1773 February 1 (Monday). John left us to go to Shrewsbury and work with Mr. Joseph Stone, sadler. Town Meeting — they vote to Split the Meeting House and add 14 feet. Wrote several Letters. One to Mr. David Hitchcock of Brookfield. Another to the Honorable Mr. Hubbard in behalf of Neighbour Morse, Levi Warrin and John Ball. Mr. Edmund Brigham in a sleigh and Company carry off Breck at Evening, though very Cold and high Winds.
1773 February 2 (Tuesday). The Day was very Cold, the wind high and sharp, yet I ventured to go to the private Meeting at Capt. B. Fays. John Fay drove the Sleigh. Hannah went with me. More people than I expected. Preached on Numb. 23.10 to p. 13. O that God would prosper the word of his Grace! To me in Special! Mrs. Fay informs me that Mrs. Jemima Miles, widow of the late Mr. Joseph Miles, dyed last Friday. The Lord grant I may be ready also!
1773 February 3 (Wednesday). Visit my Neighbour Newton under Trouble by the illness and Languishment of their youngest Child. Discoursed with them upon their Affliction and of Sin the Cause of it — of their living in the neglect of their Duty. Prayed with them. N.B. Mr. Jotham Maynard there. He informs me that the Town of Bolton were to have a Meeting last Monday to see whether they could not agree to do something or other, to put an End to their Difficultys. P.M. read Mr. Lorings Diary.
1773 February 4 (Thursday). Rev. Josiah Thatcher of Gorham Town, going to Lebanon, calls and dines here. Acquaints me with Squire Solomon Lombards conduct, especially in turning to the Church of England. N.B. He has been heretofore Pastor of the Church in Gorham. Also that Dr. Whitaker meets with much Difficulty in Salem. O that God would Pity all of us who are in the Ministry and grant the Grace, so absolutely necessary, that we may give no offence in any thing that the Ministry be not blamed! May God grant to me His gracious and most needed presence at all Times! And blessed be God for the happy Peace we here enjoy! May it be continued and duely improved by us! Letter from my Son Samuel inviting to his Wedding.
1773 February 5 (Friday). Visited Mrs. Bellows again, being very low and helpless. Discoursed with her, and prayed there. Dined there also. Called at Mr. Samuel Hardys. Returned in safety. D. Glor. Mr. Jonathan Wheeler, Trader, here; drank Tea: is Sociable etc.
1773 February 6 (Saturday). Closely employed in preparations.
1773 February 7 (Sunday). A.M. preached on Hos. 5.14. Delivered my discourse with a great deal of Resolution. I hope I felt what I said. The Lord pardon what was amiss, and Succeed my humble attempts in His Name! P.M. [illegible] on Heb. 12.25. to page 8 (for I Spent my time and pains in Composition on the forenoon Sermon. May the Lord bless this Exercise also and may it prove very awakening to us all. In the Evening repeated the forenoon Discourse, Neither my Wife nor old Mrs. Kelly having been at Meeting.
1773 February 8 (Monday). It was So very Cold I could not go out to visit the Sick. Read in Mr. Loring’s Diary. It throws me into Shame and Confusion. It fills me with Grief of Heart to see how extremely below him I fall. The Lord pardon, quicken, Strengthen and assist me!
1773 February 9 (Tuesday). Visited Mr. Nathan Maynards Wife who is very ill, and in peculiarly distressing Circumstances. Discoursed and prayed with her. At Eve Mr. Bathrick made a Visit here. Mrs. Beeton to see her Mother — her Husband did not come in. I write a Letter to my Son Samuel With regard to his Marriage, Since I conclude not to go to it.
1773 February 10 (Wednesday). Breck goes to Boston designing to attend his Brothers Wedding. May the Lord guard, restrain and conduct him! And let him return in safety. Master Smiths School finished yesterday: so that now Elias is at home. P.M. to my Surprize come Sophy from Ashburnham, accompanyed by a sleigh full from Shrewsbury, viz. her Brother John, Mr. Joseph Stone and his Wife and Wifes sister With Misses Lydia and Lucy Cushing. At Eve the Sleigh returned. Sophy acquaints me with her Sickness at Ashburnham — being taken ill on December 14 of a bilious Fever, in great Extremity of Pain; continued ill that week. Dr. Thaddeus Maccarty of Fitchbourg attended upon her and was Succeeded, by divine Blessing, and was very generous — receiving no pay for his Visits (4 times, 8 miles) nor for his Medicines, except one which was half a Dollar. But chiefly Thanks are due to God her Sovereign Healer! And may She devote her Spared Life to the divine Glory! The Company acquainted me that the aged Col. John Jones of Hopkinton is dead. He was a worthy man, and greatly instrumental to promote the Settlement of that Town, and Support the Cause of God in it. May the Lord Sanctifie this Stroke of His holy Providence to them of that Place; raise up others to maintain and forward the great Interest there, Now almost every one is gone that were at the beginning and founding that Church! And O that God would Sanctifie it to Me who have lived to See so many changes among them that I may be ready also, for the time of my own Departure can’t be far off. He alone can fit me for it.
