1757 January 1 (Saturday). I was So closely engaged in my preparations for the Sabbath approching (this being Saturday) that I had not Opportunity to employ my Self as I had desired and purposed. My many, unavoidable and pressing Cares which my Numerous Family oblige me to, having very much prevented (but neither can I clear my Self of the Charge of Sloth and Negligence) my preparing my Sermons in the Earlyer part of the Week. Nevertheless I endeavoured in enlarged Devotions, and in divers parts of the Day, gratefully to acknowledge the unmerited Goodness of God to Me, as throughout my Life in general, So in the Course of the Last Year in Special to Me, to my Family, and to my People. How wondrous the Sparing Mercy of God to me and Mine in a peculiar Manner in the Times of great Distress in the Summer; and afterwards so sore Visitation by the wasting Sickness! I would therefore praise the Name of God for His undeserved Favour to Me Personally in sustaining me under and recovering Me from the Sore sickness, I was my Self Exercised by; viz. Fever, Jaundice and Rheumatism: And for His distinguishing Lenity to my Family that So few of them had the Dysentery; and that those who had it, yet were Supported and carryed through it; And though that awful Distemper did So sorrowfully rage amongst us in this Parish for a While, and carryed off many of the Flock, yet that in the Middst of wrath the Lord was pleased to remember Mercy, and has Spared and restored So many! O may God grant that we maybe truely humble, Penitant, thankful, Circumspect and faithful! And now since He has been pleased to grant that a New Year Commences, may I, may we all, have Grace to Live to the Glory of our Adorable Healer and Preserver! May All the Events before me, whether my Appointed Time be longer or shorter, be under the Ordering of infinite Wisdom and May I and Mine be ever Prepared for the whole Will of God! I desire ever to repose my self in Him!
1757 January 2 (Sunday). Read 1 King. 20 from v. 22 and preached on Mat. 25.10, last Clause, both a. and p.m. P.M. read Mat. 22. Old Mrs. Woods, Widow dined here. At Eve read Mrs. Pierpoints Journals. Breck learns in the Accidence.
1757 January 3 (Monday). Magdalen and Mary Blanc here with my Daughters. Adjournment of Town Meeting upon Debts etc. Comfortable in Body though less So in Mind. May God, who alone can, enlighten and strengthen!
1757 January 4 (Tuesday). Billy with his Brothers Oxen goes to Marlborough for Sundrys my Wife bought of her Cousen Brigham, viz. Valences, [Head?] Cloth, Teister, Bed, Bolster, Pillows, and 1/2 Doz. Chairs. Thomas setts out for Boston. He has Mr. Samuel Fay junior’s Horse. My Wife and I were invited to go to the Said Mr. Fays to Day to Visit them, but the weather proved too cold. Capt. Baldwin from Brookfield.
1757 January 5 (Wednesday). He leaves us to go to Sudbury etc. A Cold Day this likewise.
1757 January 6 (Thursday). I preached at Deacon Bonds on Joh. 4.24 to p. 4 and then used what I wrote on the Catechism of Gods being a Spirit. At Eve visit LeBlanc. N.B. My Wife with me, at both. We went on foot, it being very pleasant inviting Weather. Esquire Baker there. N.B. LeBlanc tells me his sister Mary marryed an Englishman by whom she had a number of Daughters: one of which marryed Governor Cosby, another Governor Enfield, of Annapolis, the last of which is the present Governor there and that his Kinswoman is also now living there. When I came home found Mr. John Hemingway of Framingham here, and he Lodged here.
1757 January 7 (Friday). Hemingway to Shrewsbury south End to keep School at Mr. Daniel Hemingways. My son Thomas returns from Boston, brings me a Message from my eldest Brother that he is about Marrying to Mrs. Mary Hawkins (an old Maiden) within a few Weeks, the Lord willing.
1757 January 8 (Saturday). Fowl weather. Billy variously employed. Shaves a few Lath etc.
1757 January 9 (Sunday). Rainy — hot Fog. Read 1 K. XXI a.m., Mat. 23 p.m. The Exposition of the former was the Exercise for each part of the Day. In the Evening went on with Mrs. Pierpoints pious Journals.
1757 January 10 (Monday). Visit Mr. Joseph Knowlton, who is in a weak state, and his twin sons Samuel and Nathaniel sick of a Fever: visited Mr. Gershom Brigham, and Mr. Samuel Fay junior, also Abner Whipple who has a Fever.
1757 January 11 (Tuesday). Magdalene and Mary LeBlanc here. Mr. Hezekiah Pratt paid me 12£ Old Tenor for the Cyder Mill which he bought of me and I gave him his Note.
1757 January 12 (Wednesday). I rode to Mr. Gashets, Chadocks etc. Was in Quest of Mr. John Child the Glazier. N.B. Monsieur LeBlanc moved from Mr. Bigolows to the School House. Mr. Bigolow carryed me in his Whirry at Eve to see them. There were Joseph LeBlanc and Marien Gordeau, Monsieurs 2d son, and Cousin, the first from Cambridge the other from Sherbourne, to see ‘em. Mrs. Blanc very sick. Mr. Biglow brought me home and supped with me.
