August 2, 1754

1754 August 2 (Friday).  Thomas can make but very Slow Work at the Meadow it being bad to Mow — Billy helps him.  At Night Mr. Solomon Stow brought me from Mr. Kneeland 6 of Clark on Infant Baptism.[1]

[1]Peter Clark, A Defence of the Divine Right of Infant Baptism (Boston, 1752).  Earlier, Clark had published The Scripture-Grounds of the Baptism of Christian Infants (Boston, I735).

August 5, 1754

1754 August 5 (Monday).  Thomas and William at the Meadow Still.  At Eve came one Mr. Jonathan Fuller of Oxford, and brought in a Chair my Neece Mrs. Tabitha Hearsey, who is in great Affliction by reason of her Husband — she is returning to him at Boston at least to See what his Pleasure is about her Goods which were allow’d her at their Parting.  She has also her Daughter Hannah.

August 6, 1754

1754 August 6 (Tuesday).  My Kinswoman etc. pursue their Journey.  The Lord conduct and defend her!  Being nigh out of Cyder I rode to Mr. Harringtons for supply.  Thomas and Billy mow and rake a little at the Newton Meadow:  and Neighbour Moses Nurse brings up a Load of Hay from thence.  Mrs. Prentice,[1] I hear, at Grafton, and that her Exhortings have Success.

[1]Mrs. Solomon Prentice was one of that fanatic band of “immortals” in the vicinity.  [Additional note: See Ross W. Beales, Jr, “The Ecstasy of Sarah Prentice: Death, Re-Birth, and the Great Awakening in Grafton, Massachusetts” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 26:2 (1997): 101-23.]

August 14, 1754

1754 August 14 (Wednesday).  N.B. Thomas with Ebenezer’s Team and Help brings home the last Load of Hay from the Ministerial Meadow.  Thomas goes p.m. to help Ebenezer but is not well.  I visited Ensign Mathis of Southborough and came home by Isaac Amsdens, Esquire Liscombs, and Mr. Abijah Gales, calling at those places; and endeavouring what I could a Reconcilement.

August 15, 1754

1754 August 15 (Thursday).  Lieutenant Tainter plaistering at the Sides of the Pulpit, din’d here.  Mr. Thaddeus Gale here about his Brothers Affair.  Mr. Jonathan Bond comes from Boston with a Letter from Mr. Joshua Winter informing me that my Neece Mrs. Lydia Davis at Halifax dyed of a Dropsie July 3 last.  Mr. Jonas Twitchell here to be Examin’d.

August 20, 1754

1754 August 20 (Tuesday).  Association at Mr. Martyns.  No Mr. Barrett: but he sent me a Letter that he would endeavour to come at Eve or tomorrow Morning.  Those who attended were Messrs. Cushing,[1] Stone, Smith[2] and Davis.[3]  The Conversation was chiefly with Mr. Davis about his Contract with his People and his Satisfaction with it.  We all lodg’d at Mr. Martyns.  N.B. Mr. Martyn much out of Health.

[1]Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[2]Aaron Smith of Marlborough.

[3]Joseph Davis of Holden.

August 21, 1754

1754 August 21 (Wednesday).  Mr. Barrett came not — I was oblig’d to preach the Public Lecture.  Text was Heb. 11.6.  Major Keys and Sir Foster[1] with us.  May God grant to all of us a Right and part in that better Country!  and may we seek it in a proper Manner!  N.B. Conversation after Dinner about Mr. Morse’s Letter to me about Mr. Silas Brigham — it was advis’d that I let the Matter run and not meddle with it, till more be done by Mr. Morse[2] at Shrewsbury Church.  When I return’d with Mr. Foster Stop’d at t’other House where was my Wife and we drank Tea there.

[1]Abiel Foster (Harvard 1756), later became the minister of Canterbury, N.H.

[2]The Reverend Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.

August 22, 1754

1754 August 22 (Thursday).  I sent Billy to work with his Brother, but being not well he return’d home.  Early in the Morning I rode to Lieutenant Fays on my son Thomas’s Affair.  The Painter at the Meeting House having Colour’d the Pulpit 3 Times over return’d to Billerica from whence he came to us last Monday Eve.  Dull Cloudy Weather.  Prevents Ebenezers Busness in his Hay.  P.M. made a Visit to Mr. Williams on the account of the great Changes and Sudden, in his Circumstances for though he lost his Wife so lately, he is out-publish’d to another.  At Eve Mr. Phinehas Hardy Treasurer for the Precinct, came to reckon, and he receiv’d a Receipt from me in full of what the Precinct had voted Except the Deficiency in Mr. Bigelows Rates but including the Deficiency in Bruces.  Mr. Baldwin finishes his work at the Meeting House.  The Pulpit and the fronts of the Gallerys, Ministerial Pew and Deacon’s seat.  Likewise Three Pews for particular persons, viz. Deacon Newtons, Mr. Bonds, and Esquire Bakers.  Mr. Adams is building Three more.

August 28, 1754

1754 August 28 (Wednesday).  Mr. Martyn and his Wife came and din’d with us, and he came to preach my Lecture which he did though my asking him was but implicit and not direct — but he seems to be reconcil’d — but we act an odd part towards one another — afraid of lisping the least word of our uneasiness.  He preach’d on Gal. 2.20, a very good sermon — May God give his Blessing!  I am much oblig’d to his Wife for her pains to have us reconcil’d.  But my thoughts were much engag’d upon the Situation of the Affair.  Our Conduct is as if nothing had happen’d.  I am concern’d at the Frame we must needs be both of us in, especially as the Communion in their Church as well as ours hastens.  But I have very much discharg’d my Duty, I think, in my last Letter to him: and I am taught by the Word and by the Example of Christ to be free to forgive even innumerable Trespasses: I learn that ‘tis the Glory of a Man to overlook a transgression, and that Charity Covers a Multitude of sins.  As to his making me Satisfaction for such undeserv’d Insults, though I ought to claim it, yet I conceive I had better forego my own personal Right than endanger the Public Peace and the Success of our Ministry — on these Considerations and dreading the grim Mischiefs of our being at Variance, I deny myself and yield the matter of making Demands of him, or shewing any Resentments, Earnestly begging of God Grace, Direction and forgiveness to Each of us.  And O that we might have Fellowship one with another and that the Blood of Christ would Cleanse us from all sin!