1765 December 1 (Sunday). Omitted the public Reading because of the many Dutys besides, and the Shortness of the Day. Preached a.m. on Joh. 6.35. Administered the Lords supper. P.M. preached on Isa. 5.19.20. Mr. Cushing, Mrs. Bond and Mrs. Maynard dined here. In the Eve read in Mr. Jenks’s Meditations.
1765 December 2 (Monday). Master Cushing is moved to lodge and keep school at Mr. Andrews’. And as he goes to Mr. Johnsons at Evening to teach singing, he calls in here to teach my Daughter Sarah — he is modulating her Voice.
1765 December 3 (Tuesday). Breck came from Townshend — and brought Billys Oxen for me to keep. Mr. Job Lane, a young Preacher, came from Brookfield and dined here. Tarrys with us over night. Billy also came from Townshend.
1765 December 4 (Wednesday). Though it has been very stormy in the Night, yet it cleared up this Morning. Mr. Lane leaves us for Bedford. We have not only Sorrowfull News of the Death of Mr. Cornelius Cook, once of this Town; but of the sad Condition of Several of his sons — That Daniel is hanged, and that Thomas has been condemned and has broke Jayl. It occasioned sorrowfull Reflections on Such vicious Lives!
1765 December 5 (Thursday). A rugged, Cold season. Public Thanksgiving. Preached on Ps. 67, especially 3d and 5th v. Which may God be Pleased to accompany with His special Blessing! and graciously accept our Offerings! But had no body to partake with me at my Table. Such Invitations as I made, fell through — and other whom I would have asked, could not get to Meeting: especially few women could get there.
1765 December 6 (Friday). Breck closes up a Shelter for Cattle. Billy to Medfield. I wrote a Letter by him to Squire Adams. Deacon Tainter here and urges my going to Mill-River.
1765 December 7 (Saturday). The Morn very Sharp Cold — but the Deacon comes with his Horse and the Day proves more moderate. I rode to Mill-River. Mr. Frost hither. His wife much better.
1765 December 8 (Sunday). Preached at Mill-River on Luk. 19.10 a. and p.m. Squire Tyler dined with me and came in with me to Mr. Frosts at Eve. Dr. Jenison a Child very dangerously ill.
1765 December 9 (Monday). Mr. Frost returned home last night. We visit Dr. Jenisons Child. I prayed with it and them. Mr. Frost rode with me to Venerable Mr. Dorr’s — and we dined there. Mr. Dorr in much Comfort. Mr. Frost left me there; and I tarried all night.
1765 December 10 (Tuesday). Mr. Dorr is able to attend a Funeral. The Young Gentleman his Son, accompanys me to Squire Tylers — where we dine. N.B. one Holbrook of Uxbridge there, much raised in Temper against Ministers abetting the Singing of the present Times. Squire Tyler rides with me to Mr. Fish’s. Called at old Mr. Dunlops in my returning home. Found Mr. Samuel Fay and his Wife here. Billy is come from Medfield. N.B. Friend Daniel Southwart of Smithfield has been here at the Door, in my absence and left his Love to me.
1765 December 11 (Wednesday). Billy and Breck return to Townshend; and John goes with them to bring back my mare. Mr. Joseph Bruce brings my Great Coat from Brookfield and takes my sons. I was obliged to tend the Cattle etc. — John being gone — and got Cold.
1765 December 12 (Thursday). N.B. I delivered the Stamp Act to Mr. Nathan Maynard, for Squire [Whipple?].
1765 December 13 (Friday). John returned from Townshend. He came away yesterday; and lodged last Night at Mr. Jotham Maynards. I am grievously exercised with Pain in my left Hip.
1765 December 14 (Saturday). My Pain continuing was obliged to Send to Mr. Fessenden to preach for me tomorrow. P.M. Mr. Fessenden, Mrs. Maynard and two Martyns, Michael and Richard, here and drink Tea with us. Mr. Fessenden tarrys and lodges.
1765 December 15 (Sunday). Mr. F. preached for me on Act. 24.16. May the Lord teach us to profit. I omitted Reading but went to Meeting.
1765 December 16 (Monday). Mr. F. returned. I visited old Mr. Grout, who is sick. Dined there. Visit at Ensign Jeduthun Fays — because of the Indisposition of his Daughter Sarah.
1765 December 17 (Tuesday). Am taken up a great deal with famous Mr. Rutherfords Letters. Mr. Kendal here. I agree with him for a side of Pork.
