September 2, 1772

1772 September 2 (Wednesday).  Was willing to attend the Ministers Meeting at Mr. Jones’s, Western.  Went with Mr. Ruggles and Mr. Forbes, and their Wives.  Was obliged to preach the Publick Lecture.  Mr. Ruggles prayed.  My Text was Ps. 139.23.24.  The Rain prevailed so that many Stayed there.  I lodged with Mr. White of Hardwick.  N.B. At this Meeting there were 12 Ministers and 2 Candidates.  May God add His Almighty Blessing!

September 3, 1772

1772 September 3 (Thursday).  In returning to Mr. Forbes’s, Stopped at Mr. Wards.  Dined at my Son Ebenezers.  P.M. visited Mr. Joseph Bruce’s.  Lodged at Ebenezers.  N.B. My Daughter P________ relates divers Things in Defence of her Daughter Betty against what her Aunt Moore  had writ, and against what her Grandmother had Said of her to Mr. Bradshaw — what also her Aunt Cushing had said of her — which gave me no Small Trouble.

September 4, 1772

1772 September 4 (Friday).  Visit old Mr. Charles and Mr. Zebulun Rice.  Went to Ebenezers Pasture on Grassy Hill.  Dined at Mr. Forbes’s.  Preached the Lecture on Joh. 1.11, and O that God would please to make it savingly beneficial to us all!  At Eve Ebenezer and I had a great deal of Conversation in the Road concerning Elias (his Son), and of many Things, till somewhat late.  I lodged at Baldwins.  My Daughter B. indisposed.

September 5, 1772

1772 September 5 (Saturday).  My other sons came to See me before I mounted to come away.  Ebenezer and Lucy (upon my intimating that I wanted to prepare for settling my small Affairs) opened to me their minds concerning their Labors and sufferings etc. in their first beginning the world.  I was variously affected with what they Said.  I beg that Wisdom and Grace to do what is just and kind to my Own.  My Son B. sat out with me to accompany me in a direct way to Mr. Asher Rice’s.  We called to see old Mrs. Watson; where was her Son Draper: who was our Company through the woods, and (my son parting with me when I got near Mr. Drapers) he took me to his House and I dined there.  After Dinner he was kind enough to with [sic] me to Mr. Rice’s, whose Cancer has prevailed upon his Nose, and one of his Eyes is Shut up.  I discoursed with and prayed and took final leave, not expecting ever to see him again here.  Parted there also with that kind Mr. Draper.  May the Lord reward him!  I hastened to Mr. Conklings, and lodged there.  N.B. He was gone hours before.

September 7, 1772

1772 September 7 (Monday).  In the morning hastened to Mr. Maccartys.  He was not come home from Chauxit, but Mr. Mellen was there.  More of Mr. Davis, who is the Subject of Conversation.  Called at Mr. Isaac Pratts (in Worcester), where I was entertained with much frankness.  Hastened on to Grafton.  Dined at Mr. Hutchinsons.  Three aggrieved brought another paper of Complaint against Mr. Hutchinson to be laid before the Church.  Attended the Church Meeting as Moderator and prayed.  Read the votes of the last, and the Business of this, Meeting.  It was urged by the aggrieved that I would lay before the Church, the Paper brought to day, but I was not prepared and could not be; for one of the Articles referred to the Letter which Mr. Hutchinson sent to me dated July 13 last, which I had not with me.  Therefore I declined communicating it till a proper time.  Read Mr. Hutchinsons Confession (which now had some Addition).  N.B. Mr. Hutchinson was obliged to attend a Funeral, viz. of Hannah Lawrence, Indian, in the time of the Church-Meeting.  The Vote was put whether they were Satisfyed with Mr. Hutchinsons Confession.  Out of 30 members present, but 12 lifted up their Hands: 18, including the 7 aggrieved, were on the Negative.  It was conceived that a Number were stumbled by the Paper thrown in as abovesaid but when it was handed among them and read privately, two more, viz. Major Willard and Mr. [blank] Holbrook, manifested their acceptance of the Confession.  Much reasoning and debating ensued — particularly how they could keep the Fast since they would not forgive.  The Paper which the Brethren aggrieved had before presented which contained their Confession and the Consideration of which was part of our proper Business to Day, was not heard, because of the many Debates and strifes — and therefore was deferred to another time.  The Church Meeting was adjourned to Wednesday next after the public Exercises.  The Meeting concluded with the Blessing.  I met with some harsh Oppositions; particularly from Mr. Stephen Prentice — and because I remarked the Custom among them of Such Numbers of the Congregation being suffered to be at Church Meetings, Mr. John Sherman (not of the Church) made a bold Reply.  In returning home Mr. Nathaniel Whitney junior was company part of the way.  Found my Tabernacle in peace.  Blessed be God for this Favour!  Am informed that last Tuesday Mr. Fish (by Desire) preached at the Family Meeting at Deacon Woods.  His Text Ps. 115.1.  And that Mr. Sumner preached in my Pulpit, for Mr. Conkling on the Lords Day, Aug. 30.  Texts Jonah and Rom. 12.2.  Breck has a Number of workmen who are Closing, digging, stoning etc.  Messrs. Joseph Green junior, [blank] Green of Hopkinton, John Harrington, Nathan Fisher, Joseph Rice, Solomon Batherick, Increase Daniels.