1773 February 11 (Thursday). Having writ a Letter to Capt. Silas Bailey and Mr. Longley of Bolton, in vindication of the Association etc. Sent it to Mr. Stone that he might See it, because it was of common Concernment to the Ministers. At Eve received a Letter from him of Approbation and Concurrence in it. But having heard of proposals etc. and of a Meeting they were to have for a Tryal to accommodate, I wrote another Letter to those Gentlemen which might Supersede that first Letter, and would Send it as Soon as may be. My dear son Samuel, I suppose, is marryed this Eve to Miss Sally Shaw, at Boston. Though I have not thought it best to attend the Solemnity, yet do Seriously committ the important Affair to God and earnestly pray He may be graciously among them, Sanctify them, Pardon them, and make them great Blessings mutually! O may they be Espoused to Christ as to one Husband, and live together, as Heirs together of the Grace of Life! May divine Blessings be on the Family with which my Son is connected, and the whole Company that may be together in that Celebration of those Nuptials!
1773 February 12 (Friday). Much engaged in my Study.
1773 February 13 (Saturday). Nigh night came Daniel Chamberlin to desire me to go to [Mrs. Bellows?] But it was So exceeding Cold, I could not think it my Duty to go at so extreme a season; and just before the Sabbath; as She was not able to converse, and I could not return this Evening against the Sharp wind, not could lodged there: But I had no Horse, and what the young man rode was a Colt which I could not venture to ride.
1773 February 14 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on Hos. 5.15, which may God bless to all of us! Am informed Mrs. Bellows dyed last night. Cousen Anne Davis dined here. P.M. delivered the other part of my Discourse on Heb. 12.25. And pray it may be to our awakening and edification. At Eve read a portion of Mr. Mitchel’s excellent sermon on the Glorys of Heaven. I hear that the Meazles have broke out among us. The Lord help us to prepare to Meet Him in the Way of His Judgments!
1773 February 15 (Monday). Visit and pray with Mrs. Lucy Maynard. Town meeting to see whether they will Sell the Pews that may be made in enlarging the Meeting House. Squire Whipple here. Mr. Richard Martyn and his wife came and drank Tea with us. At Eve Mr. Belknap and Mr. Daniel Forbes have long Debate about Mr. Hutchinsons Dismission.
1773 February 16 (Tuesday). Attend the Funeral of Mrs. Mary Bellows wife of Mr. Ithamar Bellows — aged 62 last Sept. — has lain ill 13 weeks. The Lord graciously Sanctify this Death to Me, to her Husband and Children. N.B. To day first Saw what this Town Sent to Boston Committee of Correspondence.
1773 February 17 (Wednesday). Read Mr. Lorings Diary — which fills me with Shame and Grief.
1773 February 18 (Thursday). Rode in the Sleigh, and Breck with me, to Mr. Gale’s — and thence to Southborough. Dined with Mrs. Stone. Mr. Stone is gone to Boston. In returning, was at Mr. William Brighams, and at his Brother Edmunds. This Evening Capt. Benjamin Fay made me a visit and brought me several presents. Tokens of Reconcilement. Thanks to God!
1773 February 19 (Friday). Jonathan Maynard (Son of Mr. Ebenezer Maynard) was here and is willing to live with me Six Months for 80£ old Tenor — 8 Months for 95£ of like money — 12 Months for 50 Dollars — but expects to have his Mending, and liberty to go to Lecture without making up the time; also to have my Horse, if he wants to ride a mile or two in an Evening a few times. N.B. I had Sent by Mr. Daniel Willard to Joshua Willard of Grafton; and therefore can’t Settle the Agreement till I hear from and have done with him. Jonathan engages not to let himself to any body else, till he hears from me. Hear that Mr. James Wilson of Hopkinton lately dyed suddenly. O that I might be always ready for my own Decease!
