if it was no more than was necessary for them, and my own indispensible Duty?  I left him with the Brethren, hoping that if he was truely Sensible, and reform’d I Should know it; but any thing that was only Sudden and Strain, would (I conceiv’d) not last long.  N.B. his unaccountable ways of Softening his Several harsh allegations against me, and heavy Complaints of me from Time to Time.  Exceeding great his Explanation of his Saying “I had abus’d him more than any Man in the world — why,” he said, “one word from me, from Mr. Parkman was worse than any body else could Speak.”  Again, when he told me that a main Thing he had against me was “That I was an Enemy of the Work of God.”  This he said he meant thus, that we all had naturally an Enmity against God and his work: and the minister being at Variance one with another was a great Hindrance and discouragement, and that I had taken Such ways and methods as he could not judge were so prudent and fit to promote the Work of the late Times: and he likewise endeavor’d to enervate and interpret away his Strange Message by Noah How to me, “that he felt So towards me and Sometimes that he could Bite Me.” Nothing being effected, nor much prospect of it, and my wife being ill at Home, I came home.

[1]Joseph Joslin.