August 1, 1749

1749 August 1 (Tuesday).  Ebenezer and Thomas to the Meadow again.  Deacon Forbush here.  Desires me to preach at his House next Thursday.  I made a Business (of set purpose) of visiting Brother Stephen Fay and his wife to talk with them about going to the Separate Meetings, and having Lay-Preachers and mention’d particularly Dr. Green.  Mr. Cushing and his wife at my House — and din’d with us.  N.B. Billey met me when I was on the Road from Mr. Fays and inform’d me of Mr. Cushing etc. otherwise I Should have visited Mr. James Maynard again.  Mr. Batherick here just at Eve — and Mr. Simon Goddard[1] and wife.  N.B. A Letter from his honour’d Father.

[1]Of Shrewsbury.

August 2, 1749

1749 August 2 (Wednesday).  Visited at Mr. Twitchells and Mr. William Rogers’s.  P.M. at Captain Maynards, Tomlins, and Tennys to see Bethial Tyler.  When I return’d in the Eve found that Billy had been brought home Lame from the Meadow, for he had been with his Brothers there — and Silas Rice[1] had accidentally cutt his Legg with a Scythe.  A fifth Load Hay home.

[1]The son of Eliezer Rice.

August 3, 1749

1749 August 3 (Thursday).  Early to Dr. Smith to come and Dress Billys Legg which he comply’d with.  N.B. The Doctor’s Discourse against Original Sin.  P.M. I preach’d at Deacon Forbushs on Eph. 1.4.  After Exercise I went to Mr. Kellys to see his Daughter Jane, and then to Mr. William Pierce’s to see 2 of his Children, they being Sick.  N.B. Forbush with me.  Ebenezer sixth Load Hay.

August 8, 1749

1749 August 8 (Tuesday).  I expected Mr. Martyns Company but he came not; I proceeded alone to Grafton Fast preparatory to Calling a Minister.  I began the Exercises with Prayer, Mr. Hall[1] preach’d on Jer. 8.22.  Went to Ensign Whipples[2] at Noon.  Mr. Maccarty[3] pray’d p.m.  I preach’d on 2 Cor. 11.3.  As we supp’d at Ensign Whipples, thither the Church came to take Advice of the Minister what Steps they Should now take.  N.B. Mr. Wellman, Mr. Hutchinson and Sir Dodge[4] there.  Old Mr. Whipple accompany’d me back in the Evening when I return’d.

[1]The Reverend David Hall of Sutton.

[2]James Whipple of Grafton.

[3]The Reverend Thaddeus Maccarty of Worcester.

[4]Ezekiel Dodge (Harvard 1749), later the minister of Abington.

August 9, 1749

1749 August 9 (Wednesday).  Rode up to Shrewsbury in my Chair, with Billy to have his Leg dress’d.  When I return’d Mr. Daniel Forbush was here with my Horse which Mr. Harrington led to Boston for a Maid from Mrs. Clark — but the Endevour was frustrated.  The woman could not be found.  P.M. I went to the Meadow to see the last of the Haying there.

August 10, 1749

1749 August 10 (Thursday).  Neighbour Bathrick here to be further Examin’d, p.m.  The Precinct Met and Voted to pull the old Meeting House down.  The Time to go about it next month.  N.B. Mr. Eliezer Rice came to me and told me Mr. Lyon of Grafton was gone over to see Bethiah Tyler.  Wouldn’t I go to him?  for he said he thought it might be to no good for such Men to be here, nor did he like he should come.  After looking up to God and Considering the Matter, I got my Horse and rode after him, designing and expecting to Meet him at Mr. Tennys, but I met with him on the Road in his Return from thence.  When I ask’d what Business he could have there, he told me they had sent for him; the Young Women in particular several Times.  After Talk a long Time in the Mist on the Road I return’d home and he with me — he came in, and he tarried till it began to be Darkish.  He deny’d that he pretended to have authority to preach — he deny’d his being in any Antinomian Errors, but declar’d he denounc’d them — affirm’d himself to be desirous to be in the way of Shepherd, Hooker etc. — before he went off, there thronged in Many into my House as they went from precinct Meeting.  Ebenezer and Thomas picked apples part of the Day.

August 11, 1749

1749 August 11 (Friday).  Mr. Andrew Farrand[1] of Kingstown in Hampshire County, here to buy my Young Horse — but does not come to my price which because of the Extremity of the Time as to Hay I ask’d him but an hundred for — nay offer’d him for ninety pounds old Tenor.  Ebenezer the ninth and last Load from the Meadow.

[1]Andrew Farran and his brother Thomas operated a grist mill in the region called Kingstown, which was incorporated as the town of Palmer in 1752.  It is in Hampden rather than Hampshire County.  J[osiah] H. Temple, History of the Town of Palmer ([Springfield], 1889), pp. 140, 445-446.

