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?