1778 January 1 (Thursday). I Spent this New-Years Day chiefly in religious Retirement, admiring the Goodness and Long-Suffering of God to me in so advanced Life! Returning Him hearty Thanks for Preserving me through the various scenes of the last Year; praying earnestly that the wise, holy, Sovereign Designs of the most High therein may be answered, begging and imploring Forgiveness of all my many Transgressions; through the Blood of the Great Atonement resolving and engaging to watch against every Temptation and to pursue the Paths of true Holiness and Peace. I read part of Scudders daily Walk in Christ. And renewed my Covenant with God — which may He graciously accept! Graciously afford me His all-sufficient Help to keep; and may all be done in the strength of Christ on whom alone is my Hope, my Faith and my Expectations grounded, His Merits, Righteousness and Intercession with God. I went over also the Principal Articles in my Meditations on Jan. 1 drawn up first in the Year 1738/9, reviewing also Several parts of my Journal to promote self-Review. But have great Reason to mourn that all I have done has been so broken and imperfect. May God most gracious, of His infinite Mercy forgive me!
At Eve came my Son Forbes from Brookfield and lodged here. N.B. Officers of the Regiment Met this Day at Capt. Maynards and were Sworn. Breck was, as Adjutant to the Regiment.
1778 January 2 (Friday). Mr. Forbes agrees to committ to me 9 of his Sheep, to be kept here till after the next Shearing time. He leaves us to return home. Mr. Eleazer Fairbank of Shrewsbury dines here. He tells me that Mr. Morse is in bad Circumstances having forfeited his Bonds of Appearance at Court, and refused to go with the Officer which the Court sent for him.
1778 January 3 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1778 January 4 (Sunday). I preached what I had prepared for the forenoon Exercise (except a little was omitted) on Jam. V, 8, but p.m. preached on Isa. 48, especially v. 17. Mrs. Maynard and Miss Mindwell Brigham dined here. At Eve, with Breck and Suse, came Drury Fairbank, to our Family Exercises.
1778 January 5 (Monday). Neighbour (now I hear Lieutenant) Joseph Bond was here with a large spare Rib. My Kinsman Mr. [Ebenezer?] Lovering came from his House Hither this Day.
1778 January 6 (Tuesday). Elias goes to Brookfield to drive down Cattle and Sheep. Mr. Lovering setts out with him, on his Journey to Westfield. Alexander came from Leicester and dined here. P.M. I preached at Lt. Jonathan Grouts on Phil. 4.7. to p. 22. Alexander tarrys and lodges here.
1778 January 7 (Wednesday). I breakfast with Alexander at Brecks. After dinner, Alexander has my Oxen to Godfrys that they may be shod, and that he may take them with him to Leicester, in order to his having them in his Journey to No. 5, or Marlborough in New Hampshire. At Eve came Mr. Bradshaw from Boston and lodges. Young Master Fish was with us this Eve and sups with us, but returned to his Lodging.
1778 January 8 (Thursday). A rainy Morning — but Mr. Bradshaw goes on his Journey to N. Braintry. The Weather grew fairer by Noon. Elias returned from Brookfield but today only from Capt. Curtis’s at Worcester. He drove home my steer, and with him four of my Son Baldwins young Cattle: and Nine of my son Forbes’s sheep, Eight from Mr. Jonas Brewers, and one from Mr. Daniel Forbes. Mr. Joseph Farrar, who was lately pastor of Dublin, but now preaching at Marlborough, came to see Me and dined with us. He came from Southborough, and brought a Note from Mr. Stone, by which I learn he is (through God’s Goodness) recovering. D.G.
1778 January 9 (Friday). [No entry.]
1778 January 10 (Saturday). Capt. Morse came with Wood and a large Cheese.
1778 January 11 (Sunday). Preached a.m. another Sermon on Jam. 5.8, but had not time to compose the rest. May God graciously help me to get and keep ready for the Coming of the Lord in [illegible draweth nigh?]! P.M. Repeat further and the whole, on Isa. 48.17. Master Fish and Anna Brigham dined here. At Eve Breck, Suse and Drury.
1778 January 12 (Monday). This Day Mr. Lemuel Badcock opens a Singing School at Deacon Woods and lodges at Capt. [H?] Fishers. Breck and his Wife, also Sophy attend there, p.m. and Eve. He asks two Dollars a Month of Each Person.
