1781 September 1 (Saturday). Mr. Brigham returned from Concord. Not going to Boston, he brought back the Bradshaw Letter. He brought me from my Son Williams the 2d Volume of Joe Thompson. At Eve my Son Ebenezer came from Gloucester, but last from Concord. A Letter from Mr. Forbes.
1781 September 2 (Sunday). I omitted Reading both parts of the Day, fearing least I Should not have sufficient strength. Preached a. and p.m. on 2 Cor. 11.3. Mrs. Maynard dined with us. At Eve Mr. Brigham read Flavel Fountain of Life.
1781 September 3 (Monday). My Son visits his Wife’s Relations, and I went with him, viz. to Ensign Aaron Warrins, Col. Wheelocks. Was also at Capt. Fishers, and at Deacon Woods.
1781 September 4 (Tuesday). My Son Ebenezer left us. N.B. As he left me his Steel-spectacle Case, So I gave him a pair with Case, which Mr. Forbes generously Sent me, and I gave him Dr. Taylors Contemplations — also the Cane which was Brother Samuels, also another Silver Ferrill etc. May God almighty bless him and his, and grant him a prosperous Journey home!
1781 September 5 (Wednesday). Mr. Benjamin Stone from Southborough came to my Lecture; Mr. Reuben Puffer preached it, on Mat. 13.44, former part. They both dined here. N.B. The Congregation Stayed (though I came home) to choose Choristers. They chose Mr. Elijah Brigham unanimously. They also were desired to choose two more instead of Messrs. Eli Whitney and Ebenezer Chamberlain, who desired to give up: but they chose no other. Mr. Jonathan Batherick was here in the Evening and because Mr. Brigham refused, he refused to continue any longer. Capt. Edmund Brigham was here to talk with me about his making a Confession: his Wife was here also: But there was So much Company till it was late, and they had far to go, that he did not go so far into the Affair as was necessary — yet he manifested unwillingness to have it before the Congregation. N.B. The young Gentlemen left us, and Mr. Stone returned to Southborough where he preaches; and Mr. Puffer to Sudbury: 15 Miles. May God graciously reward him!
1781 September 6 (Thursday). P.M. I, by Special Request up to Mr. Jonathan Pierce’s to attend his marriage to Miss Lydia Bowman. A Considerable Company; an handsome Wedding. Sang Select Passages of Ps. 45.
1781 September 7 (Friday). I was more devoted to preparations for the Eucharist, and for preaching.
1781 September 8 (Saturday). Hear that the Widow Hall of Hopkinton (who lately visited at her Brother Freelands) is So distracted that She lately jumped into a Well — but was helped out again.
1781 September 9 (Sunday). I did not venture to read publickly. Preached again on 1 Cor. 11.27.29 to the End of p. 37. I administered the Lords Supper. Mrs. Maynard dined. P.M. preached on 2 Cor. 11.3 and finished that Discourse. I Communicated the Bolton Letter, requesting Assistance in Ordaining Mr. Puffer. It was Voted. Mr. Batheric would not Vote, but made unhandsome Answer. At Evening Mr. Brigham (at my request) read Mr. Henry on the Communion Chapter 12, and prayed.
1781 September 10 (Monday). Mr. Batherick came this Morning. Is better informed, and shews himself glad to understand Things in so different Light — he is placid — borrows the Narrative of Tarr Water Cures etc. P.M. Capt. Edmund Brigham and his Wife here. He affirms that according to Information Deacon Wood and his Wife did not make Confession before the Congregation. I, from the Church Record say that it was read before the Congregation. His Wife, viz. Mrs. Brigham was examined.
1781 September 11 (Tuesday). Breck goes to Boston. Dr. Ball was here to See Sophy, who is but weakly. He informs me of the sorrowful Conflagration at New-London last Thursday. Wrote to Elias, and got Dr. Ball to carry it to Monro’s for Conveyance.
1781 September 12 (Wednesday). Mr. Benjamin Fays wife was, was [sic] examined, and approved.
1781 September 13 (Thursday). Mr. Solomon Walcott, a preacher, was here; dined with us. Sophy has an ill night. Head-ach etc. Breck returned from Boston.
1781 September 14 (Friday). Capt. Fisher here with some proposal about the singing next sabbath inasmuch as the Choristers had all of them given up. But I refused to intermeddle with their Controversie; and requested repeatedly that Nothing be done through Strife or Vain-Glory. He gives Account of his Fathers lately holding Courts at Franklin in Detection of a Pack of Villains who had been thieving and corresponding with our British Enemies — and had committed half a Score to Several Jayls: and were in search of more.
1781 September 15 (Saturday). Capt. Fisher here again. I still refuse to do any thing about our Singing; Cautioning against making any Disturbance in the Congregation. Mr. Peter Whitney here. He fears some Difficulty will arise tomorrow in their Church when they Choose Delegates for Bolton Ordination. Mr. Brigham setts out on his Journey to Dartmouth College. I wrote by him to my son Cushing.
1781 September 16 (Sunday). I bless God that through His Longsuffering I am permitted to See the Light, and enjoy the Favors of this Day! I had prepared so far as that I had designed to preach part of the Day upon another subject, but I thought it most seasonable and useful to Meditate and entertain the people upon Acts XXVI.22, “Having therefore obtained Help from God I continue unto this Day,” a. and p.m. I read a.m. the latter part of the Chapter from [blot] graciously afford His Special Blessing. Vide Natal. [Blot]aker dined with us. At Eve read (and Breck assisted) Flavels [blot] Life Sermon [blank].