August 14, 1749

1749 August 14 (Monday).  Daniel went to Watertown for either Molly or the Maid from Mr. Clarks — in my Chair and his uncle Tainters Horse.  I rode to Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s where Mr. Farrand had left word about my Horse and there also Mr. Phinehas Hardy who had sold his Horse to said Farrand and if he did not consent to dispose of mine, would himself have him.  Din’d at Home.  Mrs. Tenny and her son Josiah din’d here.  Showery to Day also.  My sons mowing Bushes and Weeds.

August 16, 1749

1749 August 16 (Wednesday).  Association Fast here.  I pray’d in the forenoon and Mr. Maccarty preach’d on Ps. 119.126.  P.M. Mr. Buckminster pray’d and Mr. Barrett preach’d on Mal. 4.2.  Those who came were Messrs. Loring, Cushing, Barrett, Martyn, Stone, Smith, Buckminster, Maccarty, Mellen,[1] Hutchinson.  There came also of Scholars, Sir Cushing[2] and Forbush.[3]  Mr. Loring and Mr. Mellen tarry’d over Night.  O might God accept our Offerings and Humilliations!  Especially may He grant that we mayn’t by all provoke him the more and derive upon us a Curse instead of a Blessing!  N.B. Messrs. Ebenezer Rice, Phinehas Hardy, Benjamin Fay, and Burnap here when very late at Night in their way from Worcester.  And Mr. Hardy having put away his Horse to Mr. Farrand, but under some Discouragement about his Character, says Something about my Horse, yet refuses to buy him unless I will take Farrands Note.  I offer to do this if he will give me 100£– he consents not to this — offers 25.  This I refuse and still insist for 100 if I must be under such a Disadvantage as he himself was So uneasy with.  The Affair was deferr’d till the morning, that he might See the Horse, and if he did not like him be wholly quitt.  Daniel Hastings brought up Molly from Cambridge.  Sarah and Elizabeth Tainter assisted my Wife, but at night went home.

[1]The Reverend John Mellen of Sterling.

[2]Jacob Cushing (Harvard 1748), later the minister of Waltham.

[3]Eli Forbes.

August 17, 1749

1749 August 17 (Thursday).  Mr. Farrand had sent me word that if I could not dispose of my Horse better I might Send him up to Worcester and he would give me 90£ to be paid at December 25 and he would wait for me til 12 o’clock: And Mr. Woolly of Holden with whom I had agreed to make me a Cyder Mill may very likely be at Mr. Cushings putting up his Mill.  These Things induced me to think that way, being especially very loath to loose an opportunity to Putt away my Horse — but many incumbrances, perplexing Thoughts about getting up the Maid from Boston, writing to Mr. Minot about changing at Upton, and to Mr. Jotham Brown of Sudbury about Thomas — Company here (Mr. Loring and Mr. Millen) with many other Things made me late; and Mr. Martyn had also engag’d me, if I could, to preach his Lecture?  I e’en gave up the Affairs of Worcester and Shrewsbury.  Visited Mr. Tomlin in his Languishment and preach’d at the Northside on 1 Cor. 11.31.  N.B. Mr. Martyn and his Spouse So much Expected me (Yet I told him he might not depend upon me) and also to See my Wife with me, that they were greatly disappointed, and I seem’d to be hardly welcome without her.  After Meeting I rode to Deacon Matthias Rice’s, he being this Evening going to Boston.  I left him my Horse to lead down for the Maid, again: I came home o’foot.  Daniel Hastings here yet — but is unsettled as to any Business whatever.

August 20, 1479

1749 August 20 (Sunday).  A.M. read Genesis 46 with Exposition.  Preach’d on Isa. 63.10.  P.M. read Luke 1.10.39 to the End with Exposition in the sermon on Isa. 28.16.  Those words — a Sure Foundation.  N.B. us’d Sermon on Eph. 3.10, from page 12 to 18.  This Day Ebenezer is 22.  O that he might be born again!  Molly got to meeting among us a.m.  Billy also got out to meeting to Day.  Blessed be God for all his Goodness towards us!  Mr. Bradish din’d with us.  Daniel Hastings with us Still.

August 21, 1749

1749 August 21 (Monday).  I rode to Shrewsbury a.m.  Colonel Ward[1] ask’d me into his House, and I smoak’d a Pipe.  N.B. He is full of their Affair with Dr. Smith which is to come before their Church to Day.  I went to Mr. Cushings about the Cyder Mill, which Mr. Woolley is to make for me.  I find it needfull to go to him to Holden.  Mr. Cushing lent me his Horse (mine being pritty Dull with his late Journeys) — din’d at Mr. Woolleys.  As I return’d at Evening I visited Mrs. Martha Warrin[2] who is sick.  Ebenezer went to Boston in my Chair, drawn by my Mare — set out at 9 or 10 at Night.

