1756 December 1 (Wednesday). I rode over to Mr. Martyns: Capt. Baldwin and Lucy with me; to wait on Dr. Minot and his New spouse, as they are now going to Concord. I accompanyed them as far as Coll. Williams’s. (There were 13 Horses, every one riding single.) Capt. B. and Lucy went with them to Concord. I went to Mr. Smiths and to Esquire Brighams (where I found Mr. Smith). At Eve I returned home.
1756 December 2 (Thursday). Mr. Aaron Nurse assisted in killing a small sow; weighed a little more than 6 Score. P.M. preached at Deacon Forbush’s on Hos. 6.1. As I came back called to see Le Blanche; and found Biglow sick. Mr. Forbush came from Cambridge. He went to his Fathers to lodge.
1756 December 3 (Friday). An exceeding Cold Day. Mr. Forb. to Brookfield. Returned by him Sir Crawfords 1st Vol. of Art of Pleasing in Conversation. P.M. Mr. John Freeland, Taylor, works here, making Coats for our Boys. At Eve Capt. Baldwin and Lucy from Concord.
1756 December 4 (Saturday). Capt. Baldwin, after dining at t’other House, setts out for Brookfield. Mr. Freeland works here. P.M. I rode over to Mr. Martyns and lodged there.
1756 December 5 (Sunday). I preached at the North End on Mat. 25.6 a. and p.m. and returned home at Evening. May God grant it may be awakening both to the Audience and to me! N.B. My old School-Mate, Mr. Benjamin Goldthwait, now a Major in the Army, as I suppose, being on his Journey from the Lake, turned in to the Exercise p.m. Mr. Martyn preached for me, on Job 35.10 and Hab. 3.16
1756 December 6 (Monday). A very Cold Day, and perhaps not inferior to last Friday. Neighbour Rolf’s House, I hear, narrowly escaped being burnt. At Eve Billy goes to Mr. Joseph Bruces with many others, on the Affair of setting up an Artillery Company.
1756 December 7 (Tuesday). Last night exceeding Cold
1756 December 8 (Wednesday). Mr. Tainter, Mr. Thomas Twitchel and Mr. Eleazer Whitney dined here.
1756 December 9 (Thursday). Visited Old Mr. Fay — was at Capt. Fays.
1756 December 10 (Friday). Was at Le Blanche’s at Eve. His Wife Sick. N.B. I found in one of his Books that the Ten Commandments were very oddly disposed — viz. the 2d Commandment wholly omitted, and to make up the Number 10, the 10th was divided; the 9th was thou shalt not covet thy Neighbours wife — and the 10th thou shalt not covet thy Neighbours House etc.
1756 December 11 (Saturday). Magdalene and Mary Le Blanch here for Something for their Mother who is no better.
1756 December 12 (Sunday). Preached a. and p.m. on Mat. 25.6.10. Mrs. Chamberlin and Daniel How dined here. May God impress our Souls with His word!
1756 December 13 (Monday). Mrs. Mary Nurse at work, making little Boys Coats. I rode into the south of the Town — visit Le Blanch, his Wife better. At Lt. Tainters, Ensign Millers and his sons, James and Daniels, Widow Thurstons, and Mr. Grows. N.B. Town Meeting to Consider Town Debts etc. Very pleasant, Spring-like Day. Snow all gone. O that I might have inward brightness and pleasure!
1756 December 14 (Tuesday). Mrs. Mary Nurse. Mrs. Pierponts Papers.
1756 December 15 (Wednesday). Mrs. Mary Nurse. Neighbour Blanch’s Son [blank] came to visit his Father, with another French Man, that marryed a Daughter. Ebenezer brought me a side of Beef being part of his own steer weighed 220 (both of them). A Cold Day.
1756 December 16 (Thursday). Cold. Yet my Daughter in Law came over and brought her Child. P.M. She and Lucy went to See the French folks. Billy cleared part of the Day next to the Young Orchard Fence. Mrs. Mary Nurse is Still at Work here.
