1757 December 1 (Thursday). My Wife rode with me to Deacon Tainters where I preached – Text Ps. 51.11, former part — to page 9. N.B. Monsieur Blanc and Wife there; the first Time that he has ever attended upon any of my sermons.
1757 December 2 (Friday). Mr. Amsden came for me — Mr. Smith at Boston — to go to Marlborough to the Funeral of Dr. Robinsons son Thomas-Amsden, a Boy of about 9 or 10. Returned at Eve. I can’t but take Notice of the Providences which take me off from my preparations for the pulpit.
1757 December 3 (Saturday). Devoted to my preparations. Wonderful pleasant Weather. Mr. David Maynard, though the Assessors have not Sent him the Ministerial Rate, brought me an 18£ piece of Gold and a Note to Mr. Joslin for more.
1757 December 4 (Sunday). Read 1 Chron. 19. Preached on Joh. 7.17. P.M. read Luk. 10. Made a Sermon on v. 2.3 from part of an Exposition on Mat. 9.37.38 and part of an Exposition on Mat. 10.16, accomodating it to the present Times and Occasions. Were somewhat late when we had done. N.B. Nobody dined with us; which is contrary to my Inclination.
1757 December 5 (Monday). Ensign Harrington came early with his Horse for me to ride to Stoneham and Boston: my Principal (earthly) end and Design being to take up Some money for my son Ebenezer to enable him to pay for the Gilbert place in Brookfield. I rode to Mr. Joslins and received of him a piece of Gold of 33£ old Tenor — 2£ 18s 3.2 L.M. or £184.108.40.206 old Tenor being Mr. Joslins province Rate I was empowered by Constable David Maynard to receive — and the Change he could not give me. I engaged therefore to deliver it when I returned. I dined at Mr. Bridge’s in Framingham; had a Dark ride in the Evening through Menotomy and the rest of the Road to my Kinsmans Mr. Joseph Briants in Stoneham, where I lodged.
1757 December 6 (Tuesday). Mr. John Searl, preacher at Stoneham came to see me and broke fast with us at Mr. Briants. We rode to his (Mr. Searls) Lodgings to Dinner. My Kinsman and his Wife in their Chair accompanyed me from thence some Miles, to the Road to Medford. I visited my Class-mate Turill. At Charleston Ferry ventured to ferry over — did safely. William Bowes Parkman took Care of my Horse. Lodged at Brother Williams.
1757 December 7 (Wednesday). Dined at Mr. Speaker Hubbards. The Company with him besides were Judge Russell, Justice Boardman, Coll. Worthington, Josiah Quincy Esq. and Coll. Lawrence. At Eve at Mr. Pembertons. Lodged at Cousen Winters. N.B. There has been another Council at Leominster called by Mr. Rogers and his adhering Brethren consisting of [blank] Churches — viz. Mr. Gays, Dr. Chauncys, Dr. Mayhews, Mr. Rands, Mr. John Browns, Mr. Shutes [blank] and it is a loud Complaint they make against the proceedings of the agrieved Brethren of the Church in Leominster and our Councils in abetting them and condemning Mr. Rogers. Them, because they were so precipitant in calling a Council — whereas they not only endeavored to try among themselves by a previous Church Meeting, When Mr. R. would give them no satisfaction and tryed again at another Church Meeting to have him join with them in Calling a mutual Council, without success, but they had been waiting upon him, at times ever since last March, when their Dissatisfaction with him was greatly increased by reason of his Publishing his sermon on the Nature of Spiritual Conversion: Us, because First, we judged on one side only, not having ever heard the other: Whereas if we had done so, it may be enquired whether This last Council has done any better? For have they not judged and Condemned our Council without ever hearing or knowing the Grounds upon which We proceeded? Neither have [they] at all Sought to hear us or be acquainted with what has induced us to Judge as we have done; any further than is expressed in our Results. But as to us, it is well known what pains We took to inform Mr. Rogers of our Coming and to desire him to give us what Light he could in what would come before us; and to have Mr. Rogers join with his Brethren in calling a mutual Council: which he refused. Neither did we form our Judgment from hearing one side only, however; for we had Mr. R’s Works from the press; had his own Hand Writing, in sundry performances of his; besides what Several Men had taken from his Mouth and wrote down, and were ready to give Oath to. Secondly, they Say it was a Minor part of the Church which called us — the Platform not knowing any Such way — nor the Acts of such a Council Valid according to our Constitutions. To which it may be replyed, That it has always constantly been the Custom in these Churches to do thus, notwithstanding the third way of Communion mentioned in the Platform: Nay if but one Single Member is under Grievance, and applys for a Council, he is gratifyed; and it is thought very hard if he can’t be. And I understand that that great and wise Man Judge Remington gave it as his Opinion that this being the Common Custom of these Churches, it was Valid in Law. For he said, My Lord Chief Justice Hale declared that Common Custom was Common Law. But be this as it will, with respect to our first coming together in Council, Yet in Calling us together the Second Time, There was a Major Part of the Church that requested it. So that inasmuch as in the Congregational Scheme of the Church Government the Power is Supposed to be in the Church; if then a Major part of the Brethren be the Church particularly in the Affair of constituting or removing an Officer; and if it be by the advice of an Ecclesiastical Council whom Such Major part of the Church have requested to meet for that End, that the said Majority vote the Dissolution of the Pastoral Relation, it must needs be Valid.
