December 1, 1773

1773 December 1 (Wednesday).  Mr. Whitney and his Brother Lambert came to See me (Mrs. P________ was gone to visit Mr. Hannaniah Parkers Wife).  Mr. Whitney informs me that Mr. Smith of Marlborough had on Monday a fit of numb Palsey.  The Lord pity and relieve him — and prepare for His Sovereign Will!  He (Mr. Whitney) acquaints me with a shocking Rumour about the President, which is incredible!  That he has gone away — was Seen at Westminster etc. etc.

December 2, 1773

1773 December 2 (Thursday).  Catechized at the Grout-School House, and though it rained, had 30 Children.  Went in to See Old Mrs. Grout, who was poorly.  I was generously entertained there.  Mrs. Mary Bradish came to see me and lodges here.  So did Mr. Benjamin Webb, who this day finished his School and his boarding at Mr. Whipples, and now makes me a visit.  He prayed in the Family at night.

December 4, 1773

1773 December 4 (Saturday).  Mr. Mellen of Chauxit calls here.  He confirms the Shocking Story of President Locks awful Fall!  O how lamentable this Dispensation of divine Providence!  How unsearchable are Gods Judgments!  May I suitably improve this [tremendous?] Tryal!  Thanks to God for His restraining Grace to me!  And let him that thinks he Stands take heed lest he fall.  Breck returned — and Hannah with him.

December 5, 1773

1773 December 5 (Sunday).  Omitted public Reading.  Preached a.m. on 2 Chr. 6.18 on Occasion of the So far compleating the enlargement and beautifying the Meeting House.  Ruth Bellows (who is published to Daniel Godfrey) dined here.  P.M. Delivered the Application of my Discourse on Rev. 3.3, former part.  May the Lord set it home upon our Hearts and render it profitable!

December 7, 1773

1773 December 7 (Tuesday).  Wrote to Rev. Rawson at Hadlyme, via Boston, to the Care of Mr. Gamaliel Rogers.  N.B. have sent a Letter to Mr. Adams of Roxbury to certifie me about Dr. Locke’s Case.  Wrote it in Latin.  P.M. Preached at Deacon Bonds on Ps. 119.126 to p. 18.  May divine Blessing be added!  My Daughter Hannah went with me.  An handsome entertainment followed.  At Eve came Mr. John Messenger of Wrentham and with him Capt. Samuel Cowell.  Mr. Wheelock conducted them here.  They lodged with us.  They confirm the Sad Story of Dr. Locke.

December 8, 1773

1773 December 8 (Wednesday).  Those Gentlemen left us.  Nehemiah Maynard comes to acquaint Jonathan with his Mothers Death.  An awful sudden, Sorrowful Bereavement!  May God be very gracious to my dear Neighbour to Support and direct him, and take Care of the numerous Company of little ones!  The last, but about six Weeks old.  A Letter from Mr. Adams of Roxbury lamenting the State of the College and of Mr. Locke.  Another from Master Waters of Dartmouth College.  In returning I have Talk with Mr. [Joseph Kean?] [illegible] at Neighbour Nurse’s.

December 12, 1773

1773 December 12 (Sunday).  Preach on 2 Chron. 6.18.  Happy Shall we be if we rightly improve it.  I beg divine Concurrence by His Spirit and Grace!  N.B. Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s Wife, from Annapolis, dined here.  P.M. I thought it best to follow the forenoon Discourse with repeating the first Sermon on Ps. 51.11.  I could not prepare a new one.  May both I my Self and the people profit savingly hereby!

December 15, 1773

1773 December 15 (Wednesday).  P.M. Ripley and Eaton from College, and going home as Invalids, came this way.  Drink Tea etc.  They inform me that President Lock having resigned his Office, removed to Sherburn yesterday [illegible] Sennight — that there is great stir at Boston against Landing the East India Company’s Tea etc.  They pursue their Journey before night.  Sent by Ripley to Mr. Stephen Salsbury, Huntingtons Sermons.[1]  At Eve agreed with Jonathan to stay a month longer at the rate of 7£ 10/, but upon some Conditions, viz. he must go away if there should come Sledding or if John Parkman comes home.

[1]Probably John Huntington (1736-1766), Sermons on Important Subjects (Boston, 1767).  Evans 10,655.

December 19, 1773

1773 December 19 (Sunday).  Preach a.m. on Ps. 51.11.  At noon Mr. Gale informed that one Mr. (Elias) Jones, a Preacher, was at Meeting.  I invited him home.  He dines with me.  The way was not clear him to preach, having no Credentials.  I went on p.m. my Self with the Same subject, though I had made some preparations on another Text but had not writ the whole of what I designed to deliver; and therefore laid it aside.  Mr. Jones lodges here.

