1773 September 1 (Wednesday). My Wife is Still worse; the Doctor visits her. Hannah is, through divine Compassion, better. So is Elias; but does very little at his Books. At Eve hear that the Council have installed Mr. Walley.
1773 September 2 (Thursday). In the Morning came my grand Daughter Molly Forbes and Miss Hannah Coffin, accompanyed by Ripley of College. After breakfast They Sat out for Brookfield. P.M. Mr. Fish called here in his Return from Bolton. He Said he came in to See Mrs. P________________ in her illness, or he should hardly come in. He would fain Say nothing of what he had been about; but I was not able to forbear charging him and them that had done this Deed, with unparallelled, astonishing Temerity. He said they had sent an Account to the press. He inveighed against the Convention, and charged them with either a Spirit of Divination or Lying — namely (for I handed the Book) in p. 19, l. 17, “But it is certain that they neither of them — he wildly interprets the them of those one or two Churches — whereas it most Evidently means the nearer and expressed Antecedents, those Venerable Gentlemen. He also condemns the Book as Clandestinely and obscurely done, because not Signed by any Moderator or Scribe. In the Eve came Mr. Daniel Forbes and Mr. Joseph Harrington to talk with me about the Doings at Bolton and know my Opinion. Mr. Forbes Said he Supposed that We must immediately have to do with them. I told them I conceived they had gone directly contrary to the Platform: but we must wait and see how the Effects would appear. They Seemed to think there must be something done among us Soon. I answered that the Apostles Direction must be taken to “Study to be quiet, and to do our own Business.” It would be an Odd thing for us to be so fond of meddling with Bolton Quarrell, and Set ourselves all in a Blaze, while we ourselves lived in Such criminal Neglect of Church Discipline towards one of our own Members, who was So grossly guilty, and yet was let alone from one year to another — etc. etc. etc. N.B. Received a Letter from Mr. Cushing that they were well — that he had found a Boy in his Parish that might Suit me. Sent to Boston a Packet for Mr. Moore, containing a Letter, and a Book, viz. Mr. Zebulon Adams’s Answer to the Neighbour.
1773 September 3 (Friday). Mr. Isaac Haven of Framingham dined here. P.M. Lt. Rufus Putnam and his Wife here. Relates to me Remarkables of his Tour to Messasippi.
1773 September 4 (Saturday). Ripley returning to Cambridge breaks fast here. Young Roger Brown dines. Alexander and his Wife are returning home, after going to Framingham and Concord. They come here to take Dinner.
1773 September 5 (Sunday). In the morning came Capt. Samuel Wilder of Ashburnham being upon a sorrowful urgent Journey to Providence to see his Brother Nahum who lies Sick there: in a Relapse after the Small Pox. Mr. Levi and his Sister Sally went over Yesterday. May God graciously appear for the poor young man, and prepare him and his dear Relatives for His holy will! Read Amos VI and gave an Exercise (too broken and imperfect, alas!) for the a.m. service, from it. Mrs. P______________ could not go to Meeting. P.M. Read Ps. XCV. Made v. 8, first Comma, the Text, and delivered the greatest part of the Improvement of Sermon on Isa. VI.9.10 from p. 48 to the End. I most earnestly and importunately beg of God to awaken all of us, and teach us to profit by the word dispensed. Obtained Dismission for Mrs. Persis Putnam, heretofore Persis Rice, now Putnam. Appointed the Family Meeting to be at Mr. Joseph Grouts next Tuesday, at 2 p.m.
1773 September 6 (Monday). Mr. Bradshaw goes to Boston — breakfasts here. Mr. War [illegible] Cadaman of Oxford, merchant, brought a Letter from Reverend Mr. Bowman, asking Advice concerning Mr. Ely’s Ordination at Sommers. Mr. Cadaman, also Mr. Bradshaw from Grafton, for Boston, at Breakfast here. Hear that Mr. Joseph Warrin of Brookfield dyed yesterday morning. He was but lately at his Father’s, Mr. Timothy Warrins. A Solemn Warning!