1757 December 8 (Thursday). A Stormy Day, Rain and Snow; Old Mr. Checkley preached the Public Lecture on Ps. 101 v. 1. Dined at Mr. Foxcrofts where also dined Mr. Clark of Danvers, and Mr. Pemberton. N.B. Mr. Pembertons short answers to me about his Wife’s letting Money. In the Eve at Mr. Eliots; and lodged there.
1757 December 9 (Friday). On the Affair of hiring Money. Cousen Billy has kept my Horse these Three Nights. Brother Samuel who lately arrived from Casco, befriends me in it. Dined at [blot] Stoddards. P.M. ride to Cambridge. Mr. John Hicks takes Care of my Horse. Visit Monsieur Lewis Robishow. Lodged at Sister Barretts.
1757 December 10 (Saturday). Bright morning. Agreeable to the advice and Direction of Mr. Speaker Hubbard, I went to the Widow Hill in Cambridge. She having Some of the College Money — and took up of her 56£ 5/ old Tenor. Dined at Mr. Samuel Baldwins at Westown about 2 p.m. Oated at Coll. Buckminsters. Called at Mr. Stones in Southborough. Got home about 6 in the Evening and found all my Family in Safety. D.G. Mr. George Crossman Sent me a new Clipped Wigg. N.B. Mrs. Hannah Rice, wife of Jacob, in the North End, and who was lately dismissed from our Church, though not yet admitted there, is dead.
1757 December 11 (Sunday). Read 1 Chron. 20. Preached a. and p.m. repeating Sermon on Eccl. V.1. Read p.m. Luk. 11. N.B. Brother Harrington of Waterton dined here. P.M. Mr. Benjamin Tainter, tything man, as soon as the Blessing was given, Spoke aloud to two Young Women for laughing etc. in the Time of divine service. They were Abigail Whipple and Lydia, Daughter of James, Maynard. Tis matter of great Grief that persons from whom I ought to hope So well, Should behave so ill!
1757 December 12 (Monday). Sent by Mr. Joseph Harrington (my Brother in Law) 56£ 5/old Tenor to my son Ebenezer that he might be in preparation for purchasing the Gilbert Place; designing to send him more when I Shall receive it. In much Difficulty to keep my Mare, or any other of my Creatures, over at t’other place. Samuel goes to Mrs. Mary Bradish’s School and boards there.
1757 December 13 (Tuesday). Sent by Mr. Solomon Stow of Grafton Sundry Books belonging to my late Kinsman Dr. Elias Parkman, viz. Lowman on the Revelation, Watts on the Improvement of the Human Mind, Savage’s History of Germany and Lives of the Emperors; and Mr. Broughtons Consent of Scripture; to Mr. Joshua Winter for Conveyance to the Doctors Widow, at Boston: His Library being to be sold at Vendue next Thursday, by divine Leave.
1757 December 14 (Wednesday). Visit Capt. Wood’s Wife in her Lameness — his Mother there. N.B. first wore a new, clipped Wigg, lately received from Mr. George Crossman of Hopkinton. Dined at Mr. Beetons. Reckoned with Widow Ruhamah Newton and with her son Barnabas.
1757 December 15 (Thursday). To Day I suppose the Library of my late Kinsman Dr. Elias Parkman is exposed to Sale at public Auction at his late Dwelling House in Boston.
1757 December 16 (Friday). My Wife much recovered from her Lameness; the Sore almost wholly healed up. To God be unfeigned Praise!
1757 December 17 (Saturday). Stormy. Mr. Hall of Sutton, journeying from Boston, home calls to See me. Certifies me that a principal Article in the Protestation of Mr. Gay, Rand, Mayhew etc. at No. 2 against the Result of the Council there, was without Grounds; nay that it was opposite to the Truth. The Storm prevailed at night — but Samme gets home. N.B. Mrs. Judith Bellows here with another Paper — but not acknowledging her Offence.
