January 1, 1773

1773 January 1 (Friday).  I bless God with all my Powers for His unwearied Patience: I implore Forgiveness of my great Ingratitude, unprofitableness and unfruitfulness: I beseech God most gracious and merciful throughly to rouse me, and bring me to so Sense of my infinite Obligations to Him; and I earnestly entreat that I may be deeply affected with my frail, mortal State, that especially now I am come to be so old a Man, I may be continually in Readiness.  I Spent the Day, principally in Thanksgiving for the divine Goodness, for the Mercys bestowed, especially in the year past: in Humiliation for my many and great Sins, especially what I have been guilty of (neglects, or actual Commissions; and the Sins of my holy Things) this year past: in reviewing the Changes — in considering how liable still to Changes continually.  In renewing my Covenant Engagement to be the Lords; commiting my Self and mine to Him: and now would rest in His infinite Favour and neverfailing Faithfulness.  Read Dr. Tillotson [1]on the divine Perfection, His Eternity, unchangeableness, Incomprehensibleness.  Received a kind, affectionate consoling Letter, from my Children in Brookfield — all of them, men and women, and their Brother John also, Signing it.  The Spirit in which it Seems to be writ, of piety, and tender sympathy, is very agreeable; I am heartily Thankful for it; and pray that it may be blessed to me; I earnestly pray also that God would be pleased to bless each of them, and all of theirs!  And may He support and comfort all, with divine Consolations and prepare us for His blessed will!  Neither can I forget, in the meantime, my dear son Moore, who bleeds exceedingly under his wounds; or his dear motherless Babes, whom the Lord take up, and make rich Blessings in their Generation!  The Town met to day, partly on account of the Ministerial Lot — and they Send a Committee (viz. Capt. Brigham, Messrs. B. How, and A. Gale) to See whether I would consent to its being Sold; and they include also the Ministerial Meadow.  This latter I consented to (the Interest of the money being duely paid to me, while I continue in the Ministry): But concerning the Wood-Lot, I desired to have Time to consider of So important an Affair as the Selling of it.  However, the Town, I said, might be Sure of it that I Should not consent to their Selling it except they would pass a vote to find me my wood.  And whereas there was Complaint that great Spoil and Ravage was made there, upon the Timber and the wood, of late, by John Kelly (Capt. Jonas Brigham in particular had informed me of it), I prayed the Town would take effectual Care of that matter, and if they Should please, promote the dividing the Lot.  The Sooner, the better, that some effectual Care be taken about this.  In the Evening Came Elijah Brigham, who tells me he is sent for to keep School at Royalstown, according to his word to them heretofore; but he did not receive their Letter for him to come, though writ some time past, till since he had promised me; and therefore can’t serve me; he is Sorry for the Disappointment.

[1]John Tillotson (1630-1694), DNB?

January 4, 1773

1773 January 4 (Monday).  Samuel acquaints me with his Desire to be marryed (God willing and if I pleased) next March — and Should be glad of my and his Mothers company.  Mr. Whitney of Northborough here and dined with us.  Soon After Dinner our Company except Mr. W. left us to return to Boston.  Mr. Whitney acquainted me with Mr. Mellen’s Troubles at Chauxit, by reason of the Bolton Contests.  He also talks with me about dividing or selling the ministerial Lot — and boldly tells me that he had agreed with John Kelly to do what he supposes he has done in the Ministerial Lot etc. etc.  Mrs. P____________ not well.  Town Meet to receive their Committees Draught of Instructions to their Representative.  At Eve agree with John Fay (Capt. Benjamin’s son) to live with me 3 months for 24£ old Tenor, or if the weather be good, 25£.  Read in F. Lorings Diary.

January 5, 1773

1773 January 5 (Tuesday).  A more than ordinary number of Teams, with Quantitys of Pork, going to market, are weighed by Breck.  Preached at Lt. Bakers on Rom. 8.11.  I hope God was with us, though we were but few.  And may these Exercises prove truely beneficial to us all.  Asked advice about Selling or dividing Ministerial Lot.  The general voice was, divide, not sell.

January 7, 1773

1773 January 7 (Thursday).  Sent the XVII, XVIII, XIX, XXth volumes of the World displayed back to Dr. Peter Green, the owner, by Elijah Brigham, who is going to keep School at Royalstown.  Spent a great part of the Day in reading in F. Lorings Diary: where I meet with what Serves deeply to abase and humble me for my Slothfulness and unprofitableness; my low experience in the divine Life, and that I have done So very little for God and for the Souls of Men; my own or others.  O that God would please throughly to awaken me, pardon, assist and quicken me!  And bless to me the reading over these MSS for these purposes!

