1769 December 1 (Friday). It being moderate, pleasant Weather, John goes out abroad. Sister Cushing Sends me word that Dr. Prentice dyed last Night, and is to be buryed tomorrow. O that God would Sanctifye this Death to me and to all concerned! Mr. Ebenezer Forbes comes to request me to Visit his Daughter Hannah who is Sick of a Fever and Canker. Was obliged to leave my Study to my great Interruption; for she wanted to see me. I went and found her very ill. Conversed and prayed with her. Her sister Betty begins to be ill also, and Seems greatly affrighted. Deacon Wood came here very kindly to cut out and Salt up my Beef: He supped here.
1769 December 2 (Saturday). John but poorly, yet can be about something. Mr. Jonas Bond junr. of Sutton returning from Boston, brings me a Line from my Son Samuel who is come back safe from Falmouth; for which I would render hearty Thanks to God, who has preserved him. Moses Brigham junr. rides to the Door, and with Crying tells me his Mother entreats me to go up to his Father, who She thinks is dying. I went, but he was somewhat revived, and could Speak to me. Expressed his Penitence, his Hope in Christ etc. Prayed with him and took final Leave of him. But after I was in Bed I was again called up by Benjamin Fay junr. who informs Mr. Brigham is now dying, and Mrs. Brigham prays me to go to him. Though it was about 11 o’Clock I complyed and went, found [sic] incapable of any Converse, prayed and commended him and the distressed Family, to the infinite mercy of God.
1769 December 3 (Sunday). Though Mrs. Brigham would have me go to Bed there, it being after midnight, yet I chose to return home. Slept and was refreshed. God has wonderfully sustained me. His name be magnifyed! Omitted public Reading a. and p.m. Preached a.m. on Act 17.30. P.M. on Act.2.38, former part. After Introduction, Opening the Occasion of the words, and an Account of Repentence, used the last Catechetical Exercise on Baptism. Mr. Jonathan Grout having informed me that his Brother Mr. Moses Brigham dyed a little while after I left him, I (by Desire) informed the Congregation of the Funeral proposed to be next Wednesday at 12 o’Clock — and the Monthly meeting to be at Mr. Jonah Warrins. N.B. Mrs. Dunlop dined with us. O that God would grant His Blessing on our Spiritual Provisions this Day!
1769 December 4 (Monday). This Day the Town Met by Adjournment on the Affair of my supplys. I sent nothing to them but they voted £500 Old Tenor and my Wood. They sent also Deacon Wood and Mr. Belknap to inform me of it. I understand that they have voted 6£ or 45£ Old Tenor. Alexander came from Framingham. Informs me that he yesterday owned the Covenant and his Child was baptized Betty. He goes back to Sturbridge. Earnestly pray he may have Grace to keep the Solemn Covenant and walk according to the Gospel he makes profession of.
1769 December 5 (Tuesday). Mr. Arnold came in the Morning to Visit his Maid, one Elizabeth Stevens, who is very ill of a Fever at his House. I went, Discoursed and prayed with her. While I was there, and my Wife gone over to Capt. Maynards, by Desire to see her who is in some threatning Circumstances, Mrs. Martyn and her Kinsman, Mr. John Marritt came to see us, but not finding either of us at home, they went up to Lt. Bakers, and thence to Capt. Maynards. P.M. preached at Mr. Jonah Warrins, on Luk. 19.9. O that God would please to make it savingly Beneficial to us!
1769 December 6 (Wednesday). I visited Betty Stephens, who is, I fear, no better in the main. My Wife not well. P.M. I attended the Funeral of the late Mr. Moses Brigham, and prayed. The Assembly was very large. The Lord grant we may all be suitably impressed with it! After the burying, Sir Harrington and Master Taylor came here and drank Tea. At past 11 in the night Josiah Newton, a Watcher with Betty Stevens, calls me to go to see her, it being conceived she is dying. I went, talked and prayed with her.
1769 December 7 (Thursday). After midnight returned. I apprehend she is under power of hysteric Affections, as well as of a strong pleuretic Fever. Wrote to Mr. Fleming, printer, to desist sending Mr. Daniel Forbes’s paper, etc. Visit Mr. Gale’s Daughter Sarah who is ill of a Fever. Prayed with her, dined there. Visit at Mr. Beemans whose Children have been sick. Visit the Widow Adams, and Mrs. Andrews, who treats me very generously, drank Tea there, etc., etc.
1769 December 8 (Friday). Deacon Bradish of Upton brings me, from Mrs. Holbrook of Boston, 3 Volumes of the Morning Exercises, viz. The Morning Exercises Methodized. The Continuation of Morning Exercises, Questions and Cases of Conscience. And the Casuistical Morning Exercises the Fourth Volume.