September 9, 1772

1772 September 9 (Wednesday).  After many Conflicts in my own Mind, concerning the Miserable state of Grafton, who have appointed a Fast, and yet have not accepted Mr. Hutchinsons Confession and will not forgive him; I rode up there (my Daughter Sophy with me) hoping to See the Ministers which they had sent to besides; and consult with them but there was very little Opportunity for that.  Mr. Hall and Mr. Maccarty came, but must presently go to Meeting.  Mr. Hall began with prayer.  Mr. Maccarty entertained us with a pertinent Discourse on Ps. 133.  P.M. Mr. Frost not coming, Mr. Maccarty prayed and I preached on Phil. 2.1 to 5 v.  And O that God would forgive and pardon!  That He would accept and bless, us and this poor divided People!  I stopped the Church according to adjournment.  Lt. Ward and Ephraim Sherman in Church Meeting had still their ill-natured Reflections — which I was obliged to resent and Suppress.  What was so contrary to all the fervent Exhortations they had heard, was too grievous for me to bear.  I could not easily get rid of my Moderatorship, though I made attempts one time after another: but I desired the Church to join Mr. Hall and Mr. Maccarty and invite them to come — first adjourning to next Monday come Se’nnight, one p.m.  N.B. Deacon Batchellor, and Deacon Merriam Seconding him, desired it might be Friday next, and it was voted — but in Condescension to Mr. Adams, Ward etc., receded — and the Motion for Monday come sennight obtained.  I was glad to See that good Spirit towards their Brethren.  I gave the Blessing at the Close of their Meeting.  Sophy went with Mrs. Molly Taylor.  I returned home, though in the Rain.  Breck had fewer hands at work at his store.  Daniel lodges here.

September 13, 1772

1772 September 13 (Sunday).  When I was much Straitned and unprepared, a kind Providence cast in here Mr. Josiah Sherman of Woburn on his Journey home from New Haven Commencement.  He preached for me a.m. on Rom. 7.13, last Clause — sin exceeding Sinful — and p.m. on Rom. 3.28.  N.B. he read the Chapters where his text lay.  May God grant grace to profit by these excellent and fervent Discourses, and reward the Preacher!  I Baptized Mr. Bass’s Child — Hannah.  Mr. Sherman returned at Eve to Capt. Benjamin Fay’s, from whence He came in the morning. Have the Sorrowful News that Cousen Nanny Davis was yesterday delivered of a Child: a Son!  May God grant her true Repentance!

September 14, 1772

1772 September 14 (Monday).  Mr. Sherman, with whom is Mr. Peter Thatcher of Malden, and who preached at Grafton yesterday, called and took Breakfast.  N.B. Mr. Sherman left me last Evening President Claps History of Yale College, which I read out by Sunrise.  Mr. Jonathan Barns of Marlborough comes to acquaint me that the Brigham Lecture is not appointed by reason of some Difficulty with the Select men.  He Shews me his Call by the Church in Hillsboro.  Dines here.  P.M. he returns.  Miss Molly Taylor brings Sophy home: She has taught her to knit Lace etc.

September 15, 1772

1772 September 15 (Tuesday).  Messrs. Hezekiah Taylor and Ephraim Sherman from Grafton here.  Dined with us.  Their Errand was to confer with me upon this Question, Whether Mr. Hutchinson had not writ to me that the Church Meeting (to which I was called to be moderator) was by the Desire of the aggrieved Brethren?  For this was one of the Articles which they had complained of Mr. Hutchinson for in their last Paper, which was offered the 7th instant.  P.M. Rode to Mrs. Kendalls to the Marriage of her Daughter Mehetabel to Nathan Fisher.  N.B. A young man from Dartmouth College, Cornelius Waters, there: he is the present School-Master and boards there.  I am now concluding my 69th Year: the Thought of which impresses my Mind and Heart.  O that I might have a due Sense of it, and might properly improve it!

September 26, 1772

1772 September 16 (Wednesday).  This Day I begin my 70th Year.  Surprizing, astonishing, adorable Goodness and longsuffering of God!  Vid. natal.  Mr. Stone came.  Dined with us and preached my Lecture on 1 Cor. 6.19,  a Serious, profitable Discourse!  May a divine Influence accompany it for our Spiritual Good!  He returned home at Evening.  At Night came Mr. Searl of Stoneham from New-Haven, and lodged here.

September 17, 1772

1772 September 17 (Thursday).  Rev. Messrs. Trumble of North Haven, and Joseph Dann of Ipswich (Mr. Searls Company who lodged at Deacon Woods) called here this Morning.  They all go on their Way, notwithstanding the Rain.  N.B. Mr. Searl borrows of me Mr. Edwards on enslaving Negros.  I made Extracts from Mr. Clap’s History of Yale College, and wrote to Mr. Pierpoint of N.H., which I shall committ to the Care of Mr. Trumble.