1765 December 18 (Wednesday). Mr. Kendal brings 122 lbs. of Pork. It is to be 2/ per lb. unless it is less at Boston — for I offer him market Price at Boston, deducting 2d per lb. for Transport. Mr. Nurse makes a little Door for me at the Barn, out of the Barnside into the Hovell. He and Mr. Kendal dine here. The storm is so vehement at Night I can’t but Pity poor exposed Creatures, especially Sailors; as Nine and a Boy perished in the late Storm on the 3d and 4th.
1765 December 19 (Thursday). Am exercised Still with Pain in my left Hip. At Eve the young men after their Exercises at their Meeting, come to me and request I would preach to them.
1765 December 20 (Friday). Mrs. Harrington and her son Josephs Wife made us a visit, with a Cheese, each of them. Suse returned from Mr. Morse’s.
1765 December 21 (Saturday). It being a very fine Day I rode up to Mr. Wheelocks to enure my Self to the Air — that I may be fit to go out tomorrow, my preparations being already done and my mind much at rest.
1765 December 22 (Sunday). I went to meeting: through divine Favour was able to Stand the Exercises but omitted the Readings, especially as the latter Discourse obliged me to read so great a part of the Chapter. Preached a. and p.m. on Isa. V, viz. a.m. on v. 21, p.m. on v. 22 to the End. Mr. Cushing dined here.
1765 December 23 (Monday). Mr. Ephraim Richardson of Lancaster here — and dined. Mr. Cushing at Eve as usual to instruct Sarah in singing. I am reading Swifts Examiner and Mr. N. Byfields Treatise against the Fear of Death. Consult also various Expositions on Isa. VI.
1765 December 24 (Tuesday). Mr. Stone here and dines with us. Mr. Joseph Grout comes with a Quarter of Beef for me. Weight 132. Another for Billy. Weight 140. At 16d old Tenor.
1765 December 25 (Wednesday). I preached a Lecture to Young Men from 1 King 13.12, latter part. N.B. It was from p. 14 of the sermon on that Text, to the End, though with many omissions, because of the Pain with which I was exercised in time of delivering. N.B. The Young Man that Sat the Tune sat New Colchester. At Eve Master Cushing goes to Capt. Maynards to attend upon another Singing School there, besides what he has on Monday Evening at Mrs. Johnsons. Dr. Throop came here — lodges with us.
1765 December 26 (Thursday). This Day is appointed for the Marriage of Rev. Mr. Asaph Rice, to Miss Polly Morse. I am invited and my wife also (as well as my Daughters) but I dare not venture, under so much indisposition and Pain. Dr. Throop and Master Cushing wait on Sarah and Suse in a Sleigh, to Mr. Morse’s. May God grant the Bridegroom and Bride to be espoused to Jesus Christ! And the whole Company to have true, and increasing Joy!
1765 December 27 (Friday). At Eve my Daughters are brought home. Dr. Throop and Master Cushing dine here.
1765 December 28 (Saturday). Those young Gentlemen leave us.
1765 December 29 (Sunday). I read Isa. 6 and preached on the first 5 v. P.M. preached on the rest of the Chapter. Was not much Obstructed by Pain. Thanks to God for His Goodness! May a Blessing attend my poor Essays!
1765 December 30 (Monday). Visit old Mrs. Grout. Dine there. Visit Widow Persis Warrin. Was at Mr. Elijah Rice’s. Twitchels. Elijah Hardys and McCollisters who is come to live there. Drank Tea among them. Visit old Ensign Miller and the rest of his House. When I returned found Deacon Tainter here, who with Lt. Baker, has killed the Cow which Lieutenant has had in keeping till now. Deacon rode my Horse home. Am much beholden to him for so much Goodness as well as to Lt. Baker who has pastured and fatted the Cow and charges me only two Dollars.
1765 December 31 (Tuesday). Deacon came and cut out and salted my Beef — that is 3 Quarters. He carrys home one Quarter which I borrowed, through his Instigation, of his son. She weighed 20 score and 13 lb. Deacon dined here — then carryed the skin (which weighed 58 lbs.) to Silas Hill to be tanned. Tallow but 33 lb. The Lord reward these generous Men! Prayed with Mr. Fessenden and Miss Bridget Cushing. Send for Master Cushing. He came. They all Sup, and lodge here. Mr. Zech. Hick and his Brother Samuel here. They carry to market for my son John six Fowls. N.B. Mr. Jonathan Grout came with Thomas Arnold to reckon and settle. Thus Ends the Year. Our Days are as a Shadow. We Spend our Years as a Tale that is told.
“So teach us, Lord, th’uncertain sum
Of our short Days to mind,
That to true Wisdom all our Hearts
May ever be inclined!