January 1, 1779

1779 January 1 (Friday).  I bless God for the Light of another morning, which begins A NEW YEAR of the divine patience and Long suffering towards me, which (I confess) am most unworthy.  With Thanksgiving for the Mercies received and penitently acknowledgement of my ingratitude and innumerable offences, I implore Remission, through the Merits and Mediation of my only and most dear Saviour, and humbly beseech the divine Favour to be extended to me and mine still; I desire devoutly to renew my Solemn engagements by Covenant to be the Lord’s, and commit to Him, the Sovereign of my Life, all my Cares and Concernments, all the Changes and Events of this peculiarly difficult year, or what part of it, it shall please the great Supreme to vouchsafe me to continue in this frail uncertain State!  But my daughter Cushing being here, and soon to return, and Col. Job Cushing dining with us, Breck also and his, I was much interrupted and prevented: very unavoidably.  May the Lord extend compassion!

January 7, 1779

1779 January 7 (Thursday).  I rode in the Sleigh to see the Widow Rice (widow of the late Mr. Edmund Rice).  As I went I called to see old Mr. James Maynard and his Wife.  I visited and dined at Mr. J. Crooks.  N.B. He lately lost his pocket book with 300 dollars and other papers.  In returning home I called at Mr. Amasa Maynard’s.  At evening, Mr. Nathan Maynard, junior here, and returns me 50 Dollars (in one Bill) of the money he lately borrowed.  Sixteen Dollars are yet behind.

January 11, 1779

1779 January 11 (Monday).  I diligently read Biography.  Dr. Hawes in the Evening.  He offers to pay me money for Timothy’s work for him last year (15 days in the whole, Stephen Maynard worked 2 1/2 for me, Timmy’s at 2 Dolls. and Stephen’s at 3), but I told the Doctor it was in the way of exchanging work, and therefore I expected to have work again for it.  N.B. I wrote by the Doctor to Dav. Sanger.

January 13, 1779

1779 January 13 (Wednesday).  Suse rode to Capt. Maynard’s in the Sleigh and safely, but in returning the Mare took a start, and tore away with Speed from Suse, who had got out of the Sleigh, and came home o’foot: but the mare first, broke the Sleigh and threw out a Case of Gin — however broke but one Bottle (which might at this time stand at [blank] Dollars, but no Mischief done to Life or Limb.  The praise to God!

January 18, 1779

1779 January 18 (Monday).  Dr. Hall of Sutton in his Journey to Concord calls here.  At eve came Mr. Daniel Forbes junior from Brookfield.  Says Mr. Bradshaw grows very weak.  Presently came his Brother Nathan from Walpole, going to see him.  The latter lodges here.  N.B. Mr. Badcock keeps a singing-school at Mr. Barn. Newton’s.  Elias and Timothy go to it to hear.

January 24, 1779

1779 January 24 (Sunday).  Delivered a.m. to a small congregation, an exercise that is part of Expos. of Mat. 17.17 to 21, but it being a continuation of the Discourse on Mark 9.24, I read on in Mark 9 to 29.  P.M. preached on Mat. 22.39-40, which I designed as a second part to the Discourse on Mat. 22.37-38.  Master Moses Brigham who keeps school at the East Quarter of the Town dined here.

January 25, 1779

1779 January 25 (Monday).  Being at the Shop, Capt. Fisher and Mr. Badcock were there and acquainted me with the Desire of the Singing School to have a Lecture preached to them, and though (as they say) they would be glad if Mr. P. would himself preach, yet because of the disquietment among the People, about singing, and for the sake of drawing in people, it was mentioned to ask one of the neighboring Ministers, particularly Mr. Sumner to preach it.  I replyed with Consent, provided they would acquaint the appointed Choristers with it, and endeavor to have them lead in the Affair.

January 26, 1779

1779 January 26 (Tuesday).  Mr. Elisha Parker here a.m. on the Same Business, of the Singing Lecture — to write to Mr. Sumner etc. but I answered him as I did Capt. Fisher yesterday.  P.M. Deacon Wood. here — brought a large Spare Rib, advised with him ab’t Singing Lecture and he approved of the Steps proposed. Mr. Peter Whitney, his Wife and Child, also Mr. Hammock, came over in a Sleigh to visit us, and N.B. Mr. Daniel Forbes was here, tarrying after the Company and gave me great Disquietment about the Support of my Family, what number in it they were willing to maintain, and what not — that 300 and my wood was an honorable sufficiency etc.  But it was too apparent that he was put out of Humour by my consulting him about my advising the Singers to invite the Choristers to lead in the proposed plan of the Singing Lecture.  For he said those men had been too much courted already, and had conducted but indecently towards the Singers; so that they did not deserve such respect to be shown them.  On the other Hand, I conceived it would be most prudent in me, in time of so much Difficulty, to advise to a Method that must needs be most conciliating, and prevent further Complaint.  May God graciously impart the Wisdom that may be profitable to direct, under such trying Circumstances.