January 9, 1773

1773 January 9 (Saturday).  Heard of the Sudden Death of Mr. Thomas Walker of Hopkinton.  O that God would grant I may be always ready for my own Departure!  Deacon Wood came and killed a large Swine (a sow) for me.  Mr. Joseph Harrington being here, assisted.  Very unexpectedly Mr. Jesse Reed, Candidate, and preacher at Grafton, came and dined with us.  His Errand is to request me to Preach at Shrewsbury tomorrow in his stead.  Mr. Sumner being to administer the Lords Supper at Grafton.  I complyed and went.

January 10, 1773

1773 January 10 (Sunday).  Having lodged at Mr. Sumners, and he having gone this morning to Grafton, I preached at Shrewsbury on Rom. 14.8 a. and p.m. and baptized Betty, daughter of Benjamin Baker.  I have a great Weight upon my Spirits, concerning Death and Eternity.  May the word delivered be of Saving Efficacy, and be blessed to me and to all who heard it!  Mr. Sumner returned home.  I lodged there.

January 11, 1773

1773 January 11 (Monday).  I made a Visit to the widow Jemima Miles.  Mr. Sumner accompanied me part of the way.  I called to see deacon Miles and prayed with him.  Dined and prayed with the widow Miles, who is very low.  Her bodily State weak and grievously afflicted, but her mind dark.  I gave here what Counsel I could.  May God bless it to her and to my Self also!  Called at Dr. Crosbys.  N.B. James Maynard [senior?] and Mr. Edm. Rice were there.  N.B. I inveighed against Idleness and Laziness.  I am informed, at my Return home, that Mr. Reed preached yesterday on Phil. 4., p.m. on Joh. 3.7, and this forenoon he has left us to go to Grafton.  By a Letter from Ashburnham Sophy to Hannah, we are certifyed that Sophy has been sick, but is in a Way of Recovery.  To God be Glory!

January 12, 1773

1773 January 12 (Tuesday).  Read chiefly Wise’s Church’s Quarrell espoused:[1] which, considering that the Cause of that bitter Satyr has ceased; and there are no ministers now on the Stage who are of the mind which the Authors of the Proposals were of, that I know of, or there can be no pretence among any Ministers to offer any such to the Churches; it is pity it is reprinted.  It may have a great Tendency to raise groundless Jealousies, to enflame the minds of many, and promote Divisions.

[1] John Wise (1652-1725), The Churches Quarrel Espoused: Or, a Reply in Satyre to Certain Proposals Made, in Answer to This Question, What Further Steps Are to Be Taken That the Councils May Have Due Constitution and Efficacy in Supporting, Preserving and Well-Ordering the Interest of the Churches in the Country (2d ed.; Boston, 1715).  Evans 1795.  This was reprinted as part of Wise, A Vindication of the Government of New-England Churches… (Boston, 1772).

January 14, 1773

1773 January 14 (Thursday).  Rode to Mrs. Bellows — find her somewhat revived.  Discoursed with her — rebuked her etc. etc.  Dined there — prayed with them.  N.B. I called to see Mrs. Hardy (Mr. Samuels wife) as I went; and at Mr. Snow’s, Mr. Beemans and Mr. Haskills, when I returned.  Hannah came home.  Mr. Morse who carryed the large sow (which was killed last Saturday) to Marblehead, for me, came back.  It weighed 324.  He got 2/9 per pound, gave me 2/6.

January 15, 1773

1773 January 15 (Friday).  Sermonizing.  Hear sorrowful News of what occurred yesterday at Mr. Smiths School.  Asa Fay, Son of Ensign Jeduthun, resisting, Striking and abusing the Master.  Also this afternoon a Fire began to rage in Mr. Smiths Chamber, at Mr. Jonathan Grouts — but was seasonably put out.  Mrs. Kelly, who went last Sabbath Evening to see her sister Dunlop, returned here this afternoon.

January 17, 1773

1773 January 17 (Sunday).  Preached a. and p.m. on Rev. 2.10.  May God be pleased to bless these Sermons to my own and the Hearers highest Good!  O that I might have the Grace to be faithful!  Master Barnard dined here.  Received 3 Letters from my dear sorrowful Moore.  May the Lord support him, that he may not be utterly overwhelmed and sink under the Sad bereavement!