1757 January 13 (Thursday). Monsieur LeBlanc and his son Joseph (agreeable to my Invitation last Night) dined with me. N.B. At Eve sent by Mr. Ebenezer Cutler £[70.10?].0 Old Tenor to be left at Mr. Winchesters for Mr. Nathaniel Ball of Grafton. Mr. Joseph Batchelor was with him.
1757 January 14 (Friday). Capt. Baldwin came this Evening and lodges here. Mr. Thomas Twitchel here. I reckon with him and pay him all, by a Note to the Collector Mr. Ebenezer Forbush. Cold Night.
1757 January 15 (Saturday). Capt. Baldwin consents to take Billy as Apprentice. And he is to go up to Brookfield in a Fortnight or 3 Weeks. Capt. B. Sat out to Day, facing the Cold, for Brookfield.
1757 January 16 (Sunday). Read 1 K. 22 to v. 19 and gave Expository Observations. P.M. read Mat. 24. Preached a. and p.m. on Luk. 13.25-29. Do earnestly beg I may feel the Power of Gods word my self. Was very fervent in delivering a Solemn Charge to the Congregation p.m. May it fasten upon my own Soul! After I had delivered the Blessing I Stopped the Congregation and read the brief Pamphlet (the chief of it) entitled “a Call from the City to the Country.” It respected united Prayer on Lords Day and Wednesday Mornings. This I resolve by Gods Grace, to comply with as I can, myself, and do recommend it to my People. Widow Thurston and Widow Rogers dined here. At Eve looked again into Mrs. Pierpoints Journals.
1757 January 17 (Monday). Very Cold. Mr. Thomas Goodenow dines here. P.M. Billy to an Artillery Training at Mr. Benjamin Tainters. Mr. Rolf here, brings me a pair of Cork shooes. I read Dr. Sewals and Mr. Prince’s sermons on the Death of the late Venerable and Pious Mr. secretary Willard. O that God would raise up others such into Public Offices, for with Him is the Residue of the Spirit! At Eve my Son Ebenezer here. He is under considerable Affliction by his Mare’s being lame. He had let her to Joseph Baker to go to Marblehead and was kicked by an horse in a stable. This proves a bad sore. Poor Daniel How, in a distracted Condition here. God be thanked that We enjoy our senses! May God pity such as are destitute, and give me and mine the Grace to make a good use of the powers vouchsafed us!
1757 January 18 (Tuesday). An exceeding Cold Morning. May we have a due Sense of God’s Power, Majesty and Glory! May we be mercifully sustained! And May all the poor and needy be supplyed, as through God’s great Goodness we are! Magdalene and Mary Blanc here and dined with us. Mr. Stone and Mr. Smith came from Hopkinton to see me, and dined here. P.M. Judge Ward here.
1757 January 19 (Wednesday). The Cold rather increases. This was one of the Coldest mornings. Lord Loudon upon the Road to Boston. Judge Ward dined with us and p.m. I visited (by Special Request) Mr. Joseph Knowltons two sons again, Nathaniel being very low. Had Mr. Williams’s Mare. Called at Mr. Eliezer Rice’s. Peter and Amon Blanc there. N.B. There were two French men called at my House to day, their Names Peter and Simon Blanc – Cousins (as they say) of our Neighbours.
1757 January 20 (Thursday). More moderate. I walked to Mr. Rolfs, and to Lieut. Forbush’s. P.M. Dr. Wilson has been to See Nathaniel Knowlton, and calls here. Mr. John Child has been at t’other House Mending the Windows there, for which he asks 3£ old Tenor.
1757 January 21 (Friday). Rain — p.m. and towards Evening it grew very tempestuous. The snow which had lain for a Considerable time, goes off apace.
1757 January 22 (Saturday). Mr. Joseph Knowltons son Nathaniel (one of the Twins) dyed last night: the Other, Samuel very bad also.
1757 January 23 (Sunday). Read 1 K. 22. Gave Remarks and Observations. Repeated sermon 5 on Eph. 2.21.22. Took only the last verse for my Text. N.B. Chose this the rather because of the Subject designed for the p.m. (on which I had spent my Time for preparations) and the Business of next Week. N.B. This morning ended Mr. Lowman on the Rev. and therewith finished the reading the Bible in the Family once more. May the Seal of it be impressed on our Hearts! Old Mrs. Maynard, Widow of the late Capt. John Maynard, after many Entreatys, dined here. P.M. Read Mat. 25 and preached on Act 6.1, to 7th v. previous to the Choice of another Deacon. Appointed a Church Meeting to be next Thursday for that purpose. At Eve Mrs. Pierponts Journals.
