1771 March 1 (Friday). I desire gratefully to take notice of the Lord’s great Goodness in permitting me to begin another Month, though I have all manner of Reason to be deeply humbled before Him for my multiplyed Offences.
1771 March 2 (Saturday). Attended the Funeral of Mrs. Gale. My Wife was with me. While the waiters were getting ready I Spake largely about Preparation for Death — viz. of those great Articles of Regeneration, Faith, Repentence, Holiness, the Love of God and our Neighbour etc., without which we cannot rationally hope for Comfort at our Departure. Prayed with them. Have received a Letter from Mr. Moore dated Rochester 24 of February and Boston the 27. Ruth Bellows came again at night.
1771 March 3 (Sunday). Preached a.m. and p.m. on Gen. 49.18. So great a storm there were but few at Meeting, especially in the afternoon. N.B. p.m. Mr. Seth Morse was Chorister. In the Evening read at Family Exercise read Dr. Owen.
1771 March 4 (Monday). Town-Meeting. Messrs. Tainter and Wheelock came to me with the Towns Desire that I would go and pray with them. I did so. At Eve Mr. Tainter and Mr. Seth Morse here. The former apprizing me that Mr. Ely was expected from Summers this week, and asks for my Consent to his preaching in the Meeting House, and Spake of his bringing him to see me. I gave no consent; but told him I should not desire to see him here.
1771 March 5 (Tuesday). Attended the private Meeting at Deacon Woods, and Preached on Heb. 12.1 to p. 8.
1771 March 6 (Wednesday). My wife went with me in our Sleigh to Northborough and in going called to see Old Mrs. Maynard who is brought into a very low state, and to Day seems to be worse. We dined at Lt. Martyn’s. Old Mrs. Martyn has great Trouble in one of her Eyes. P.M. we visited at Mr. Whitneys. I borrowed of Lt. Martyn Bailys Dictionary in large Folio, by Dr. Joseph Nicol Scott. I Returned home by Capt. Jesse Brighams. At Evening came to Mr. Tainter and his Wife, and brought with them Mr. Ely. They Supped here late. No word was Spoke of preaching till they had taken leave and gone out: But Mr. Tainter and his Wife had asked me to Dinner at their House tomorrow, and Mrs. Parkman to be with me, which invitation I could not accept of; I knew also what would be like to follow. What Mr. Tainter broke forth with, was, that he believed Mr. Ely would deliver a Discourse at his House tomorrow afternoon. I shewed my Displeasure and Grief at it, and at him for asking him. Mr. Ely being at the Sleigh I went out to him and besought him not to and used a variety of Arguments with him to desist — at least to Wave the Matter for the present till we could look into the Matter and Enquire how his Character Stood, etc., etc.
1771 March 7 (Thursday). I perceive that people are travelling to Mr. Tainters: for in all likelihood Mr. Ely will preach there, notwithstanding all I have said to him and to Mr. Tainter against it. Miss Mary Bradish with two Boys waiting upon her, here, and they dined with me. Mr. Benjamin Brigham brought a Letter from the people and proprietors of Monadnock No. 4 to our Church to assist in Ordination of Mr. B. Brigham junior on the 27th. Mr. Jonathan Batherick here at Eve with his own and Wife’s Relation.
1771 March 8 (Friday). Master Taylor here and tells me he heard Mr. Ely at Mr. Tainters yesterday, and a considerable Assembly attended. The Text was Jer. 8.22, “Is there no Balm in Gilead”? etc. Very loud, very affecting. He intends to try to preach at Hopkinton next Sabbath; but Mr. Hutchinson has agreed to go there for that Day.
1771 March 9 (Saturday). A Mad Dog has gone up and down the Town, biting and killing a Number of Creatures: but is pursued and shot. Mrs. Abigail Batherick here, further to answer Some Questions and to have some Corrections in the Draught of her Relation.
1771 March 10 (Sunday). A great Storm, of Snow, wind, and towards Night Hail, and then Rain. Few at Meeting especially p.m. Preached on 1 Cor. 15.1 a. and p.m. Could not proceed to the Admission of the Bathericks by Reason of the small Number of Church members present. For the Same Reason wave Reading the Monadnock Letter. But appointed the Communion and preparatory Lecture on Wednesday next. Mrs. Maynard and Ruth Bellows dined here. At Eve Dr. Owen. Ruth stays over night.