Not in Hopkinton Vital Records.
1773 February 20 (Saturday). Capt. Brooks of Grafton here — tells me Joshua Willard is engaged. At Eve came Mr. Hezekiah Taylor to preach for me. Lodged here.
1773 February 21 (Sunday). Mr. Taylor preached for me a. and p.m. on 2 Cor. 5.20 last Clause. “We pray you in Christs Stead, be ye reconciled to God.” May we especially that preach the Word of reconcilement See that it have success with us our selves. May these great Truths have power and Effect with all the Hearers! Mr. Taylor left us at Eve, after Repetition and prayer. N.B. It was one of the Coldest, and most tedious Days that ever comes; yet there was a tolerable Assembly. However, Some Ears were touched by the Frost, and all got home, no doubt with great Difficulty. Might we be always willing to undergo some disadvantages of the weather that we may obtain the far greater advantage and Happiness of Communion with God!
1772 February 22 (Monday). The Vendue of the additional Pews. Breck buys one, viz. a floor pew including part of 3 hindmost of the mens Seats, and next the great Isle, for 90£ old Tenor. Capt. Benjamin Fay the Opposite, which costs him 113£. N.B. Capt. Jonas Brigham is in great Displeasure at Breck buying that pew, which must not only join to but take in some part of his present pew. Complains that he is wronged, because when the Towns committee brought in their Judgment concerning the Space which is taken out of Capt. Brighams Pew to make another pew before it (and their judgment was that the Town Should pay him 3 Dollars for that Room, or if he chose the Pew which would be built before it, then he should Pay 3 Dollars), he complyed with this last, and offered his 3 Dollars yet the Town would not accept the Committees Report, but Sold the pew he wanted. At Eve I understood that all the Pews are sold.
1773 February 23 (Tuesday). I rode in my Sleigh to Grafton. Breck and Hannah went with me. We dined at Mr. Hezekiah Taylors, and his Son (from Wrentham whither he has been Since he went from us) met us there. Thence I went to visit old Mr. Prentice (which was my principal Design in going), he being far gone in a Dropsy. Found him pleasant, and his wife also Sociable. She Speaks of her Husband under the name of Brother Solomon. She gave me Some Account of the wonderful Change in her Body — her Sanctification — that God had shewn to her His mind and Will — She was taught henceforth to know no man after the Flesh — that She had not for above 20 Years — not so much as Shook Hands with any Man etc. There came in Mr. Benjamin Leland and Mr. Samuel Cooper, whom She called Brother Benjamin, and Brother Samuel — etc. I could not know much about Mr. Prentice as to his spiritual state. N.B. Nothing was Said about prayer. I took leave, and went to Mr. Hutchinsons where was Mr. Bowman of Oxford. Thence to Mr. Andrew Adams’s where the Present Preacher, Mr. Isaac Biglow boards. In returning home called at Mr. Nathaniel Whitneys junior. Arrived in safety. D.G.
1773 February 24 (Wednesday). Breck rides to Providence to promote Trade there. Sophy chiefly tends his Shop. N.B. One Mr. [blank] Kimbal of Fitchbourg with Several Teams, loaded with Lumber, came here last Evening. He lodged here last Night. I wrote by him to Dr. Maccarty. Mr. Nathan Maynards wife has been delivered of a dead child. I visited and prayed with her. Exhorted the Children etc. at her Desire.
1773 February 25 (Thursday). [No entry.]
1773 February 26 (Friday). Mr. Bass, his Wife and Child here. This is their first Visit. Rev. Josiah Thatcher returning to Gorham, calls here. Breck returns.
1773 February 27 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1772 February 28 (Sunday). Preached on Deut. 32.46. The Lord grant his Blessing! For Christ’s sake. P.M. On Consideration of the Town Meeting tomorrow to choose Town Officers, and the irreverence and customariness, of many, as may be feared, in taking their Oaths, I preached on Heb. 6.16, repeating in part what I formerly delivered on this Text, and on the Same Occasion. May God be pleased to Succeed it! N.B. Cousen Maynard dined here. Repeated the forenoon Sermon at Evening to my Family; and O that God would help me thus to finish this Month with this very Setting of my Heart and commanding my Children to observe and do All the Words of His Law!