September 21, 1772

1772 September 21 (Monday).  Mr. Bradshaw setts out on his Journey to Brookfield and designs to go to Pelham to preach there. I went again to the Church Meeting at Grafton, according to adjournment.  Rev. Messrs. Hall and Maccarty came.  We dined at Mr. Hutchinson’s.  We all went to the Meeting.  Mr. Hall prayed.  Unhappy altercations follow.  Mr. Holbrook, Mr. Nathaniel Whitney and others desired that the late Transactions of the Church should be Re-considered.  It was proposed, and voted Affirmatively.  See the Records for the rest of the proceedings.  But I may well remember, that from the Copy which I had given of Mr. Hutchinsons Letter to me, there arose great Disquietment (which had occasioned those mens coming to me on the 15th), for they had Supposed that to be in the Letter, which was not.  For which Reason I produced the Letter it self and read it.  This caused Surprize, and I was asked earnestly whether it was indeed the very Letter.  It was affirmed by some of them that it was very different from what I read in the first Meeting.  I offered to be deposed before a Magistrate that it was the Same and that I had not read any other as his Letter.  I conceive they have made this Mistake, viz. At the opening of the Business of these Meetings, I desired Mr. Hutchinson to read his Record of the Votes of the Meeting of the Church when this Meeting was appointed or warned.  This he did, and I suppose I did after him — and therein Mention is made of the Motion made by the aggrieved for a Church Meeting.  Now this (my reading his Record) was probably what they imagined to be his Letter to me; which led them into Mistake; and they were so stirred as that (having put it into the late paper of Charge against Mr. Hutchinson and not finding they could Support it) they would now question my Faithfulness.  It was remarked how strong, extensive and mischievous the power of prejudice.  I hope that what I said gave satisfaction to the impartial.  When they moved for further adjournment I told them they might not depend upon my Coming again.  The Meeting was adjourned to Wednesday come fortnight.  Mr. Maccarty prayed at the Close.  Was obliged to tarry at Mr. Hutchinsons.  Mr. Hall also.  In the Eve came in  there Two Deacons Merriam and Batchellor, Mr. Ephraim Sherman, Mr. John Prentice and others.  N.B. Mr. Shermans Exception against Mr. Hutchinson for baptizing a Negro without Administering the Covenant to him.  Mr. Hutchinson told us he judged he did, for he did it as he, the Negro, could bear — in such Language as, by its being familiar, he might understand — spoke Negro, That is, such broken words and accents as they Speak.  Mr. Sherman hastily took him up, and asked him if he could speak Negro?  And grew ready to accuse him for this, which was to  us Surprizing.  Lodged with Mr. Hall.

September 22, 1772

1772 September 22 (Tuesday).  Mr. Hall and Mr. Hutchinson go to Mendon Association.  I returned home.  In my way Mr. Rockwood stops me at his Wall to lament their Case.  Owns his mistaking my Reading at the former Meeting, which probably was Mr. Hutchinsons Record, for his Letter to me, and thereupon his thinking — he did not know what, of me.  Says he is sorry etc.  I called at Deacon Merriams and refreshed.  Called at Mr. Silas Warrins, and he (as well as Rockwood) owns his Mistake of that Reading.  Says he is sorry.  His Wife crys bitterly; her Cry was that when I took such Pains, and out of Goodness, to serve them in their Difficultys, they Should reward me so ungratefully.  I went that Road that I might call and See Mr. Nathan Leland and his Wife, who are come to live among us.  Was at Mr. Thomas Twitchells.  Before I got to Mr. Phinehas Hardys, my Horse stumbled, fell down, threw me off, upon the Ground, and it was wonderfull I escaped — but, through the Great Goodness and Mercy of God, I got up unhurt, and arrived here safe.

September 23, 1772

1772 September 23 (Wednesday).  It was rainy a.m. but Phinehas was desirous to go to the Training at Lancaster; and having provided him an Horse, he went.  Though I had Grass seed for him to sow at the Island, and other things for him to do, yet many were going, and he went.  Sophy was very ill at Night.  Letter from Mr. Moore of last Saturday; via Grafton.  I transcribe the Votes for the Church at Grafton, and for Lt. Hezekiah Ward.

September 29, 1772

1772 September 29 (Tuesday).  Breck to Boston.  I Catechized a.m.  There were only 20 Boys.  And p.m. I went to the Meeting House, but there came only one little Girl.  I stayed till a quarter after three.  The time appointed (I suppose) was 2.  Yet there came no more, so I returned.  Read Mr. Lorings Adversaria in MS. No. 10.  I am sorry that Brecks work at the shop is drawn out so long, in finishing Such a store.  John Harrington and Nathan Fisher from Day to Day — Caruth to Day in Plaistering, and Joseph McCullock to tend him Yesterday and part of to Day.  Phinehas can only do a few Chores, by reason of the Rain.