January 18, 1773

1773 January 18 (Monday).  Mr. William Brigham here and gives leave to Cut wood in his Uncle Ephraims Lot.  Am reading Mr. Lorings Diary.  May God bless this Benefit to me for my Instruction, Assistance and Quickening!  At Eve came my son Forbes and lodges here.  He tells me his Daughter has a Wen growing on her side.  May the Lord sanctifie this great Trouble, and prepare for His holy Will!

January 20, 1773

1773 January 20 (Wednesday).  Sermonizing.  Read Expos[itions?] etc.  Visit at Neighbour Arnolds.  Mrs. P. was there.  Hannah receives a Letter from Sophy, who does not come home as expected.  Mr. Jacob Cushing Sends me his Ordination sermon at Sudbury.[1]

[1]Jacob Cushing, A Sermon Preached at the Ordination of the Reverend Mr. Jacob Bigelow to the Pastoral Care of the West-Church in Sudbury, November 11th, 1772 (Boston, 1772).  Evans 12,370.

January 21, 1773

1773 January 21 (Thursday).  Read Mr. L.’s Diary.  Elias was not well accepted at School yesterday by reason of their fears of the Meazles.  For Mr. Reed has had the Distemper since he preached here; and Elias may have taken the Infection.  He therefore Stays at home to Day.  At night John Parkman came from Brookfield by the way of Oxford.  Wants me to consider and consent to an Agreement he has made with Mr. Hitchcock for his time.

January 22, 1773

1773 January 22 (Friday).  Mr. Reed returning to Abington, calls here; green from the Meazles.  P.M. Mr. John Merrit, who preaches at Marlborough came in a Sleigh with his Aunt Martyn.  They drink Tea — return at Eve to Northborough.  Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin calls in here, and has many things to Say.  Applauds the Governors Speech to the Court.  Mr. Forbes returns from Boston: informs that Mr. Bailey’s and my Kinswoman Winter’s Desire of Marriage is clogged by Dr. Byles and his Church, of which Mr. Bailey is a Member.

January 23, 1773

1773 January 23 (Saturday).  John goes to Brookfield with Mr. Forbes, to whom I have committed Johns Indenture, and have writ to his Master Hitchcock concerning his Coming away — Since he is So uneasy there, and has in part agreed with his Master about the Terms etc.  This is also the 2d Journey John has taken to me on this Affair.  As Wisdom is profitable to direct and a good man orders his Affairs with Discretion, May we have divine Guidance to manage this important matter to divine Glory and with success!

January 24, 1773

1773 January 24 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Hos. 5.10.11.  P.M. on Prov. 3.6.  N.B. Ensign Jeduthun Fays wife was at Meeting again, after long Disorders and Distractions.  Its thought they were caused by the Conduct of her Husband: but through the great Goodness of God she is now composed.  There being no preaching at Grafton, a Number of the people were here at Meeting and Capt. Brooks, Mr. N. S. Prentice together with his Daughter Suse and another young woman, were at dinner here.  At Eve came Mr. Hezekiah Taylor, who had preached at Northborough.  Came here at Eve; but did not tarry; went to Mr. Jonathan Grouts.

January 25, 1773

1773 January 25 (Monday).  Breck and John Fay take a ride with Some young people.  Mr. Nathan Thompson of Conventry, having been to the general Court as one maimed in the Wars, and obtained 60£ Lawful (as he says), is returning home, pedling Rev. Sampson Occums Sermons.[1]

[1]Probably one of the many editions of Samson Occom (1723-1792), A Sermon, Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian, Who was Executed at New-Haven, on the 2d of September 1772, for the Murder of Mr. Moses Cook, Late of Waterbury, on the 7th of December, 1771.  Preached at the Desire of the Said Paul (New Haven, 1772).  Evans 12,494.  At least eleven printings of this sermon appeared between 1772 and 1774.

January 27, 1773

1773 January 27 (Wednesday).  Mrs. Crosby (Doctor’s Wife) was here, with the Rye which the Doctor pays in the name of Mr. James Maynard.  Her son Samuel with her.  They drink Tea with us.  Master Waters here at Eve.  My Son John returns from Brookfield — having purchased his Time; a Year and almost Six months for 14£ and a Note of hand of 14 sh. both Sums lawful Money, besides.  But I did not Consent to his giving up the Note.  However it is irrecoverable and the Indentures are given up.