August 5, 1766

1766 August 5 (Tuesday).  Mrs. Johnson had my Mare for Thomas Arnold to carry Bread to Worcester.  The Eclipse observed: but with with no advantage to view it with Instruments.  Mrs. Johnson, and her sister Hannah who very kindly have helped us this forenoon because of Sarahs Illness, dined with us.  Caleb a Load of Hay.  I preached at Capt. Woods on 1 John. 3.14, first Clause, to p. 10.  N.B. Mrs. Wood very low and dangerously ill.  After Exercise I desired the Brethren would tarry a little that I might speak with them.  (For Mr. Zebulun Rice had apprized me that some of them had agreed together to enquire into the Case of Mrs. Andrews, at this time: and I conceived from the Drift of his Discourse t’other Day, that they were such as were uneasy with me about it.)  Though they seemed to be drawing off, yet a Number returned to me and I thereupon addressed my self to them attempting some Narrative of the Affair, that they might understand the first Beginning of Mrs. Andrews’s Disquietment and might See how little Reason she had to be offended with me.  But they soon grew unwilling to hear.  Upon their manifesting Such a Frame, and I fearing what Advantage might be taken at what I said, Upon my mentioning her name, I turned my Self about to See who they all were, I observed to them that I Should be carefull to minute down who I spoke to and what I said, as had been my manner to do in this matter, that I might be able to defend my self, when Occasion Should arise to require it.  I took notice they were Eleven of them (Capt. Wood, Mr. Charles Rice, Deacon Tainter, Capt. B. Fay, Capt. Jonas Brigham, Messrs. Cushing, Whitney, Zebulun Rice, B. Tainter, John Wood, and Mr. Jonah Warrin).  Capt. Brigham said, he observed a great deal of my Discourse brought in the Man, whereas we had nothing to do with the man — it was only with the woman: and he wanted to have nothing said but about her.  One and another seemed to be impatient at my saying any thing about the society which she came from; as if they for their parts, Should not make a Difficulty upon that score.  Capt. Brigham (upon my having said that this Church never would have Communion with Separates) asked me whether we did not hold Communion with such now?  For did we not with Stephen Fay and his Wife?  I answered that we did not, for if they were faulty, they who were Members ought to search it out, and deal with them.  It did not lie upon me; as he seemed to Cast it upon me, that I was to blame.  I observed that it could not be expected that the Pastor Should become Complainant, witness, Judge and Executioner.  Mr. Whitney made uncomfortable Return to this, applying it to what I had done with Mrs. A.  I earnestly asked the Brethren what I could possibly do more for her Recovery?  I had already taken the utmost Pains and all was ill taken and in Vain.  Capt. Brigham (who spake chiefly) said he did not see that my going to visit at their (Andrews’s) House, would do any good.  And (as Mr. Cushing testifies) he Said, “he believed that if I had not visited there so much, it would have been as well.”  Thus I must be blamed on both Hands; for others are ready to complain that I let them alone so much, and don’t go there to try what might be done.  Briefly, all were in an hurry to be gone, so that we broke off, and this Opportunity went over: I fear is lost.  Sad News of Mr. John Garfields being hurt by a Cart, which going over him broke one of his Thighs and one of his Arms.