1756 December 17 (Friday). Cold Snow Storm. Mr. Hall of Sutton on his Journey home, turns in and tarrys with us. He purposes to me this Question, Whether a Child baptized by Ezekiel Cole, shall be baptized again? N.B. Cole has acknowledged his sin and folly in professing to be ordained and to act as a Minister: and the Father of the Child desires it might be baptized notwithstanding all that was done by Cole; yet it is allowed that Coles Ordination was as good as Wadsworth’s and the rest of the Separate Teachers, who have baptized many; So that the Conduct about this Instance of Cole’s, though but a single one (for the Other which he baptized was dead), would be of considerable Influence whether one way or t’other.
I told him I believ’d that if the Case was mine I Should baptize the Child, at least under those Circumstances.
1756 December 18 (Saturday). Mr. Hall undertakes the rest of his Journey home. Lt. Tainter goes to Watertown designing to Boston next Monday and carrys a couple of fat Geese, one to Mrs. Stoddard, the Other to Brother Samuel. N.B. Mrs. Mary Nurse goes p.m. to her Uncle’s.
1756 December 19 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on Mat. XXV.10 with v. 3.4 much referred to. P.M. having delivered a.m. as much as I could prepare, I delivered p.m. two Sermons preached above 20 Years ago on 1 Joh. 2.17 because of the Shortest Days in the Year, which Should affect us with the transitoriness of all Earthly things; and because of the Death of the Venerable Secretary Willard, and the Venerable Mr. Fox of Woburn; both which may God Sanctifie! For Surely both Church and State will tremble when Such Pillars are removed: and what shall we do for Gap-men when So eminent persons are taken away!
At Eve spend Some time again in looking over Mrs. Pierpoints Journals or Diary: and do wish and pray I might thereby be greatly quickned.
1756 December 20 (Monday). Another great Storm of Snow; but through the undeserved Goodness and Bounty of God We have Health and Habitation, Raiment, Food and Fuel. To His name be Glory! May we have Grace to improve what we are favoured with and Hearts rightly to Pity the Destitute and Distrest’d!
1756 December 21 (Tuesday). Though the Snow is so deep yet Mr. Benjamin Tainter comes with a large Team and breaks the Way with a load of Wood. Mrs. Mary Nurse is carryed home by her Uncle Ebe.
1756 December 22 (Wednesday). Breck is brought home from Ebenezer because he is Lame, having cut his right Legg with an Ax, before the former Sore on his left is healed. P.M. my Wife and I rode in the Slay to Monsieur Le Blanch’s. The poor Man is still much out of Health: the Woman much better. They conducted with much Civility, and presently prepared Tea for us. But I could make very little Opportunity to convey Instruction about Religion. When I injoined to mind those great Matters etc. he told me they did more about those Things than the English People here did: the Young People here, he said, were very wicked so that he would not let his sons go much among them. This was to my great Grief and Obstruction in what I would fain do for them.
1756 December 23 (Thursday). Ebenezer here and carrys Lucy over with him, his Wife being not well. I feel inconveniencys Still by the Remains of Rheumatism in my right Arm and Hand. Desire to resign to the holy and Sovereign Will of God.
1756 December 24 (Friday). [No entry.]
1756 December 25 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1756 December 26 (Sunday). I preached a. and p.m. on Mat. 25.10. May God accept, pardon and bless me and His people! Mrs. Foster (wife of Capt. of Holliston) dined. Brother Harrington at t’other House, but So beat out with his Journey (having been to Colchester, Norwich etc.) that he did not come to Meeting. In the Evening was in Some peculiar manner affected with Eternal Things and was enabled through Gods rich Grace and Goodness to pour out my Soul in fervency before the Lord. Was also in Some Measure humbled and melted under a Sense of Sin. O that it might be continued and increased! And that my dear Spouse and Children might experience the divine Almighty Spirit in his awakening and renewing Influences!
