January 1, 1774

1774 January 1 (Saturday).  How could I have imagined that So poor, weakly, and especially that So Sinful and unworthy a Creature would be Spared to this Day!  That I am indulged with another New-Year’s Day Still! The divine Compassions, the divine Faithfulness and Truth do never fail. I desire with all my Heart, with all my Powers, to bless and praise His glorious Name.  I endeavored to present Thanksgivings to God most gracious and merciful for His Goodness throughout my Life, a Life so wonderfully protracted! For the Favours of the Year past in Special. That there is so abundant Reason to bless that to such old Age I enjoy Such Health of Body, free use of my Limbs; though many Years ago I was very Subject to the Rheumatism, yet now have Ease, except Sometimes the Cramps ‘o Nights, and once in a while a Spasmatick turn of Pain, which has been very excruciating, but through the infinite Goodness of God is not lasting.  I bless God for Relative Favour for His Goodness in restoring Mrs. P________ from sickness — and reviving to Such a Degree, my Daughter Baldwin; delivering and recovering my Daughter Cushing, when she bore a Second Son.  And for public — What an invaluable Favour  of our most gracious God that no less than 15 have been added to the Church this Year!  And Thanks are due that the people have been so Succeeded in enlarging, repairing and decorating the place of public Worship.  That we enjoy So many of our invaluable Rights and Libertys, Civil and Religious, notwithstanding the Grievances we are under, and it is a Day of awful Frown of God upon us for our great Sins against Him.  Spent the Day in other Acts of Religion as I could consistent with my Duty in my Circumstances, and of preparing for the Sabbath which I turned into this Channel. Read Bennets Christian Oratory on Thanksgiving, renewed my Covenant with God imploring forgiveness of all my Sins, especially of the last year — by prayer committed my Self and all mine, all the accidents and Changes before me, whether I live a longer or shorter time, to an infinitely kind, faithful God.  But O that I might be more deeply affected with the Shortness of my Time. Ah! How extreme Short, and how uncertain! O that God would please, of His infinite Mercy, to enable me to prepare for the awful Hour, which approches apace! That Death may not terrifie, but be welcome and joyfull to me!  Jonathan Maynard having lived with me Eight months, and according to another Agreement after the first was out, left me this Morning; (having paid him upward of Sixty Pounds old Tenor).  Mr. Nathan Kenny here to desire me to defer propounding his Wife, as he had thoughts to come in a little time himself.  At Evening came my son William and brought with him his own little son; to our Joy.

January 2, 1774

1774 January 2 (Sunday).  Bless God we may begin the Sabbaths of the Year.  Preached on Ps., the Application.  P.M. on Isa. 63.7.  Which O that God would please to fasten upon us!  N.B. Prayers desired for Thomas Whipple of New Braintree (if yet alive), under a terrible Fever.  His Father and Mother, Brother etc. gone up, Some yesterday, Some to Day.  May the Lord appear for his Help!

January 4, 1774

1774 January 4 (Tuesday).  William and his little Billy return to Concord.  P.M. I preached at Mr. Daniel Hardys on Ps. 119.126 to page [blank].  On God alone may we depend for a Blessing: O that He would please to add it!  N.B. At Eve Mr. Beeton and his wife are here to See Mrs. Kelly, and they inform that at the Vendue of Miss Mary Bradish’s House yesterday at Deacon Woods, there was one Mr. Jones, who goes about as a Vagrant, Sings, makes Verses and is sometime Crazy — that this Man is expected to preach tomorrow at Mr. Beetons House.  But I represented the sin and folly of it, and forbid it.

January 5, 1774

1774 January 5 (Wednesday).  Mr. Beeton last Evening acquainted me that Deacon Wood warned the meeting at his (Beetons) House, for Mr. Jones to preach.  I Sent for the Deacon, who came, and told me what he had said about this Jones’s preaching and endeavored to clear himself of any warning of a Meeting, but yet Seemed to Shew a Disposition to go and hear him if he did preach — nay and asked if I would not go too?  I answered with warmth, and Shewed him the utter impropriety of it, and that it would be to his great Dishonor if he Should so Countenance what would be So imprudent, disparaging to the holy Ordinance of Preaching — that it would be a lifting up the Soul to vanity, etc. — and I must depend upon his wisdom and steddiness to Conduct suitably in the Affair.  But what he will do I know not. We reckoned and he gave me a Note of Hand for what he owes me, Except an Error in the casting up. May the Lord grant me wisdom and steddiness at this peculiar Juncture among my Flock and Save them from Evil!

January 6, 1774

1774 January 6 (Thursday).  I hear that Mr. Jones aforesaid preached at Mr. Beetons last Evening, and that though it was very Stormy, a great many assembled there: that Deacon Wood was there, and read the Psalm, that Mr. Edwards Whipple sat the Psalm.  But I am at my own Business. Mr. Benjamin Webb came from Deacon Woods hither and acquainted me that Mr. Jones was there.