1781 September 17 (Monday). [Blot]le here. I breakfasted with him at the Shop. At Eve [blot] Tainter to see us. Also there came Mr. Benjamin Fay and a Number with him to See whether he might not be admitted in the Church. They were Lt. Grout, Messrs. Joseph Harrington and Jonathan Forbes. I gave Mr. Fay advice what to do about Mr. Thomas Whitneys Contest with him before he could be admitted.
1781 September 18 (Tuesday). I made Extracts from Biographical Dictionary from Life of Grotius.
1781 September 19 (Wednesday). Lt. Elijah Day came up from my son Williams and dined here. At Eve Lt. Grout was here to inform me that he with others, had made several attempts with Fay and Whitney to bring them to some Terms of Reconcilement — but to little purpose.
1781 September 20 (Thursday). Mr. B. Fay did not come. Extracts from Life of Grotius.
1781 September 21 (Friday). My Preparations.
1781 September 22 (Saturday). Preparations.
1781 September 23 (Sunday). Read a.m. Ps. 19. Gave brief Observations. Preached a. and p.m. on Prov. 28.13 a. and p.m. Mrs. Maynard and Mrs. Davis dined with us. At Eve read part of a Sermon of Mr. Flavels Fountain of Life.
1781 September 24 (Monday). A Letter from My Friend Quincy of the 14th. A Training p.m. by Order from Connecticut. The Company Strictly required to be well equiped and ready at a Minutes Warning. And p.m. Deacon Wood made me a Visit; agree about our going to Bolton.
1781 September 25 (Tuesday). A.M. Mrs. Beulah Fay (wife of Benjamin) here with her Relation, which I can correct in some respects, and do; but can’t methodize it. P.M. according to Mr. Whitneys Request I rode over to his House and lodged there.
1781 September 26 (Wednesday). Ordination at South Bolton. In the morning we rode to Mr. Benjamin Baileys at Bolton, where the Ministers and Delegates were desired to meet. All the Pastors and Messengers of the Churches sent to, came. The Church were present and Mr. Reuben Puffer, the Pastor-Elect, with them. They request us to proceed. The Council was formed by choosing Moderator and Scribe. The last was Mr. Whitney of Northborough. I prayed with the Council. Mr. Puffer delivered a Confession of Faith in his own name, which was well accepted. Near to the South side of the Meeting House a Scaffold and Breastwork was erected, and long seats for the Council. Mr. Sumner prayed: Mr. Biglow of Sudbury preached a good sermon on Col. 1.7. I prayed and gave the solemn Charge. Mr. Harrington gave the Right Hand: Mr. Bridge of East-Sudbury Prayed; and Hymn 100 was Sung, appointed by the Ordained, who finally pronounced the Blessing. The Musical stayed and Sung Anthems. Our Supper was at Mr. Benjamin Bailey’s. There I was informed that my dear and worthy Friend Dr. Stiles, President was one of the Gentlemen who saluted me after the Exercises, while I was [out?] on the Scaffold; and through my Infirmity of Sight and unapprehensiveness, I knew him not, nor could I by my utmost Enquirys, find out where he went or what became of him. I returned home this Evening. [Blot] Wood and Mr. Joseph Harrington, but especially my son Cushing, my Company — and here found my dear Daughter Cushing and their Son John. Deacon Wood was kind in Horse keeping. All praise and Thanks to God! May I obtain mercy [blot] all my many Deficiencys and Miscarriages! Mr. Brigham returned from Dartmouth College. I am informed by Several that Mr. Daniel Adams is trying to Obtain a Council. Mr. Sumner tells me he has been with him; but he has refused.
Franklin Bowditch Dexter, ed., The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., President of Yale College (3 vols.; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901), 2:558.
1781 September 27 (Thursday). I have the Agreeable Company of Mr. Cushing, his Wife and son. Young Mr. Fish also here and dines with us. He Acquaints me that Mr. Daniel Adams has been to his Father, with a Letter to come to Council here — but he would not gratifie him. I wrote a Letter to Dr. Stiles, intending to Send it per first Opportunity to Boston, hoping it may meet him there on his Return from Portsmouth.
1781 September 28 (Friday). After Dinner my Children left us to go to Lancaster in their way home. May God almighty bless them and theirs! and grant a prosperous Journey by His Holy will!
1781 September 29 (Saturday). While I was prosecuting my Studys in the Morning and preparing a Sermon for the Sabbath, I was interrupted by the Coming of Brother Daniel Adams, who brings a Letter to the Church, informing them that he had requested a Number of Neighboring Churches to be at his House 2d Tuesday of October and to desire this Church would meet them there. His Temper was high and rough, his Language was bitter and very unbecoming: and he went off So. May God graciously Sanctifie this Afflictive Tryal to me, give me the Wisdom that is profitable to direct me, in what is best to be done; and teach me to profit by it!
1781 September 30 (Sunday). Did not read publickly. Preached a.m. on Prov. 28.13, former part. Mrs. Maynard dined here. P.M. preached on Rom. 13.11, former part, which may God succeed! Admitted Mrs. Beulah Fay. Appointed Family Meeting to be at Squire Bakers next Tuesday, at two p.m. I stopped the Church and read Brother Adams’s Letter. Put it to Vote whether they would comply? It passed in the Negative. I was told that there was one Hand up, and that was of Lieut. Levi Warrin. At Evening Exercise in the Family I repeated part of p.m. Sermon and prayed. N.B. Mrs. P_____ much exercised with Cough, Several Days and Nights.