1771 March 11 (Monday). And Works here. Adjournment of Town Meeting. Too stormy for me to go to see Mrs. Adams who Still lies very low. Mr. Moses Nurse is here and reckons; we ballance our Accounts to this Day. Mr. Daniel Forbes here. He is no approver of Mr. Ely. Mr. Israel Walker from Hopkinton. He wants to know my Inclination to afford Help to Mr. Barret in preaching. Acquaints me with his going to Upton about Mr. Ely, who, says, went from Westborough on Friday last (Lt. Tainter accompanying), to Hopkinton and offered to preach there; He went to Mr. Barretts and lodged there. On Saturday, they not accepting his Offer, he went off to Sherburn.
1771 March 12 (Tuesday). Visit Mrs. Hardy and her daughter Adams who is very low. I discoursed with her as She could bear. Prayed with them. Visit at old Mr. Warrins. Read more of Mr. Lords MSS.
1771 March 13 (Wednesday). It was So stormy weather and so difficult travelling that though I have Sent to Mr. Fish to come and help me to Day, yet I put my Self into the way of preparation to preach my self. But he came and Mr. Sumner also. They dined with me, and Mr. Fish Preached the Lecture on Ps. 27.6. But few hearers. N.B. Mr. Sumner, conversing about Mr. Ely, Said his Wife told him he called there in his Journey from Somers to Westborough (Mr. Sumner not being at home). He (Mr. Ely) told Mrs. Sumner he wanted to See him for he was well acquainted with him, was at College at the same time with him; he lived in the Chamber right under him, and was his Freshman etc., etc., whereas Mr. Sumner says, he never saw him in his Life, and that he came away from College before Ely entered; and that he never lived in College before Ely entered; and that he never lived in College after he took his first Degree. But there is a Kinsman of Mr. Sumners, of his Name, who was bred at College. To prevent mistakes therefore Mr. Ely asked whether this Mr. Sumner did not preach and receive a Call at Stafford? Whether his name was not Joseph? A tall man? etc.? It all agreed — this was the very same. This deserves to be Searched into.
1771 March 14 (Thursday). Mr. Silas Warrin of Grafton here under great Grievance, dissatisfyed with Mr. Hutchinsons untruth — Speaking against the Bible, that it is false — that he could translate some places better, etc. I endeavoured to open his Mind, inform and quiet him. Jejun and Suppl. and Concio preparation. Breck at Evening and lodged.
1771 March 15 (Friday). I rode to Mr. Tim. Warrens to see Mr. Meads Library. Bought a good Cole’s Dictionary and paid a Dollar for it. I bought also an Oxford Bible large octavo, for 3£ old Tenor, also the British Apollo for 6/ Ditto. It being greatly defaced, dirtyed and broken. Mr. Warren also made a present of Mr. Prince’s New England Psalm Book, and Leusdens Psalterium Hebreum; also Several of Cockers Copys. Returned as soon as I well could, but it very much broke the Day. At eve came Brother Brown of Framingham and lodged here.
1771 March 16 (Saturday). Brother Brown goes to Leicester intending to assist, or join with Alexander in buying Dr. Southgates place. Has, I Suppose, money with him for the first payment. Deacon Wood kills a Calf for me. Mr. Joseph Harrington takes it to market it for me.
1771 March 17 (Sunday). Instead of Reading the Chapter in public as usual, I read before and as Text to, my Sermon the whole portion which was to have been read, viz. Ezek. 36, from the 25th v. to the End. And formed my Exercise for this forenoon from some part of a Fast Discourse on this Passage but made some additions especially to what had not been writ out, and some application. Administered the Lord’s supper. [Marginal notation: Took in several into the Church, viz. the Bathericks and Mrs. Parker.] P.M. preached on 1 Cor. 13.1.2. Mrs. Maynard and Mrs. Parker dined here. At Eve Dr. Owen on Spiritual mindedness. N.B. The Church consented to send to the Ordination of Mr. Brigham, at Monadnock No. 4. In my study read Mr. Lords Diary. O that God would bless it to me! It is very instructing and quicking[?] to me.
1771 March 18 (Monday). Read various Things which I have partly bought and partly borrowed out of Mr. Medes Library, viz. Vindication of the Revolution in Massachusetts 1689, Advice to the Churches concerning Imposters, Dr. Mathers account of Mr. Samuel May etc., Mr. Nathan Prince of the Constitution and Government of Harvard College. N.B. Began to Sing Mr. Thomas Prince’s Version, of the Psalms, or Revising of the New England Psalm Book. P.M. Mr. Joseph Brigham here with Messages from his Kinsman and from Mr. Smith requesting me to go to Monadnock. At Eve Cornet Brigham here likewise.