1756 December 27 (Monday). I rode to the widow Forb. about Pork. Bought a Side of an Hog of her, the other side being bespoke by her Brother Zebulun Rice; and thence I rode, through much difficulty in the Snow, to Ensign Harringtons, where I dined. P.M. at Ensign Millers where I bought another side of Pork, the other side of that was sold to his son Seth. N.B. When I returned home found Neighbour Blanc at my House. He spent the Eve with us: Mr. Biglow came to wait upon him home. Mr. Samuel Fay junior and his Wife here. They and Mr. Biglow Supped. N.B. My son Ebenezer here and brings 4 Quarters of Beef, being two Quarters more than I expected. They weighed 450 lb. He brought the Hide; weighed 74 lbs. Tallow but 28 pounds.
1756 December 28 (Tuesday). Ebenezer goes to Brookfield about the Gilbert place. Neighbour Alpheus Newton kills a large Hog for me — weighed 269, and a smaller, weighed 152. P.M. I made a Visit to the Widow Ward to talk with her and her Nephew Mr. Jonathan Ward, who was there, concerning Some uneasiness which the late Deacon Forbush told me there was among them and we were so happy as to remove the misunderstandings which were between us. When I left them I visited the Widow Gale. Was at Mr. Abijah Gale’s. N.B. Capt. Thomas Amsden there. Dr. Gott also. The latter is come from Brookfield, and informs me that he is going to Settle in Marlborough.
1756 December 29 (Wednesday). I visit Mr. Hezekiah How’s Wife who is dropsical and rheumatic as well as paralytic; but is better. I dined there. Visit at Benjamin’s: at Mr. Phinehas Maynards and at Mr. Seth Rice’s. Mr. Tinny with me in returning. N.B. Mrs. Mary Bradish keeps school at Mr. Tinny’s; and is greatly succeeded and admired in her Teaching.
1756 December 30 (Thursday). I Sent Billy with a Letter to Mr. Kimball House wright in Grafton, to See whether he will take Billy to be his ‘prentice, but it does not succeed. I send word also by him to Mr. Ball to Desire him not to come for Money I ow’d him, Mr. Pratt who owes me not having paid me. N.B. I went to Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s and settled Accounts with him, and paid him all to this Day. His Brother in Law, Charles, being returned from the Lake, I went to See him also — and dined at his Fathers. N.B. Mr. Richard Barns, Silas Frost, and Moses Sever are also returned from the War.
1756 December 31 (Friday). My Wife to Mr. Charles Rice’s — Merchants and Beetons. Mr. John Nichols of Upton here — and has one of Mr. Hopkins’s History of Stockbridge Indians. Mr. Samuel Fay here at Evening — tells me that in Boston he saw the Funeral of Coll. Pollard; the Cadets, of which he was Captain were in Mourning. This Gentleman was also high Sheriff of the County of Suffolk, and has had a long run of Pleasure and Honour and as I suppose of worldly Wealth. But behold a Period of human Glory! It cannot descend after him. His Gay Flourish and his enlivening Voice at Publick Ceremonies will be seen and heard no more! May God grant that the Last Day of the Year may Suitably affect me with a Meditation on the Last Day of my Life! But alas how far am I from what I ought to be!
I am very frequently much impressed with the thoughts of my Departure, and my State and Condition in that Eternal World into which I am hastening; and O how inexpressibly awfull that Day, that Hour will be when that work must be done, which is of Such Consequence to Me! And O how important the Work I am now, in Life, to accomplish if I would have that Day and Hour to be comfortable to Me! O God of infinite Mercy and Goodness, grant Me thine Almighty Grace to help a poor, miserable, helpless Worm! For without Thee I can do Nothing! Without thine Illumination, what hideous Darkness my Soul is filled with! Without thy Strength, what mere Impotence am I! Without thy Sanctification how Corrupt! And without the Robe of thy Righteousness, O divine Savior What Raggs and Rottenness cover Me! O that I were enabled to fly to Thee for thy most gracious Influences, that I may be truely Sensible of my State; may mourn for my numberless Offences, after a godly sort; may believe in the great and only Redeemer, to my Souls Salvation. And might I obtain Such Evidences hereof as may be to my Support and Consolation in Christ Jesus!