1772 December 1 (Tuesday). Reuben Bellows came and offered to live with me this Winter at 3 Dollars per month — to come next Monday Morning, if I Send him no word to the Contrary.
1772 December 2 (Wednesday). Daniel Hardy (Mr. Phinehas’ son) to See whether he is to come and live with me the ensuing months. Asks 8£ per Month. I acquaint him with Reuben’s offer; and give up Expectations from Daniel, depending on Reuben. At Evening came Alexander, his Wife and Child.
1772 December 3 (Thursday). Public Thanksgiving. Preached (long) on Prov. 3.9.10. It is my earnest prayer that God would please to affect us all with this Subject; and that we may So improve this Solemnity that we may give Glory to our Great Benefactor. May I in particular be properly excited, heartily acknowledging, praising, extolling and thanking Him for all He has done and bestowed — and may all I enjoy or may yet be indulged with, be devoted to the Honour and Glory of God!
1772 December 4 (Friday). Alexander wants assistance towards his Payment to be made the 14th of this Month in Southgate Purchase. He, his Wife and Child, leave us to go home. Miss Patty Fish here to Visit us p.m. but leaves us at Even. N.B. Mr. Nathan Fay brings his wife to be further Examined — and I consent to their being propounded next Lords Day. Mr. Nathaniel Whitney junior of Grafton here to talk with me about the present state of their Church — brings me the Reasons of 16 (as he tells me the Number is) against the Dissolution of Mr. Hutchinsons pastoral Relation: and the Result of the late Council, which is very favourable to Mr. Hutchinson and corrective of the opposing Party. Mr. Whitney aforesaid dined here.
1772 December 5 (Saturday). Mrs. Mary Drury (who was Mary Pratt) with a Letter from Mr. Webster of Temple, desiring a Certificat of her Dismission, he having mislaid what I gave him at Commencement. I had depended upon Changing tomorrow and had Sent to both Mr. Stone and Mr. Whitney, but both have sent me their Return, that they cannot. Tomorrow is to be the Communion at Southborough and Mr. Whitney has agreed to change with Mr. Morse. I set my self to do what I can.
1772 December 6 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on Hos. 5, v. 6 and 7. P.M. repeated sermon on Prov. 3.6. Which Exercises I pray may be awakening and instructive! Mrs. Maynard dined here.
1772 December 7 (Monday). Rode to see Mrs. Bellows, who is very low, and in danger of Death and prayed with her. Dined there etc. Reuben Bellows came at 3 Dollars per Month. N.B. The Town Met to see whether the Meeting House may be enlarged. It passed in the Negative. At Eve Mr. Cook the Miller here a long Time; and at Close of the Day Mr. Elijah Rice — gave him a Dismission to Hennecker.
1772 December 8 (Tuesday). Rev. Messrs. Frost and Fish call here in their way to Bolton. Read the Explanation of Saybrook Platform, brought me by Mr. Fish.
1772 December 9 (Wednesday). Reckoned with my Son Breck; and we settled and ballanced. Wrote to Mr. Moore in my uncertainty about his Wife. Sent it By Mr. Henry Bass.
1772 December 10 (Thursday). Reckoned and settled with Mr. Silas Hill. Towards Night Sent to Edes and Gill an Account of Squire Woods Wife and of her Death. Her Father Fay came from Boston and brought me a Letter from my Son Moore at Rochester containing an Account of his dear Wife’s, My beloved Susanna’s Decease! which occurred on Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. and that She was interred on the 2d instant. It proves very shocking to me! The Lord Sustain and direct me and mine, who Survive! under Such a Weight of Sorrow!
1772 December 11 (Friday). Jejun. and Suppl. With my Sermon Meditations. Pressed exceedingly with the weight of my Sorrows, my Work, and my preparations for the Communion. On the whole, make broken work! The Lord Pity and Pardon, for the Sake of the Great Redeemer who hath loved us (I hope Me) and given Himself for me.
1772 December 12 (Saturday). Reuben talks as if discouraged, but I induced him to go on. He went to Lt. Brighams. Hear that Mr. Barrett dyed last night. [Marginal notation: On the 12th Capt. Jonathan Fay here complaining of the Conduct of Several Church Members who had abused him etc. — but I persuaded him to wave it — and not disturb the Communion.]