1771 March 19 (Tuesday). A.M. to Mr. Timothy Warrins; but he was gone a Journey, therefore could do nothing more about Books. P.M. Brother Brown came from Leicester and Mr. [blank] Gleason with him. They dine here. Alexander has received a Deed of the Southgate place and has given a Deed of part of it to his Father Brown. N.B. I received a Letter to Day from Mr. President Locke, containing a just Character of the late Mr. John Mead. Breck came and on my Horse he rode to Upton to speak to some young men about living with me. He returned also but was unsuccessful.
1771 March 20 (Wednesday). I wrote to Mr. Thomas Wood of Brookfield for his Son John to come and live with me, and wrote to Alexander — to the Care of his Neighbour Gleason.
1771 March 21 (Thursday). At Mr. Timothy Warrins and bought several more Books that were Mr. Meade’s. I dined there.
1771 March 22 (Friday). So full of Concern about my Horse that I have him new Shod, though it is but lately he was put to rights — yet stumbles. The Rain causes so great Floods that they are very noticeable.
1771 March 23 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1771 March 24 (Sunday). Read the last verses of Ezek. 36 and Ch. 37 to v. 14 and (with part of what I had heretofore delivered on v. 37 of ch. 36 and from Eph. 5.14 with a new Exposition of the first paragraph of Ch. 37) formed the forenoon Exercise. P.M. Read 1 Thess. 5. Preached on 1 Cor. 15.1.2. At Eve read Dr. Owen in the Family Exercise. Breck from Northborough this Morning.
1771 March 25 (Monday). I sat out upon my Journey to Monadnock No. 4, though the ways were very bad, and the Weather somewhat wet. Met the Delegate, Brother Levi Brigham, at Mr. Whitneys in Northborough. We proceeded to Lancaster and dined at Mr. Harringtons. From thence we had one Mr. Pepper at Framingham our Company. Arrived at Ashburnham at Eve. Mr. Smith was at Mr. Cushings and lodged there.
1771 March 26 (Tuesday). We proceeded to Winchenden and baited at Rev. Mr. Browns. Road tolerable, though the Snows up there were very deep. We arrived at Mr. John Mellens, the Entertainer, at Monadnock, so as to dine though late. Few of the Ministers came. We lodged there.
1771 March 27 (Wednesday). Mr. Brown of Winchenden, Mr. Goddard of Swanzey, and Mr. Lee of Royalston, were all the Ministers that came to join us; So that we were only five Ministers with our Delegates; and a Delegate from the Church in Keen. These six Churches formed into a Council. I was chose Moderator and Mr. Brown the scribe. The Candidates for Convenanting presented them Selves with their Dismissions from the Churches they belonged to. The Covenant was read to them which they Consented to; and Mr. Brighams Confession of Faith — voted Satisfactory. Every Thing being prepared, we proceeded to the place of public Assembly — and there Mr. Lee opened the Solemnity by Prayer. Mr. Smith Preached on Joh. 21.15. Then the Church was gathered. I prayed and gave the Charge: Mr. Goddard prayed after the Charge; and Mr. Brown gave the right Hand. Returned to Mr. Mellen’s. Were decently refreshed and lodged there.
1771 March 28 (Thursday). In returning to Ashburnham, called at Mr. Browns. Dined at Mr. Cushings and I Preached Mr. Cushings Lecture — Text 2 Cor. 4.1. After Lecture Mrs. Winchester was there at Mr. Cushings. With her came Capt. Samuel Wilder and his Wife — and drank Tea. Cornet Brigham and the Brighams from Marlborough with Master [blank] Barns of Marlborough (at their Request) were dismissed to go homewards. At Evening Deacon Foster came to see us. Capt. Joseph Wilder there also. Mr. Smith and I lodged at my son Cushings.
1771 March 29 (Friday). Take leave. Call at Mr. Paysons in Fitchbourg and dined there. Proceeded to Mr. Gardners at Leominster: found Mrs. Gardner under an ill state of Health. Through extremely muddy Roads, we reached to Mr. Harringtons. Mrs. Fuller of Prince-Town, was there also. We lodged there.
1771 March 30 (Saturday). We were much entertained with their fine Singing in the Family. Mr. Elisha Marsh there. We rode to Mr. Goss’s to Sympathize with him under his Troubles. Dined with them. Call at Capt. Johnsons — and Mr. Whitneys. Find my Tabernacle in Peace. Blessed be God for His great Goodness and wonderful preservations in going out and returning home in Safety!
1771 March 31 (Sunday). Read Ezek. 37 from v. 15. Preach’d a. and p.m. on 1 Cor. 1.30. Sheriff Cutler of Grafton dined here. Mr. Hutchinson preaches to Day for Mr. Barrett. Mrs. Maynard dined here also. At Eve Dr. Owen.