1757 December 18 (Sunday). Great Storm of Snow last night and this Morning. Very few at Meeting. Read 1 Chron. 21. Preached a. and p.m. on 2 Cor. 10.4. P.M. omitted public Reading. N.B. Stopped the Church to read a Letter from the 2d Church of Shrewsbury and Mr. Morse’s Complaint to his own Church about his Difficultys among them, but our Church did not vote to go to the designed Council. Esq. Baker was he that opposed it; and Said there was provision made in the Law and He did not think it was fit to call a Council about Ministers Sallerys. It was answered that not attending to an Ordinance of God is Surely matter of Ecclesiastical Cognizance, that Mr. Morse had been to the Court heretofore, that there were divers other Difficultys among them and this was of Special Weight, viz. what respected Mr. Morse’s Remove from them. Esq. replyed that if it had been any Complaint the Church made against the Minister for Error or Vice there would be something, but as it was of a minister about his people, that he had not sufficient Sallery, there was nothing in’t and therefore no need of Sending. I found I gained Nothing by my reasoning; I was grieved we did not send, nor show ‘em Compassion; I told ‘em I could not but bear my Testimony against the Conduct of the Church herein and so gave the Matter up. The Weather cleared up at night. Exceeding difficult travelling — but 9 of the Church at Meeting besides my self. However, our fewness was not all objected against though it was mentioned to them and that the time appointed was the 20th Day.
1757 December 19 (Monday). Sent Alexander with Samme on my Mare, to Mrs. Mary’s school again: but it was with great Difficulty that Alex. got over to t’other Barn for the Creature go upon, the Snow is So deep. A.M. Very pleasant over Head; p.m. clouded up and thaws very much. Read Mr. Robert Abercrombie’s Remarks on Messrs. Morehead, Parsons and McGregore.
1757 December 20 (Tuesday). The Council Sitts at North Shrewsbury to hear the Complaint of Mr. Morse. I can’t but Sympathize, and remember them in Prayer. N.B. Deacon Gideon Newton of Southborough who was here last Night to go along with me to the Council, calls again this Morning, by whom I wrote a Letter to Rev. Mr. Morse, to give him and those concerned an Account of our Church’s not Sending.
1757 December 21 (Wednesday). I went to Southborough to the Funeral of old Mrs. Johnson widow of old Clerk Johnson, who dyed somewhat suddenly last Saturday Night. N.B. in returning I went to Mr. John Bents and took up a Note of my son Ebenezers (which he had given to Mr. Ebenezer Rice) by giving a note of Hand for Eight Shillings L.M. or 3£ old Tenor and therewith took up a Note of the Said Mr. Rice’s, of £11.5.0 old Tenor.
1757 December 22 (Thursday). Deacon Tainter and his son came kindly killed an Hog for me — weight 239 1/4 and the Deacon came at Night, cutt it out and Salted it up. I visited Mr. LeBlanc. Presented him with a New Testament in French, with the Catechism and Confession of Faith of the Reformed Churches in France: I also lent him Histoire abbrigee de Martyrs francois. And I carryed a Rosary, or long String of Beads, for him to explain. N.B. I returned Mr. Ebenezer Rice his Note to Mr. John Bent. See Yesterday.
1757 December 23 (Friday). Last night divers of our Children much indisposed, but through divine Goodness they are better this Morning. Mr. Martyn visited me and gave me account of the proceedings, and Shewed me the Result of the Council at Shrewsbury: he dined here: returned at Eve though it grew very windy and Cold. Alexander much indisposed to Day; goes to Bed p.m. N.B. Wrote to Honorable Mr. Hubbard at Boston concerning Some of the College money in the Hands of the Widow Hill at Cambridge, covered by a Letter to my Brother Samuel to look after the Affair. Sent by Mr. Joseph Mosely of Sutton. N.B. delivered to the Widow Kelly a Quarto Bible which I bought for her at Mr. Winters in Boston.
1757 December 24 (Saturday). Brother Harrington here. He came yesterday from Brookfield. Brought me a Receipt from my son Ebenezer of the 25 Dollars I Sent him by the foresaid Brother Harrington. (See the 12th Day of this Instant.) He left us to go to Watertown.
1757 December 25 (Sunday). Thawy and rainy. Read 1 Chron. 22. Preached on 2 Cor. 10.4. At noon received two Letters from Boston: one from my Brother Samuel, the other from my Kinsman Winter of the extreme illness of my Eldest Brother of a Pleurisy, dated the 21. They were very shocking. P.M. I desired public prayers. Read Luk. 11 from v. 27. Preached on Eccl. 5.1, latter part, using chiefly a sermon from thence which carryed on the Scheme of the sermons of the 11th but with many additions especially of Application. Stopped the Church to read them Mrs. Judith Bellows Paper of the 3d instant, and left it to their Consideration. Craved leave to read to my Brethren some passages of the Letters received to Day and entreated their sympathy. After meeting borrowed Cornet Brighams Horse to go to Boston, and he left him for Me. And now O that I might my Self be properly affected with this great Affliction! And might be suitably prepared for the holy and Sovereign Will of God!