1772 December 13 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on Eph. 5.2. Administered the Lords supper. Deacon Bond dined here, as did Mrs. Dolly Rice. P.M. preached on Suse’s Death, from Ps. 39.9, “I was dumb — because Thou didst it.” A Message that Mr. Barrett is Dead, and to be buryed on Tuesday.
1772 December 14 (Monday). Reuben returned from Southborough, and determines to do what he can, and promises he will not go away from me. Deacon Wood came, and Mr. Tainter and Reuben to assist in killing an old, but fat, Cow. I visit the widow [Hetty?] Brighams Daughter Polly, who is sick. Prayed with them. Called at Deacon Woods and Mr. Bass’s at Evening.
1772 December 15 (Tuesday). Rode to Hopkinton and dined at the House of Mourning. My dear Brother, the Rev. Mr. Samuel Barrett, was interred. He finished his 72d year the Day before he expired. Rev. Messrs. Bucknam, Stone, Smith, Frost and Fish were Bearers. Mr. Fitch walked before the Corps with old Coll. Jones — and the rest of the Church before them. The Corps was carryed into the Meeting House: where I prayed — too imperfectly — the Lord forgive the Defects and miscarriages of it. I committed a Paper to Capt. Samuel Barrett of Boston, containing some Account and Character of the Deceased — having first read it to the Ministers, Dr. Wilson and Mr. Samuel Barrett of Boston. I returned home at Eve, in Company with Deacon Wood and his Wife. N.B. Neighbour Beeton overtook us — his Discourse was uncomfortable: Refusing to let me or mine cart through his Land to the Ministerial Lot, but by his pleasure as he would any other Neighbour, denying my Right of a Road or passage there. The Deacon and his Wife, witnesses.
1772 December 16 (Wednesday). Mr. David Maynard junior of Westminster dined here. Wrote by him to Mr. Cushing of the Death of his Sister Moore, and sent Mr. Moores large Letter. At Eve I wrote to Mr. Moore.
1772 December 17 (Thursday). Cousen Maynard has been ill of a Fever, for several Days: has Sent an Horse for her Aunt. Who is accordingly gone to See her. Mrs. Kelly is poorly to Day. At Evening Isaac Davis brings Mrs. Parkman home. I called him to Repentance etc. Master Smith here — returns the first Vol. of Mr. Richard Taylors Sermons and borrows the 2d. Nathan Fay and his wife here with their Confession and Relations. Elias Recites again.
1772 December 18 (Friday). Elias goes to Mr. Smiths School. I buy me a pair of Temple Spectacles; for my Sight is somewhat impaired. They may assist me at times, though I do not use them constantly. P.M. Visit and pray with Mrs. Bellows. Call to See Mr. Samuel Hardy’s Wife, who has lately born him a Son. The Doctors Company in returning.
1772 December 19 (Saturday). Rode to Hopkinton and lodged at Mr. Fitch’s. He came here.
1772 December 20 (Sunday). I preached at Hopkinton on Occasion of Rev. Mr. Barretts Death, from Rev. 3.3, former part. Remember how thou hast received and heard etc. a. and p.m. Dined at Mr. Barretts — and returned there at Even and Lodged there. I hope Some impression was made on my own Heart (may I long retain it!) by the Exercises of this Day.
1772 December 21 (Monday). Returned home in Safety. D.G. But in my way was obliged to call at Lt. John Wood’s to See his Wife. N.B. used great freedom with him concerning his Intemperance. He seemed to take it well; thanked me; would beg of God he might take the Advice and reform etc. Mr. How finishes Breck’s Chimney. Elias goes to Mr. Smiths School Steddily.
1772 December 22 (Tuesday). Read part of Theory of Mankind and Education.
1772 December 23 (Wednesday). Received another tender Letter from my Son Moore, via Oxford. Mr. Ballard has been to Rochester. Read in Mr. Lorings Diary. It affords me Delight and Profit: but fills me with shame! The Lord forgive my Slothfulness!
1772 December 24 (Thursday). The several News Papers Shew our Political state to be very Sorrowful. The Day is very dark with us after the best Excuses and Palliations. Mr. John Ball carrys his Wife home. Breck (on my Horse), with many more on Horses and in Chaises, waits upon them to Northborough.