1769 December 9 (Saturday). Mr. Edmund Chamberlain watched with Betty Stevens, and tells me she is better. Ruth Bellows came to tarry with us, over the Sabbath, and be nigh to Meeting. At Eve came my Son Samuel from Boston. Ensign Aaron Warrin of Upton here.
1769 December 10 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on 2 Cor. 7.10 and on Consideration of the many and frequent avocations through the last week I was obliged p.m. to deliver a Discourse which I delivered before. This was on Deut. 5.29, and I connected it with the forenoon Sermon. N.B. Ruth Bellows at Meeting to Day. At Eve Visit at Neighbour Arnolds, a Sick House! Mr. Arnold himself and wife as well as their Maid, Sick of Fevers and John Arnold not well. Mr. Stevens, Bettys Father, and her sister Mercy there. I prayed with them. Mr. Stevens lodged here.
1769 December 11 (Monday). Mr. Stevens goes to his Daughter. A Number of Cutters go down to Capt. Ephraim Brigham’s Land, and a Number of Teams came to Cart it. Some brought also from their own Land. Mr. Barnabus Newton, Deacon Wood, Capt. Benjamin Fay, Lt. Baker, Mr. Daniel Warrin, his Brother Timothy, Mr. Andrews, Capt. Maynard (from his own), Mr. Seth Morse, Mr. Tainter, Mr. Phinehas Maynard, Mr. Fessenden, Mr. Benjamin Warrin — some from their own, some from the Ministerial Lot, in all 28 Load to Day. Several brought Meat, others Rum. They all Sup’d here. I visited Neighbour Arnold and his Family. Samuel to Marlborough and returned.
1769 December 12 (Tuesday). Ruth goes to her Mothers. I visited at Mr. James Maynards, Mr. Edmund Rice’s, and Mr. Thomas Temples. In the Eve Magnalia — Life of the eminent Mr. Thomas Hooker of Hartford.
1769 December 13 (Wednesday). Mr. David Maynard came and killed a Swine for me. John is greatly indisposed, but lends an Hand; Samuel is also assisting. Was at Mr. Arnolds. ‘Tis hop’d they are somewhat better. At Lt. Bakers. Received of him 23£ 11/ old Tenor. My son Ebenezer came from Brookfield and brought 3 Heifers to be kept at my Barn.
1769 December 14 (Thursday). Ebenezer went to Cambridge. Samuel carryed 20£ old Tenor to Mr. Malachi Maynard to be delivered to my son Forbes to be delivered to Mr. Samuel Haskill at Brookfield. Received a Letter from Sir Bradshaw. John so well as to go to Mill with the Team.
1769 December 15 (Friday). Sent John with a Yoke of Oxen to assist Mr. Fessenden in getting a Log to Mill. (It is instead of a Log which he cut upon the Ministerial Lot and improved for Plank which he sold to Lt. Baker.) This succeeded no further than that John cutt down a great black Oake, and Mr. Fessenden sends word, that he will come when there shall be Snow. I visited at Neighbour Arnolds, all of them somewhat better. D.G.
1769 December 16 (Saturday). Samuel to Brookfield. Dr. John Hill and Mr. Joshua Smith dined here, and prov’d a very great Interruption to me in my Preparations which I could not forward in the former part of the Week. Yet I must needs confess bewail all my Negligence. May God be gracious to me through Jesus Christ!
1769 December 17 (Sunday). A.M. Preached again on 2 Cor. 7.10. I prepared also Several parts of another Exercise, on Repentence which I could not use, finding it necessary and unavoidable to treat of another part of the subject, and to do it from former preparations, viz. an Exposition of Mat. 3.8 (but read Luk. 3.8) and it being so Short a Day, and many Grafton people at Meeting, I was therefore obliged to omitt what I had prepared and designed to deliver. May God forgive my great Defects, Weaknesses and Miscarriages, for the Sake of Jesus Christ! Mrs. Mary Amsden, widow, dined with us. At Eve Visited and prayed at Neighbour Arnolds. Mrs. P______ was with me. ‘Tis hoped they are growing better.
1769 December 18 (Monday). Went over to the Ministerial Lot; a great White Oake Tree marked M has been cut down. Mr. Beeton, who was with me, says it was by Mr. Fessenden. Went to Mr. Benjamin Hows and to Mr. Fessendens. Visit Mrs. Maynard who is in a low Condition by excessive Hemorrages. Dined with her. Capt. was out on Jonathan Hows Land, measuring and about to buy it. P.M. I visited at Mr. Jonathan Grouts, his young Child languishing. Prayed there. At Eve my son Ebenezer returns hither from Cambridge.