January 9, 1774

1774 January 9 (Sunday).  I had prepared to preach on Ps. 92.12 a.m. but thought it would be best to wave that for this time.  I repeated with Alterations both a. and p.m. Sermons on Joh. 1.12. Mr. Jones at meeting. One Town of Oxford dined here.  After Exercises Mr. Joseph Harrington came in here.  Said he was going to Mr. Timothy Warrins to hear Mr. Jones: I let him know that I could not approve of it, Since he was a stranger, had never let me know what he was, had not come to me, and that it was very disorderly for him to thrust himself in thus; and that it was very improper for him who was in covenant with me, to countenance Such irregular proceedings, and which were of Dangerous Tendency, by going to hear him.  But he went that way notwithstanding as I understand many more did at Evening though a Cold season.

January 11, 1774

1774 January 11 (Tuesday).  Write Several Letters: particularly to Mr. Daniel McAllister: his Dismission with his Wife’s, to the Society of Myrifield (as he writes it), and at his Desire a Copy of our Church Covenant.  I inclosed them in a Letter to Rev. Jones of Western, requesting Some Account this Mr. Isaac Jones, who preaches to my Neighbours.  Read part of Dr. Watts of the Glorys of Christ.  At Eve Breck and John ride in the sleigh to Shrewsbury, and return..

January 12, 1774

1774 January 12 (Wednesday).  An exceeding Cold Season, yet my Son John is at the ministerial Lot cutting wood and sledding from thence.  This Day, as I Suppose, Mr. John Marsh is ordained at Weathersfield.  May his Soul be suitably apprehensive of the weight of the Solemn Charge, and May God most gracious Support him under it; help him in fulfilling, and in finally giving up his Account to God the Judge!

January 23, 1774

1774 January 23 (Sunday).  Extream Cold. Could have but Short Exercises.  A.M. on Ps. 92.12. P.M. on Joh. 1.12. N.B. Took Notice in Prayer, of the Death of Rev. Mr. Thomas Balch of Dedham, Aet. 63.  O that this, and every Instance of Mortality might be awakening and quickening to Me!  Miss Bradish dines here.  N.B. Prayers desired by Mr. Hez. Taylor, who is sick of a Fever, at Mr. Jonathan Grouts.

January 26, 1774

1774 January 26 (Wednesday).  Breck, John,  and Hannah ride in the Sleigh, to Boston.  Breck has got Mr. Joseph Bond to go to the Ministerial Lot, breaking the way from Mr. Beetons, and Sledding a Load.  Elias with my Oxen were there also.  Mr. Jacob Snow, in Company with a Young man and two young women, came and dined here.  At Eve John Fay here, and lodges in Breck’s Store.  N.B. Mr. Stone sent me by his Son, Master Thomas, the Letter he wrote to Mr. Fish of Upton concerning his Conduct.  Mr. Fisk’s Answer and his Reply.

January 27, 1774

1774 January 27 (Thursday).  The Day appointed for the Ordination of Mr. Chapman at Uxbridge.  I desire to bear this Affair upon my Heart most tenderly before the Lord.  May it please the Omnipresent, omnipotent and most gracious God, the God of Knowledge and who has the Hearts of all men in His Hands, to pity His own Cause, His own Servants and His people, grant Wisdom and Direction, Peace, Assistance and an happy Event!  Remarkably Cold, Windy and tedious!

January 29, 1774

1774 January 29 (Saturday).  Mr. John Tyler here in his return from Uxbridge to Marlborough,  acquaints me that the Ordination of Mr. Chapman was accomplished the Day before yesterday.  Master Thomas Stone called here also, and I Sent by him the Letters which he brought me from his Father.  Mr. Bradshaw from Boston — and tarrys with us.  Says my Brother is in much the Same State.

January 30, 1774

1774 January 30 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Joh. 18.18 by reason of the very Cold and difficult Season.  P.M. on 1 Joh. 5.4 but carryed on the Repetition of the Discourse from Joh. 1.11 from p. 21.  N.B. could not quite finish the Subject– no further than to middle of p. 27. After family Exercise at Eve Mr. Bradshaw and Breck went up to Mr. Jonathan Grouts, to see Mr. Taylor, who grows better.

January 31, 1774

1774 January 30 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Joh. 18.18 by reason of the very Cold and difficult Season.  P.M. on 1 Joh. 5.4 but carryed on the Repetition of the Discourse from Joh. 1.11 from p. 21.  N.B. could not quite finish the Subject– no further than to middle of p. 27. After family Exercise at Eve Mr. Bradshaw and Breck went up to Mr. Jonathan Grouts, to see Mr. Taylor, who grows better.