1773 September 7 (Tuesday). Mr. Hall of Sutton and his son Joseph dined here. I preached p.m. at Mr. Joseph Grouts because of his Son Josephs languishment, on Isa. 54.13 to page 9 and the addition of the Exhortation in p. 19: which may God graciously bless! At Eve came Capt. Wilder, his Brother and Sister from Providence, who have been burying their poor Brother Nahum in the very glory of Life. O how great a Change! How awful the Thought! May God Sanctifie this Dispensation to all nearly concerned especially! To Young Men.
1773 September 8 (Wednesday). Breck goes to Worcester. Hath sued two Men. But not [till — illegible]. Mr. Jonathan Child dined here. N.B. Hannah Forbush junior (Daughter of Mr. Ebenezer) came to work in the Family. Mrs. P______________ remaining poorly Still, and my Daughter Hannah not firm. Sophy is at Brecks Shop. N.B. have received a Book I have long desired, viz. “Remarkable Passages in the Life of a Private Gentleman.”
1773 September 9 (Thursday). Lieut. Ward of Grafton here; and was Smooth. Sermonizing. I am So near to compleating my 70th year, that I have my Thoughts running Chiefly upon the words in Ps. 90.10.
1773 September 10 (Friday). Next Lords Day, if I shall live to it, will be the last sabbath of my 70th Year. My Mind is very closely exercised hereupon. May the Lord help me in preparing for it! Both my Sermons, and the Frame of my Spirit. Sophy droops.
1773 September 11 (Saturday). Mr. Samuel Salsbury of Boston, Merchant, at Breakfast here. P.M. whilst I was much engaged in my preparations for the Sabbath, especially as it will be a peculiar Sabbath to me, came Mr. P. Whitney, desiring we might Change tomorrow. I have no way to avoid it: but must keep my preparations to another Week. He informs me of his Necessity, and I could not deny. He has been at the Court at Worcester to hear the Tryal of Mr. Goss’s Case, who has obtained, against the Town of Bolton, but the latter have appealed.
1773 September 12 (Sunday). Through the great Goodness and Astonishing Long Suffering of God I am favoured with this morning! It was rainy, and I thought I Should Stay at home, but towards nine o’Clock Mr. Whitney came. I rode over, and preached at Northborough a. and p.m. on Isa. 6.9.10 to page 32. I Baptized Samuel, Son of John and [blank] Gamwell, the woman being a member of the Church. After Exercises called to See the Widows Martyn in my way back; and drank Tea there: and went in also to see Capt. Maynard, who has been confined for Some days. My Care has been to keep this Sabbath, the Last Sabbath of 70 Years! as not knowing but it may be the last I shall ever have. But alas have brokenly and imperfectly! Each returned at Evening. Mr. Whitney preached on Rom. 6.23 a. and p.m. May the Lord add His Efficacious Blessing to each!
1773 September 13 (Monday). Visit at Mr. Springs, his Mother Whitmore being come to see her Daughter. My Daughter Sophy is laid by with sickness. Was much engaged in reading Mr. Lorings Diary etc. etc. At Eve came Mr. Water [s?] who has been for about a Week keeping School at the South school-House. He speaks much of the flourishing State of Dartmouth College.
1773 September 14 (Tuesday). Visit Lt. Harrington who is Lame. Visit old Mrs. Grow who is exercised with fainting Fitts, falls, and is greatly bruised. Prayed with her and Mrs. Steward etc. Discoursed, exhorted — and returned to dine at Lt. Harringtons. Discoursed with him and urged — prayed with him and his Family. In returning call at Mr. Joseph Harringtons. He shews himself greatly dissatisfyed with me about Bolton Matters. Mentions two things, viz. my Signing with the Association against those Brethren who were against Mr. Goss, and forbidding the two young women (Miss Suse and Miss Persis Baker) whereas I kindly besought them as to their coming to the Communion with us. I answered him with regard to both of them. But he plainly told me what I Said did not satisfy him a Jot. He lent me the second Treatise of Neighbour. May the Lord sanctifie to me this Trouble, and grant me Grace to improve it! Prepare me for what is before me and conduct me through it! When I came home, Mrs. Esther Belknap (wife of Joseph) was here and examined.