1769 December 19 (Tuesday). Ebenezer is putting the Floor etc. of my New stable, into Order, and John assists him. I read divers Lives of eminent Men in Dr. Mathers Magnalia.
1769 December 20 (Wednesday). My Son tarrys another Day to assist me in my new Stable, making a Patition [sic], a Manger etc. My reading various.
1769 December 21 (Thursday). Sophy has watched at Mr. Arnolds, those sick growing better. Ebenezer leaves us to go to Brookfield. My Wife goes to see her Cousen Maynard. While She is gone there Mr. Smith of Marlborough visits and dines with me. Sophy goes to wait upon her Mother home.
1769 December 22 (Friday). One Mr. Tarbell and Mr. Shomway of Sturbridge call here, but though they seem only to light, tarry a while; say they have not been at Breakfast yet refuse to Eat. They take a Dram and go off. Samuel returns from Brookfield (from Worcester to Day) and dines here, brings me a Letter from Mr. Forbes concerning the Effects of the Canine Fury among them of late.
1769 December 23 (Saturday). [Engaged in my?] writing I was called away to Visit old Mrs. Bradish, who was Supposed to be drawing near her End. I went, conversed and prayed with her: but this interruption was very detrimental to my Preparations and I don’t find that I can prepare in the begining of the Week.
1769 December 24 (Sunday). I preached a. and p.m. on Act. 11.18, but in the afternoon was assisted by what I delivered on the same subject from Joh. 16.8, from p. 3 to p. 7. Ruth Stays over the sabbath with us.
1769 December 25 (Monday). Visit Mrs. Green, wife of Mr. Joseph Green junr. She is much lower; but appears to have admirable Tokens — behaves very agreeably. I dine at Mr. Greens. Prayed there. The poor, languishing Woman behaved with great Propriety. Rode down to Mr. Bradishes, but his Mother expired some while before I got there. She was 81 last May. Received a Line by a Messenger from Father Loring that his Consort is dead, and that he would have me attend her Funeral, which is appointed to be next Thursday. Gave Temple a promisory Note for 56£ old Tenor to be Paid Apr. 15 next.
1769 December 26 (Tuesday). Reading on my subject, especially Mr. Shepherds Sound Believer and particularly on Conviction. Visit at Mr. Arnolds.
1769 December 27 (Wednesday). At Lt. Bakers and receive of him Mr. William Grays Receipt in Full for Feathers. P.M. Attend Mrs. Bradish’s Funeral.
1769 December 28 (Thursday). Go to Sudbury, to Mr. Lorings. My Son Samuel in his way to Boston, accompanys me as far as the Mills. I dined at Mr. Lorings, with Rev. Messrs. Stone and Smith. P.M. We attend the Solemnitys of Mrs. Lorings Funeral. The Corps was carried into the Meeting House. I prayed. Mr. Gardner was so ill as not to come. Mr. Barrett was absent also. The Bearers were Rev. Messrs. Stone, Smith, Matt. Bridge, Woodward, and Josiah Bridge, with P______. The interrment was in Coll. Browns Tomb. Mr. Stone and I tarried and lodged there.
1769 December 29 (Friday). Mr. Stone and I drew up some Account of Mrs. Loring, to be sent to Mr. Draper. Took leave of our Mournful Venerable Father, and rode together to Mr. Stones and dined there. Came home safe, through divine Goodness and found my Tabernacle in Peace. And O that I might have proper Reflections, and that I might make a right Improvement of Gods holy Dispensations! May God be gracious to His Aged Servant that I have left, and afford Him all supplys and Consolations as he now needs! And remember his Family, his distant Progeny — to the fifth Generation. He baptized one last Lords Day; Mary, after the Name of her great great grandmother, whose Corps lay there by the Walls.
1769 December 30 (Saturday). Have set my Self to prepare a Sermon on the Conclusion of the Year. The Text Lam. 1.9. My Son William brought a pair of Three year old steers for me to keep this Winter.
1769 December 31 (Sunday). Preached Act. 11.18, using 4 pages of Sermon on Joh. 16.8, of Conviction of Sin. P.M. On Lam. 1.9, and in the Close was very fervent from some View and Sense of Eternal Things. The Lord grant that from the Consideration of the Last Day of the Year we may be brought to serious Thoughts of the Last Day of our Life, and the Last of the World. O that Awful Day When Eternity Shall Commence, and that Great Day when the states of all Men shall be determined for Endless Ages! The Lord grant that it may Suitably impress my own Soul, and influence my whole, brief, uncertain, remaining Life!