January 28, 1779

1779 January 28 (Thursday).  Mr. Newton brings more wood, and brings his own Account which I copy and cast up, but we find that now he has brought enough to make up 35 cord.  Mr. N. Maynard junior came with a load of six feet: half of which was for Mr. Joseph Green, and the other half for Mr. Newton.  There is still more wood brought out from the Lot to Beeton’s: the charge for cutting and sledding out so far, he throws in, and we part in peace. One Mr. Wm. Parkhurse of Coi’s Hill, calls to inform that on Monday deceased and yesterday was buryed Mr. Benjamin Bradshaw at Brookfield!!!  May God graciously support all of us under this His holy Stroke!  Especially may my Grand Daughter have grace to improve suitably this Sorrowful Bereavement!  At eve Mr. Eli Whitney and Mr. Elisha Parker here, and desire me to appoint a Singing Lecture, and to write to Mr. Sumner to come and preach it: on Thursday next (the 4th of February) at 2 p.m.  Breck, Suse with her Baby, Molly Pratt, go in a Double Sleigh, and Mr. Elijah Brigham and Sophy are with them to Mr. Daniel Grout’s at Grafton.  Elias and Timothy to the Singing School (as hearers) at Mr. Barn. Newton’s.  We have the sad news that Mr. Peter Adams, heretofore of this Town (son of the late Mr. Eliphalet Adams) was suddenly killed by the Falling of a Tree, at New Guildford N. H.  May God sanctifie so awful a Dispensation to all Survivors, and in particular to the mournful Widow (who was Susanna Pratt of this place) and her Orphan Children!

January 29, 1779

1779 January 29 (Friday).  This Day is memorable for the Sorrows I was plunged into in the year 36 (43 years since) when the first Partner of my Joys and Divider and Sharer of my Griefs was taken away: I remember still the Wormwood and the Gall — my Soul is yet humbled within me.  May God grant me true and thorow Humiliation!  I was interrupted by two setts of Company: first Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Davis, which rode over here to making a Visit, but especially by Rev. Grosvenor and his Wife and child, accompanied by Rev. Mr. Farrar and Mr. Grosvenor’s young Brother Nathan — in a Sleigh.  All of them dined here. I wrote to Mr. Sumner and sent it by Mr. Elisha Parker to come and preach to the Singers next Thursday.

January 30, 1779

1779 January 30 (Saturday).  Mr. Jonathan Maynard brought a load of Wood to me for Breck, in Return for a load which he borrowed of me, and Mr. Maynard brought gratis a load of that wood which Mr. Ch. Newton left at Beeton’s.  N.B. Mr. Badcock has been with me to speak about the Singing (viz. how many times, and what times they desire to sing) on proposed Lecture Day.  At eve Mr. Elisha Parker here, to let me know that Mr. Sumner will come (extras accepted) to preach the proposed Lecture, and asks me to his on Wednesday.

January 31, 1779

1779 January 31 (Sunday).  I preached on Mat. 22.39.  P.M. repeated Sermon 1 on 2 Cor. 3.15, but read from X. 12 because of the long Explication of the Context, proceeded to the forepart of the Amplification in p. 5 and added cotempore.  I appointed a Singing Lecture to be next Thursday at 2 p.m.  Dr. Hawes delivered me a Packet from Col. White, Rept. for Rochester.  I found it contained principally Rev. Mr. West’s (of Dartmouth) anniversary Sermon at Plymouth, Dec. 22, 1777[1] with a folio letter of his to me, in six numbers, opening further the prophecy’s in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Micah, and the Revelation, which as he conjectures, point at the present Times in America, accompanyed by a letter from my son Moore, and his Transcript of Mr. West’s Letter of (16 pages octavo) lest I should not be able to read Mr. West’s autography.  Which were very acceptable.  In the evening, read Mr. West’s sermon above mentioned, as well as Mr. Moore’s letter.  Thus I finish this month, and may a gracious God forgive the Miscarriages and Deficientys [sic] I have been chargeable with!  And the Day past in Special!

[1]Samuel West (1730-1807), An anniversary sermon, preached at Plymouth, December 22d, 1777. In grateful memory of the first landing of our pious New-England ancesters [sic] in that place, A.D. 1620 (Boston: Draper and Folsom, [1778?]; Evans 43594).