1757 January 24 (Monday). Snow storm. Began in the Family to read Ainsworths, Translation of the Pentatouchs and Annotations.
1757 January 25 (Tuesday). Storm continues and much snow has fallen. Lt. Tainter goes to Boston notwithstanding and is charged (as usual) with Errands from us – Especially by him I return to Miss Anne and Mrs. Mary Fleet the 7th Volume of the History of Miss Clarissa Harlowe.
1757 January 26 (Wednesday). P.M. I took a walk to Mr. Zebulun Rice’s. He went before me without much Path, to See Monsieur Blanc. I carryed with me Dr. Douglass’s Historical Summary of Nova Scotia. Blanc gave me Some Account of the Fight at the Grand Pre in Menis but he said he was not there. N.B. He was more attentive to my Discourse of Religion — and what I insisted for was; that as Religion is the Service of God, it must be performed according to His own mind, if we would have it to be acceptable to Him: If then He has Seen meet to discover His Mind we must strictly observe it. Now since the Bible is the Mind of God, we must be very exactly Carefull to put nothing into our Religion that is not in the Bible; nor omitt anything that is there. When he told me that the people of Anapolis never Speak to one another about Religion but are free and Willing that each Party Should enjoy their own Way; the English go to their own Church and the French to theirs. I prayed him not to take it in ill part that I spake to him about Religion: If I had any Love to him I must. There was no such way to manifest my true and hearty Love to him as this. All that related to this present Life and World was un petit Affaire, but what relates to the Great God and to long Eternity is, un Grad Affaire. He gave very free Consent to this, and Seemed willing to attend. I told him I heard some of the French were afraid of the English and especially of ministers, lest they Should speak to them about religion; and more peculiarly did not love to have their Children to be among the English for fear they Should be influenced to turn Hereticks — but I prayed him not to be in Chagrin on this Score. He told me he was not afraid for either himself, or his Children. I might Speak freely. I told him “I wanted to know His Religion and the Manner of his performing and he should know mine; that we might see whether his or mine was most agreeable to the Bible: and we would throw away whatever, in either, was not agreeable to the Bible.” He was profoundly still. I insisted for his having a Bible; that it did not do, for the Priest only to have the Bible: the Priest must allow you to see for your self. Every Body must see for Himself in matters of Religion. We must not go along in the Dark. I added that I did not want any of my people Should trust me in that; but examine all I Said by the Bible.
1757 January 27 (Thursday). Lt. Tainter came from Boston and brought Wool and Cotton for Lucy. He dined with us: as did Judge Ward. P.M. our Church Meeting to choose a Deacon instead of Deacon Jonathan Forbush junior deceased. After prayer and acquainting the Church with what the Design of the Meeting was, I read what the Platform says of a Deacons Business etc.; Votes were brought in. There appeared 12 out of 25 for Lt. Tainter. Six were for Brother Whitney; five for Brother Daniel Forbush, one for Brother Francis Whipple and one for Brother Moses Warrin. We tryed again and there were 17 for Brother Tainter. Whereupon he was declared Chosen. After this I mentioned to the Church that my Judgment had been many years ago, and was Still that Deacons ought, according to the Institution in Act. 6 to be Ordained. I also desired the Church to think upon the Affair of Sister Judith Bellows. We prayed, and I gave the Blessing. May God be with His servant who has been elected! I can’t but look upon him as being, all things considered, the Suitablest Person among us for the Office; and hope God will graciously accept and reward him for his readiness to serve in the Kingdom of Christ he having in a distinguishing manner a ministerial Disposition, and is very helpful to the poor and afflicted.
1757 January 28 (Friday). [No entry.]
1757 January 29 (Saturday). I wrote a Letter in French to Mr. LeBlanc, desiring him to come to Meeting tomorrow and to dine with me. Sent it by Lt. Tainter. Too much belated to my great sorrow in my Preparations for the Sabbath. But may God grant a suitable Frame of Spirit to the Subject I am preparing upon!
1757 January 30 (Sunday). Read 2 K. 1. Gave some brief (unwritten) Observations. Preached a. and p.m. on 2 Cor. 5.11, former part. Mrs. Hastings and Mrs. Whitney of Waterton (sisters of Lt. Tainter) dined here. They inform that John Harrington of Waltham, who killed young Larnard some time ago, is condemned to die. P.M. I read part of Mat. 26. Scil. to v. 36. Great Thaw, and rains.
1757 January 31 (Monday). The Snow greatly melted away. N.B. a strange Man came in here muffled and in a Frock, Said he was from New York, wanted to have a Bible handed to him. He thereupon turned to Joel 2, and strongly recommended it to me to read it, and give solemn Warning to the people. We shall soon see (he said) cause enough for it. I asked to sit — “it was no matter.” I asked him if he would Eat or drink — and what was his Name. His reply still was, “it mattered not” — and left us. Amon Blanc at dinner here. P.M. Billy goes to Artillery Training at Neighbour Alpheus Newtons.