1757 December 26 (Monday). Set out for Boston — the Morning Cold, the Road in lower Towns very icy. Called at Mr. Stones in Southborough, at Coll. Buckminsters in Framingham (before Noon), at Mr. Samuel Baldwins. Stopped at Mr. Rogers’s (blacksmith at Newton) and had the Horses fore-Shooes Sharpened and re-sett. Was at Boston before Dark. Put up my Horse at Brother Samuels Stable. Visited my dear Brother Parkman who, through the Goodness of God is yet alive, and has his reason — though just before I arrived it was thought he was departing. He was in a very happy Frame of Soul; knowing in whom he had believed, and resigned to the will of God. We who were about the Bed were ready to Say, mark the Perfect Man and behold the upright etc. for though he had many Miscarriages and Defects yet he bewailed them and his divine Redeemer was his Advocate, made Satisfaction to the divine Justice, and cast the white Robe of his Righteousness over him. I lodged at Brother Samuels and with him had sweet Conversation.
1757 December 27 (Tuesday). Visit my Brother again, who was able in a wonderful Manner to express himself concerning the almighty and Sovereign Grace of God which had been extended to him — and had been of a long time (as he expressed it) above half an hundred Years. Visited cousen Abigail P____ who last week sold her Husbands the late Dr. Elias P____’s Books, in main part, at Vendue, but got but little for ‘em. I dined at Dr. Perkins’s. N.B. I borrowed the Earl of Orrerys account of Dr. Swift. Supped at Cousen Nathaniel’s. Find him more Serious than heretofore. Lodged at Brother Samuels. N.B. Capt. Job Bradford who courts my Neece (Miss Betty), is newly come in from Nevis.
1757 December 28 (Wednesday). Another admirable Morning with my Brother P____ who is Still in strength of understanding and exercise of Vigorous active Faith. Mr. Eliot there and prayed this (or yesterday) Morning and Cousen Bradshaw was there to see her Father, though she was under great Infirmitys, and under Spiritual Trouble. I dined at Cousen Nathaniels. Can do but little of my own Business but visit my Dear Brother (with whom my Heart is very much) and my other Friends. Supped at Mr. Joshua Winters and lodge at my Brother Samuels.
1757 December 29 (Thursday). Very Rainy. At my Brothers who Still lives and discourses in a wonderful Manner. I went to Lecture. Mr. Mather preached on Rom. 6.1.2. Dined at Cousen Langdons. P.M. Visited Mr. John Ruddock: Mrs. [Coverley?] and especially my Brother who though in the morning he was comfortable, yet is now much sunk yet in a steddy Assurance of Eternal Glory. I catched a few words from him which I wrote from his mouth. Took solemn Leave of him not knowing but that my Affairs might allow me to undertake my Journey in the Morning. In the Evening I visited Mr. Mather; and then Deacon Greenough where I supped. Lodged again at Brother Samuels.
My Dear Brother Said, [blank].
1757 December 30 (Friday). I went hastily once more to See my dear Brother once more Seeing I left him So low yesterday p.m. Again bid Adieu. Attended to my Secular Affairs, chiefly the hiring Money for my son Ebenezer. Spoke with Mr. Hubbard on the Change who would have me proceed to take Mrs. Hills Money — because if it came to him, he must, as previously obliged, let it to another. N.B. Mr. William Blair Townsend accosted me on the Town House steps. He being one of the last Council at Leominster. Dined at Brother Samuels and p.m. rode to Cambridge. Mr. Stone rode part of the way, he being on his Journey home. Took up £56.7.4 old Tenor of Mrs. Hill. It was Evening Dark and muddy; So could not go to any other House in Cambridge. Stood forward to Brother Harringtons and lodged there.
1757 December 31 (Saturday). Set out in the Morning, upon my Journey home. Though it had rained very hard in the Night and in early Morning yet it held up so that I ventured. It rained at times most of the Day, especially when I was at Weston where I called at Livermore’s. I dined at Coll. Buckminsters. Called at Mr. Stone’s who had got home before my Coming there. I arrived in Comfort at my own House, and found my Tabernacle in Peace. Blessed be God! But it was far otherwise at my Friend Maynards — viz. Lieutenant Stephen’s, for this afternoon he buryed his Wife, Thankfull; Daughter of Deacon Newton who dyed in Child Bed on the 29th. This is the 7th person that has dyed in that House in little more than 13 months. And the Loss of this last is great among us, as She was a Woman that feared the Lord and had many Excellent Qualifications. The Lord Sanctifie it to him and his Children. To Me also and to mine!
So teach us, Lord! th’ uncertain Sum
Of our Short Days to Mind,
That to true Wisdom all our Hearts
May ever be inclined!