[1]Nahum Ward.

[2]Mrs. Daniel Warrin.

August 24, 1749

1749 August 24 (Thursday).  Public Thanksgiving for the Rain.  I preach’d on Ps. 68.9.  I am full of fear lest, if we provoke the Lord by these Services, He will bring upon us yet Sorer judgments.  He has begun upon us now gradually, and waits to See when we will return to Him.  Last Year there was Drought; This Year a much greater — such an one as the oldest doth not remember; perhaps the Next may be a Proper Famine.  Prepare to Meet thy God O Israel!  Began Mr. Brainerds Life[1] at Even.

[1]Jonathan Edwards, An Account of the Life of the Late David Brainerd (Boston, 1749).

August 25, 1749

1749 August 25 (Friday).  Ebenezer and Thomas a.m. mow Weeds for Fodder.  P.M. Cutt Stalks.  Neighbour Bathrick here with his Relation.  We Need Indian Corn — borrow’d a Bushel of Lieutenant Thomas Forbush, and Neighbour Batherick went to Mr. Allens Mill with it.  My Neighbours full of Animosity about the removing of the Meeting-House, and it gives me no small Anxiety.  But I hope to leave it with the holy, sovereign Providence of God.

August 26, 1749

1749 August 26 (Saturday).  A.M. came Edward Baker Esq., Deacon Newton and Lieutenant Tainter to acquaint me in private Capacity, that the Precinct had determin’d by their vote at their late Meeting, to take down the old Meeting House next Monday; So that I might be at no loss, or put to Difficulty the Lords Day following if I preach at the New Meeting House, they would invite me and Such of my Family as should go to Meeting, to their Houses, till there Should be some proper provision made for us by the precinct.  I acknowledged their Goodness, and thank’d ‘em kindly for their Offer.  And we took opportunity to enter upon some discourse about the Difficultys I must unavoidably undergoe the Ensuing Winter if the Meeting House we now use be taken down.  And after their relating to me the Debates of the last Meeting — Two of them (viz. Esq. Baker and Deacon Newton) undertook to go among the Opponents (Captain Maynard etc.) to see whether they did so desire the suspending the design’d work till next Spring, as that if they should be gratify’d therein, they would then acquiesce, at least not molest them in their Proceeding.  N.B. My Saying the Dividing the Town was the Thing that gave the Fatal Stabb to my Interest (explaining it of my Temporal Interest) among them.  Mrs. Batherick here with her Relation.  Mr. Stephen Sadler din’d here, came to look on the Horse, which his Father talks of buying of me.  Ebenezer went over to Mr. Martyns for Bricks for an Oven and brought them.  Two Barrells of my new boiled Cyder sprang Leaks — much was wasted — oblig’d to get another Barrell, rinse and Shift what we could of the Cyder.  Betty Grice, who seems to be but an infirm Body, is indispos’d and lyes by.

August 27, 1749

1749 August 27 (Sunday).  I arrive at this Day with a great deal of heavy Pressure upon my Spirits.  I find it necessary to compose myself in the middst of many Temptations and Trials.  There is Some reason to fear it will be the last Sabbath we shall ever have in this Meeting-House.  The Morning was Cloudy and rainy.  I was deceiv’d by my watch and went to Meeting late But I was also behind hand in my preparations as any one would justly conceive, having so very little Time to Study in the week.  For the forenoon Exercise I deliver’d (with alterations) Sermon on Ps. 144.15th.  Read Genesis 49.  P.M. Luke 2.  Admitted Mr. David Batherick and Wife into the Church and administer’d the Lord’s Supper.  Very late, full Two o’Clock when we came out of the Meeting House (nor was it much more) I requested the Communicants to return Somewhat Sooner to Meeting again than usual after Sacrament because I perceiv’d it was very late.  P.M. Deacon Newton inform’d me that their Endeavour yesterday among those who were against the taking down the Meeting House, in order to peace, was not successful.  I preach’d on Rev. 3.3, former part, but I did not finish the Subject.  But O that God would enable us to comply with such needful Counsel as this word exhibits.  N.B. Mrs. Grice lyes by.