1778 January 13 (Tuesday). I rode in my Sleigh to visit Mr. Whitney — and dined there. He presents me one of his Books, newly come out, on the Independency of America defended, [from?] 1 K. 12.16. I came home by Mr. Jonathan Bruce’s where I visit and prayed with old Mrs. Beeman: went into Col. Brighams and Supped there. Mr. Zachariah Hicks and his son going to Boston with a Team sup here. The singing school increases greatly.
Peter Whitney (1744-1816), American independence vindicated. A sermon delivered September 12, 1776. At a lecture appointed for publishing the Declaration of Independence passed July 4, 1776. By the representatives of the United States of America in general congress assembled. And now printed at the desire of the hearers to whom it is inscribed (Boston: E. Draper, 1777; Evans 15,710).
1778 January 14 (Wednesday). Mr. Smith of Marlborough came to see me, chiefly on the Affair of his Asking a Dismission from the Pastoral Relation. He dined here etc., but, though it was very cold, he left us before sun-setting to return to Marlborough where he boards at Ensign Jabez Rice’s, having let out his own House to Col. Palfrey. Miss Mindwelll Brigham, attending the Singing school, dines at Brecks but lodges here; as does Abijah Warrin (Son of Ensign Aaron Warrin) of Upton who is learning to write. Breck has also Drury Fairbank and Elijah Warrin boarding with him. N.B. Elias goes to the singing school. 38 at School at Evening.
1778 January 15 (Thursday). The Singing School is so attended, that it causes Drury Fairbank to range about for Singing Books. At Eve my Kinsman Lovering came from Westfield, in his returning to Ipswich: and lodges here. Mr. Badcock came at Eve and drank Coffee here. Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain came in to see me and Spent some time here in friendly and religious Conversation.
1778 January 16 (Friday). Mr. Lovering left us. N.B. by him I wrote to my Cousen Briant at Stoneham concerning one of his sons living with me, as had been by them motioned to me heretofore. At Eve came my Sons William and Samuel with their Wives, and Williams little Sally, in a sleigh, having been to Ashburnham to visit their Brother and sister Cushing. Am informed of a Rupture and Tumult among the Burgoin Soldiers and the Guards, at Charlestown.
1778 January 17 (Saturday). My Sons and their Wives, though it is a Snow storm, return to Concord. Neither Elias not Sophy go to Singing school to Day. Dr. Hawes sent a Load of Wood. Capt. Jonas Brigham Ditto large.
1778 January 18 (Sunday). It was so wet and Icy Travelling, that Deacon Wood sent his sleigh for me and my Women a. and p.m. Preached again on Jam. 5.8. P.M. on Jer. 46.27.28, to p. 10. Public Contribution by [Notes?] or Tickets, of what we would give of Clothing etc. to the Soldiers now at a Distance, in the Army. N.B. A Letter from Mr. Quincy; dated December 26 ult.
1778 January 19 (Monday). Went to Mr. Daniel Adams junior, his Wife having lain in and is very ill of a Fever. Prayed with her. Dined there. I hear that Dr. Samuel Locke, late President of Harvard College, dyed Suddenly last Thursday about 10 a.m. Lord help me duely to improve this awful Providence! P.M. I visited Capt. Jonathan Fay, very ill of an Asthma. Discoursed and prayed with him. N.B. Elijah Warrin went with me to drive in the Sleigh.
1778 January 20 (Tuesday). I rode over to Northborough to See poor Asa Hill. In my way I visited Mrs. Beeton, and her Daughter in Law (Johns Wife) being about to go to See her Brother. I took her into my sleigh. Asa was at his Brother Simeon’s, where I dined. The poor young man lay in a Miserable Condition by means of having taken Mercury to excess, when Sick in the Army, and is now at Deaths Door. In returning called at Mr. Bruce’s, etc. etc. Elijah Brigham came — lodges here.