1773 September 15 (Wednesday). Employed chiefly in preparing for, and suitably improving this important Season, viz. Closing my 70th and beginning my 71st Year.
1773 September 16 (Thursday). Dies Separat. Devot. Gratul. Humill. and prec. [quiby?] addit. Jejun. At Eve came Rev. Mr. William Gordon and Lady from New Haven, in their Journey home to Roxbury; and lodge here. Old Mrs. Kelly goes to Capt. Maynards.
1773 September 17 (Friday). Mr. Gordon informs me that Mr. Ely of Sommers is very much rejected by the ministers, and that it is not likely the Council will meet, or if they do, will accept of Him. He heard so much of it among the Ministers at Commencement (and especially mentioned President Doggett) that he believes there will not be ordination. They go on their Journey home. Mr. Bass here a.m. Discourse of the late Pamphlets published about Church Government and Seems not to like the proceedings at Bolton. Joseph Belknap was here and was examined in order to joining with the Church. Finish a Letter to Mr. Bowman of Oxford (at his Request) concerning Mr. Ely’s Ordination at Somers.
Bass may have been referring to John Wise (1652-1725), The Churches Quarrel Espoused: Or, a Reply in Satyre to Certain Proposals Made, in Answer to This Question, What Further Steops 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).
1773 September 18 (Saturday). Sent it by Samuel Campbel (son of Squire).
1773 September 19 (Sunday). My Mind has been, through the Grace of God, exceedingly engaged and wrought on, considering my advancement in Age. And now desire most unfeignedly and with all my best Powers, to bless the Lord that I am permitted to see the Light of this Morning, and to begin another Year of Sabbaths! O that I might Spend this, and every one I may be indulged with, in the best manner! I hope my Soul is Set in this. Read publickly the XCth Psalm. Preached a. and p.m. on v. 10. P.M. Read Ps. CXLV. I bless God I have Some lively Sense of my Situation in Life: but wish it was more impressive and effectual. May God graciously afford His almighty influences!
1773 September 20 (Monday). Went to Lt. Bakers. Borrowed the Letter which was Sent him some time agoe from Capt. Silas Bailey and Mr. James Goddard of Bolton. P.M. Mrs. Whitmore (Mrs. Springs mother) made us a Visit. Mr. Joshua Johnson of Bolton was here with another Message from Mr. Goss praying that I would not fail to go to Worcester tomorrow, inasmuch as the Lawyers of the Opposite Party would oblige him to prove his Ordination, the Churches Choice and his Acceptance; and ‘tis Said I was Clerk or Scribe at that time.
1773 September 21 (Tuesday). Had Mr. Haskills Chaise and Deacon Woods Horse to go up to Worcester with Elias who is Summoned to Court, to give Evidence in Ensign Fay’s Case against Mr. Manasseh Smith. I went to Court and heard the Chief Justice’s Charge to the Grand Jury. Mr. Maccarty prayed. I dined with him. Elias with Ensign Fay. P.M. at Mr. Samuel Bridge’s. Also visit Mr. Richard Pratt, who took Care of my Horse and Chaise, and kindly invites to Lodge etc. Elias goes there, lodges. I at Mr. Maccarty’s.
1773 September 22 (Wednesday). Neither of the Causes, neither Fays, nor Bolton people’s against Mr. Goss, being at all likely to come on, We rode up to Leicester, to my Son Alexander. Dined there. At Eve came there Messrs. Eli and Abel Con [i?] t, my Daughters Uncles and lodge there, as we also did. N.B. Mr. Conklin called in, discoursed of the Somers Affair.