1772 December 25 (Friday). Looked for Reuben a.m. but in vain. Miss Lucy Parker has been at work here several Days, making Cloths for Elias, out of Cast off Garments of Sam’s. But she is now making him a Pair of Breeches of a Deer skin which I buy of Breck. P.M. Reuben came from his Mothers, and otherwhere. But was now determined to break off and go way. Was willing to give all he had done — asked me nothing — I was welcome, because of the Dammage he was Sensible he Should do me by going away. My pleading, urging, expostulating, offers to him, pitying, representing the Injustice, breach of promise, unhandsomeness, unsteddiness, disgrace — the unfitness of leaving me at the Close of the week, and entreating that he would but tarry till the beginning of the week — nothing wrought upon him — nor my enquiring of him whether any thing was amiss or wanting, with me or mine — whether he was dissatisfyed with the Terms? It, all of it, produced any thing to hinder his going: he had no fault to complain of, only of himself and was resolved upon it, and bid me farewell. Thus childishly Stubborn and invincibly Sett, Reuben left me. This Evening Breck goes for me to Daniel Hardy on this Affair, to See whether he will consider my Disappointment and come. N.B. Received a large Letter from Mr. Ebenezer Rice of Annapolis, dated Nov. 23, last.
1772 December 26 (Saturday). Received a Letter from my Son Baldwin, of the 24th, that his wife was then ill, and feared some such Mis________ as heretofore.
1772 December 27 (Sunday). A.M. on Hos. 5.8.9. P.M. preached from Mat. 13.43. This latter being a Funeral sermon for my Brother Barrett, and gave some Character of him. O that I might my Self be of that happy and dignifyed Number! The Lord make me Right! by His Grace assisting I will practise Righteousness.
1772 December 28 (Monday). Messrs. Smith and Barnard visit Breck at Eve; Sup and lodge here.
1772 December 29 (Tuesday). Mrs. P. rode with me to Capt. Jonas Brighams (in compliance with his repeated Request). Dined there. P.M. Captain rode with me to See old Mrs. Beeman who is confined. Prayed with her. Returned with the Captain to his House. Drank Tea there, and he got his Horse and acommpanyed us in the way home, out to the Road by Dr. Haws — so respectful and courteous was he. Yet Several parts of the Conversation brought in Complaints respecting Ministers — particularly in the Bolton Affair and the ill State of Things in most places — and much amiss in our own. I mentioned to him Mrs. Eunice Rice and our incumbent Duty to call her to Account. We came home in safety. Blessed be God who upholds our goings, and saves us from Harm! N.B. Disquietment in Northborough and Westminster about Psalm-Books, and singing.
1772 December 30 (Wednesday). I rode down to See Mrs. Bellows again, but went first to Mr. Ebenezer and Edmund Chamberlins, and dined there. Called at Mr. Ezra Bakers. At Mr. Bellows’s found his Wife exceeding low — difficult to understand her — but from what I could gather from her, She appears to be in some proper frame. I desired Nurse to go out, and being alone with the Man and woman, brought them respectively to ask forgiveness of God and one another. In special the Woman did more directly than before. I hope they are sincere. May God accept it! Prayed there, and came home. At Eve Elijah Brigham here; and I agreed with him to live with me three months; for 8£ old Tenor per Month to begin next Monday or Tuesday. But if the Winter should prove a good Season (evidently So) for our Business, and we do accomplish and Succeed well, in getting Wood especially, then he must have 4 Dollars per Month. N.B. Mr. Stone came to see me, and dined here. He brought me two Bundles more of Mr. Lorings Diary. I was very Sorry it was at such a Time, that I missed of him.
1772 December 31 (Thursday). I took Some serious Notice of this Last Day of the Year. O how great has been the Goodness of God in carrying me through the Changes of it! Will the Lord Sanctifie to me the Deaths of persons So dear to me, as have Occurred in it! — of my Father Loring; my Brother Barrett; and my Daughter Moore. O how stupid am I that I am no more prepared for my own! The Lord of his infinite Mercy, Pardon all my Sins, and of this Year especially, that I may carry no old Sins into the New Year!
In Concluding the Year, I am thoughtful how my Life will conclude. What Frame am I now in? That I may be ready, if my Life Should now close! Glory to God!