1778 January 21 (Wednesday). Very difficult stirring, yet the Singing School [attend?].
1778 January 22 (Thursday). Town Meeting to consider the Articles of the Confederation of the United States. A Committee meet here for my Advice. They were Messrs. Abijah Gale, Chairman, Samuel Forbush, Phinehas Gleason, Hannaniah Parker, Dr. Hawes, Lieut. Thomas Bond, Capt. Fisher, Messrs. Eli Whitney, Joseph Harrington, and Breck Parkman. At Eve came Parkman Bradshaw from Stoughtonham, who informs that this Morn deceased at Walpole, the Rev. and Pious Mr. Philips Payson of a Fistula in Ano. May God grant I may be duely affected with these repeated Instances of Mortality, of such Persons especially! Mr. Daniel Nurse here at Evening and acquaints me with the sad Condition of his sister Rebecca and wants I should go to her as soon as I can conveniently, though she is frequently out of her Head. I told him that it was difficult Weather he must not expect me; but it would not hinder my Praying for her (which he desired). And we thus left the Matter.
1778 January 23 (Friday). It was exceeding Cold. My Family were utterly against my Attempting to go to Mr. Nurses. Bradshaw undertakes the Whipple School, and returns back to his Fathers, that he may come back to it, instead of proceeding to New Braintry, as designed.
1778 January 24 (Saturday). It proved such a cold, rugged snowstorm that I kept House.
1778 January 25 (Sunday). A rough, cold, Stormy Day. Preached a.m. on Jam. 5.8. P.M. on Jer. 46.27.28. Which may God bless! Sophy propounded. Elijah Brigham and Drury Fairbank here, with Breck and Suse at Evening. Brigham lodges here.
1778 January 26 (Monday). Very Cold. Mr. Elijah Bellows here to desire me to go down to the Funeral of the late Capt. Aaron Fay of Southborough, who dyed suddenly on the Road in Waltham last Saturday. That I might, cold as it was, p.m. with Elias to drive the sleigh, I rode up to visit the afflicted in my own Parish. First: To Mr. Jonathan Childs Sick Babe, where I prayed; and then to Mr. William Nurse’s to see Miss Rebecca who was under very great Disorders, and not the free Use of her Reason. Prayed with the distressed Family. Parkman Bradshaw came from his Fathers hither and lodges. Tells me Rev. Mr. Payson of Walpole was to be buryed to day, and Mr. Haven of Dedham to preach a Funeral sermon. A Letter from Henry Marble in the Continental Army Nigh Philadelphia of Jan. 10.
1778 January 27 (Tuesday). Took Elias with me again in the sleigh and rode to Mr. Stones at Southborough; and having dined there, we proceeded to the House of Mourning — that of the late Capt. Aaron Fay, whose Funeral was attended by a great multitude. I prayed and discoursed with the widow, and mournful Relatives. May the Impression on all of us be deep and lasting! Called at Mr. Stone’s who was yet confined by Illness, and several of his Family. Returned home at Eve. Col. Baldwin from Brookfield. And Mr. Badcock, the Singing Master — both lodge here. N.B. Mr. Bradshaw goes to keep the Whipple School.
1778 January 28 (Wednesday). My son Baldwin proceeds to Boston. Mr. Badcock boards with us. I wrote to Mr. Forbes of Gloucester, and to serjeant Marble at Pennsylvania. Mr. [Z?] Simon How of Marlborough here and discourses of Mr. Smiths asking a Dissolution of the Relation etc. which is proposed to be forwarded in Church Meeting tomorrow.
1778 January 29 (Thursday). Mr. Badcock was detained from us last night — is also to day. This Day I remember the Wormwood and the Gall and my Soul is humbled within me! On Jan. 29 in the Year 1736 I was bereaved. I would adore the Long-suffering of God towards me and would mourn and repent of my Ingratitude and unprofitableness — humbly beg Forgiveness through Jesus Christ! Vide alibi.
1778 January 30 (Friday). A Letter from Mr. Forbes. Another from Mr. Moore. Mr. Badcock dined here. He gave me a List of his singing Scholars. They are 46. 34 Males — the rest Women and Girls. Mr. Badcock sups and lodges here.
1778 January 31 (Saturday). It being a very rainy Season. Sophy dined at Deacon Wood’s, and Mr. Badcock came not either to dine or to lodge here. Mr. Levi Wilder dined with us. He acquaints me with the sudden Death of one Mr. Willson who went from his House at Lancaster with a Load of salt, lately, but dyed the Same Evening as he sat at supper, at Winchenden in his way home. May God sanctifie Such an awfull Stroke as This also!