August 28, 1749

1749 August 28 (Monday).  Early in the Morning as soon as there came any to the Meeting House I stept up and pray’d that they would give me Opportunity to Speak with the Precinct before they proceeded to their work.  Mr. Jonas Brigham, one of the Committee for the work, was there and said they would Stay, that I might.  Others Said the Like.  I hasten’d back and while I was writing was call’d — the Committee (Said Mr. Brigham, Mr. Benjamin Fay, and Mr. Timothy Warrin) being below.  I went down — they Said they were come to See whether I had any thing to offer.  I told ‘em (having my paper in my Hand) that I wanted to Speak with the precinct before they proceeded to take down the Meeting House.  They answered that they were the Servants of the Precinct — and Seem’d desirous to hear it and were in haste to go to work.  I read it and still said I wanted to Speak to the Precinct.  They undertook to answer with respect to the last article, which respected my Near Neighbours — but said nothing to the rest of the paper, but in an hurry added that they did not see any Thing but that they might go up to the work and So left Me.  N.B. Lieutenant Tainter was also present and heard what I read.  Captain Maynard and Ensign Josiah Rice came in a little Time from the Meeting House and wanted to know Something of a propos’d, peacefull meeting — and intimated that they thought themselves impos’d upon — and hop’d I would now see that there was a flame — acquainting me that word was brought to the Meeting House (as Deacon Newton, they Said, inform’d them) that they had Sent a Message to me and the return was that I had Nothing to Say.  (N.B. Captain Baker had been here and told me that his Saturday Endeavour was not to Effect, so that laying with this what Deacon Newton told me yesterday as I went up the Pulpit stairs p.m., I concluded there was nothing of meeting or Conference to be Expected.)  Upon Captain Maynards saying this, I wanted to see the Deacon that I might know how it could be so understood.  Captain went up and brought the Deacon to me.  Others of the Neighbours Came and I endeavour’d to make them Sensible that I had prepar’d something and would fain have gone up to the people if I could have had opportunity but was disappointed through these means.  The House was uncover’d, unclos’d after the Pulpit, Pews, and seats were taken down — Several Carts kept going all Day.  A Melancholly Sight!  But Many that came in would express their Compassionate Hopes and Wishes.  Most of all my Dependence be on the God that has in Providence brought me here and protected and provided for me hitherto!  N.B. Mr. Martyn[1] here as he went to Grafton Church Meeting to choose a minister.  At Eve Mr. Josslyn[2] here complaining of my Lateness at Meeting on the Sabbaths.  Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin with him, whose wife Said that Sabbath was Sennight it was 4 o’Clock p.m. when we went to Meeting (for Second service of the Day), whereas, as I remember, the sun was about an Hour and half high when we left off — that is, about 5 o’Clock.  What Service was performed took up not much less time than Two Hours and half So that we went not at much after 1/2 past Two.  Yet were they Confident that we began past 4.  Mr. Martyn came in and acquainted me that at Grafton they had chose Mr. Hutchinson.

[1]The Reverend John Martyn of the north precinct.

[2]Joseph Joslin.

August 29, 1749

1749 August 29 (Tuesday).  Rain a.m.  They go on to take down the Frame of the old Meeting House.  I gave the Committee leave to lay the Timber on my Land.  Neighbour John Rogers was to have gone for my Cyder Mill, but is prevented by Weather.  Captain Sadler neither came nor sent about the Horse.  Mr. Ephraim Woods here to look upon my Horse.  Mrs. Grice is ill yet and confin’d.

August 30, 1749

1749 August 30 (Wednesday).  Visited Mr. Beriah Rice’s Children sick of the Throat distemper, visited Mr. Jonas Child who is sick.  There I saw Dr. Scammell.[1]  Got him to Look on Mrs. Grice and give Directions.  She had a Fit while the Doctor was here — and much Trouble afterwards.  N.B. Neighbour Rogers went, with his Oxen and mine and Neighbour Hows Cart, to fetch my Cyder-Mill from Mr. Woolley’s of Holden; and brought it.  The Affliction about Mrs. Grice is, however, the great test of all, for going up to see her in the Night, my wife being then with her, I gave her a few affectionate Words exhorting her to Repentance and Consider her Danger.  She made me very unbecoming Answers, So that though I wanted it much I could have no agreeable Opportunity to talk with her.

[1]Samuel Scammell, the physician of Milford, Mass.

August 31, 1749

1749 August 31 (Thursday).  Forbush came in the Morning (according to Agreement last night to carry Mrs. Grice back to Boston) he being about to return to College, and Lieutenant Tainter offer’d his Horse (if we could not do better with her) to draw her to Boston.  The Doctor had said to Me, that she could by no Means be fitt to keep here, but get her to the place from whence she came.  I found She grew ill-humour’d, and us’d indecent Language — abusing my Kindness to her — So that I was oblig’d to put on a stern Air; and with a Resolute Mind got her from her Bed.  My Horse follow’d after to assist if there be need.  Thus I bid adieu to her who had been so great a Vexation to me.  But what was very Cutting was, that She seem’d averse to hearing anything about her Soul, her sins, or another World.  The Lord who alone is able, be pleas’d to awaken her to Repentance.  Ebenezer return’d home before Night, having Seen her along as far as into Sudbury — but he brought me a very grieving Letter from Mr. Jotham Brown of Sudbury that he had not work enough; and that his Circumstances were such that he could not take Thomme again.  But Let the Lord do what seemeth [to] Him good!