December 20, 1773

1773 December 20 (Monday).  Mr. Jones goes on his Journey.  He is going to Jersey College, though at this, as it now proves, rigorous Season.  Elias goes to Mr. Whipples Mill with a Team loaded with Salt to be ground; 25 Bushel; for his Brother Breck.  N.B. Breck and a Number more meet at Lt. Bakers in order to Unite in Society to collect a Library of useful Books.  Read in Court-Miscellany the Lives of Dr. Sydenham, Rev. Laurence Sterne (Author of Tristram Shandy etc.).  I read also a Number of other Pieces.

December 21, 1773

1773 December 21 (Tuesday).  Jonathan Maynard goes to his Aunts Funeral, viz. Mrs. Abihail’s, the Wife of his uncle Jotham, a woman for whom I had great Regard; She was Daughter of Mr. Ephraim Allen, and was our Maid for Sometime; She bore me and mine much respect, and ever glad to entertain us.  She dyed of a Consumption last Saturday.  As She was a serious, religious Woman, I hope she is gone to eternal Rest and Glory.  O that I might be ready to follow!  Mr. Isaac Johnson of Southborough came with a Message from Mr. Stone requesting me to assist in a Fast tomorrow at the House of Mr. Jacob Gibs on the South of Southborough on Occasion of a great Mortality by the Throat Distemper.  The Said Gibs having buryed four of his Children within a little while; a fifth ill and like to die.  Sundry others of that Neighbourhood have also lost Children and the Distemper more than ordinarily Mortal.  May the Lord Sanctifie this awful Visitation — Stay His Hand and in the middst of wrath remember Mercy!  O that God would please to direct and assist me and others in the Solemn Work before us!

December 22, 1773

1773 December 22 (Wednesday).  Rose early and rode to Mr. Jacob Gibs’s.  I found it an House of great Distress.  Another Child, a Daughter in her 14th year, dyed this morning; and a Sixth is taken ill, and is grown bad in the manner of the rest.  Mr. Stone and Mr. Fitch, after a while came, and we went through the Exercises.  Mr. Fitch began with prayer.  Mr. Stone preached a seasonable, useful sermon on Lam. 3.39, “Why doth the living Man complain” etc.?  I prayed afternoon and stood between the living and the Dead to plead etc.  I preached on 2 Sam. 24.14.15.  O that God would hear and answer.  We were entertained after Exercises at Mr. Bemis’s, who was one of the Sufferers.  None that have been taken by the Distemper in the Neighbourhood, have lived.  In returning at Eve, called at Several of my Westborough Neighbours — Chamberlin, Bellows’s etc.

December 25, 1773

1773 December 25 (Saturday).  I desire to give most hearty praise and Thanks to God for the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Great and only Saviour, though I don’t know that this was the Day: nor do we publickly Solemnize it as Such.  Wrote to Mr. Cornelius Waters of Dartmouth College, in Answer to his concerning Cagnawaga and the Rices.  Committ it to the Care of Mr. Ebenezer Waters of Sutton.

December 28, 1773

1773 December 28 (Tuesday).  It was a great Storm of Snow and a Cold, tedious time.  Mr. Belknap had Sent to me yesterday desiring me to attend the Burial to day; but I could not go out in so severe weather, and so far.  Sent word to them that I could not venture, and prayed them to defer the Solemnity — but yet they came, the women almost suffering.  They came in here, of necessity, to warm etc.

December 31, 1773

1773 December 31 (Friday).  This Last Day of the Year am disposed to improve religiously for Humiliation, Supplication and for these Purposes in Recollections, Abstinence and Mortification.  The Lord pardon the many Sins of the past Year, for the sake of Jesus Christ!  And grant me the due Qualifications herefor; Repentence, Faith etc.  Mr. Seth Rice junior here on Account of the Letters concerning his uncles etc. in Canada.  Mrs. Kenny (wife of Nathan) here to be examined.  She was so, and approved.  Several other women visiting here.  My Daughters, Sophy and Hannah, being invited to dine at Mr. Edmund Brighams, they are gone down there, and visit at Gales.  At Eve John P________ came from Mr. Watsons at Oxford: has done living there: brings me a Letter from Mr. Bowman, concerning the Transactions of another Council at Somers, and Mr. Eli and his Brethrens Renunciations and his Dismission.  Thus Closes the Year.  O may I be prepared for the awful Time, when my Life Shall Close!