1773 September 23 (Thursday). We returned to Worcester. Was at Mr. Maccartys. Dined at Mr. Bridge’s, with young Mr. Hutchinson, the school Master. P.M. at Mr. [Pains?] where was Coll. Worthington, who informs me Mr. Breck is just upon his marriage with Mrs. Dor of Hartford. I was at Mr. Putnams, Dr. Willards, at Judge Chandlers. The Cause between Ensign Fay and Master Smith was tryed. Elias was not Sworn. I attended part of the Time. After Court at Eve retired to Mr. Maccartys — had a faint turn, while I was there, and at the Smelling of the Supper — but through divine Favour recovered, and at length Eat of the Food prepared. May it be a memento to me! Lodged at the Same Place.
1773 September 24 (Friday). Understood that the Jury brought in their Verdict for Mr. Smith, upon which I prepared to return home. Mr. Goss informs me that his Cause will be deferred to next April. Called at Capt. Curtis’s: and at Mr. Sumners. Arrived in Safety at my own House. The Praise to God! At Eve came Mr. Marsh, Tutor from Weathersfield where he has a Call: and lodges here.
1773 September 25 (Saturday). Mr. Marsh goes to Cambridge. Mr. Hutchinson going to Concord, dines here. Mr. Nathan Townsend is examined in order to his joining with the Church. Every Day of the Week I have, unhappily, Avocations.
1773 September 26 (Sunday). Have made some Preparations but could not compleat them, and therefore was obliged to have recourse to what I formerly delivered: and therein I had what with Some Alterations and Additions were exceeding pertinent to what was preached last Lord’s Day — and very fit to follow upon those Exercises. Therefore having read Amos 7, and given some expository Glances upon it, I preached on Ps. XC, v. 12, “So teach us” etc. And which may a gracious God be pleased to accompany with His Almighty Spirit! Mr. Cornelius Waters dined with us. P.M. Read Ps. 142 and 143 and went on with the Discourse on Ps. 90.12 to page 15. I earnestly request I may my Self in a peculiar manner be savingly benefitted hereby, as well as my Hearers! Nathan Townsend and his Wife were propounded. I bless God the Hearts of Such a Number of my People have been of late so much wrought on. May they all be truely Sincere and upright, and walk accordingly! At Night came John from Providence — from Wrentham to Day, and not well. I had sent him my Horse by Mr. Dupec.
1773 September 27 (Monday). John is poorly and can’t go to Oxford as expected. Mr. Lorings Diary. A Town Meeting, to See if the Town would not consent to Some Alterations to be made in the Situation of the Pews proposed to be built before the foreseats below, and to take away the great Pew that is next to the Pulpit before, and above the Deacons Seat. Also to dispose of Pew-places, at the Wall, in the Galleries. The former of these things the Town did nothing of: the latter was accomplished. They were sold at Capt. Woods at Night. Henry Barns Esq. here.
1773 September 28 (Tuesday). In the Morning my son Alexander came with my Speckled Cow, and 2 quarters and head and [Ploock?] of the Calf. But Alexander not well: worried with driving the Cow in the Night. P.M. He and John go away together, one to Leicester; the other to Oxford to work at Mr. William Watson’s. O that God might be the Guardian of them both! Mr. Hall of Sutton here, and dines. He is again going to Boston. He gives me some Account of his Conduct at the Association last week at Mr. Chaplins: when he prayed before the sermon, and Mr. Walley after. Master Waters at Eve — supps and lodges here.
1773 September 29 (Wednesday). Mr. Morse Treasurer pay £34.15.8 and has a Receipt for it. Rode to Shrewsbury, to an Association Lecture. Mr. Bowman prayed. Mr. Curtis of [Charlton?] preached a profitable sermon on Ps. 149.9. Mr. Conklin prayed after sermon. May God grant His Blessing! Dined at Mr. Sumners. Mr. Nathan Goddard was approbated as Schoolmaster. Mr. Sumner, Mr. Whitney and I signed the Certificate. Memorandum. The Lord was pleased to remember His people, in a Time of distressing Drought and sent a Plentiful Rain. Praise to His glorious Name! Supped at Mr. Sumners, but lodged at sister Cushings, and Mr. Davis of Holden with me.
1773 September 30 (Thursday). Though rainy and stormy yet I returned home, and dined here. P.M. Reading and studys various. But how Swift my Time flys! Another Month gone! Lord make me know etc.!