August 24, 1719

Cambridge, August 24,1719.  Blessed be the name of the Lord that I am Continued unto this very Day.  Nevertheless all my Backslidings from his Testimonies are commissions of So many great and heinous Sins as I have been guilty of.  The Mercy of God is Still lengthened out unto me and I receive the favours of life and Health and as I hope enjoy the day of Grace and Opportunity of getting good for My Immortall Soul; which must be first and Chiefly by Faith and Repentance.  In order to which I do profess the Faith and Belief contained in the Nicene In the Apostolick Creed.  …And according to the direction of the Sacred Word of God, and particularly According to the Direction of Mr. Robert Russell[1] have long purposed to make a Collection of First The Great Mercys That the Mighty JEHOVAH has favoured me with.  And First, In That He, at My Birth (In the Year of Christ, 1703, September the fifth on Sabbath day Morning, between Six and Seven of the Clock) Caused me to See light; and that it was not Among Pagans, nor Mahometans, nor Jews, but among Christians; and that In (Boston) a place where the Grace of God, bringing Salvation, hath Appeared; and of Religious Parents also, by whom I was well Educated; being first Sent to the reading, and in the Year 1711, to Writing, to Mr. John Cole and having continued there almost two Year (which was till the founding A Grammar free School at the North end and near My Fathers dwelling) I went to Mr. Recompence Wadsworth,[2] to learn Lattin.  This was on the twentieth of April in the Year 1713, and Mr. Wadsworth dying, Mr. John Barnard[3] (Afterwards an ordained Minister of the Church of Christ at Andover) was Settled in his place.  And October in the Year 1714 I was visited with a Low fit of Sickness beginning with a fever and attended with the Meazells, and after that with great weakness and Infirmities as also great pain, which Set me upon thinking upon what would be the Estate, the Condition of My Soul after my Dissolution, which was apprehended by all to be Nigh, often in My Mind repeating the Psalmists words Blessed is he whose Transgression is forgiven whose Sin is Covered, Heartyly wishing and praying that My many and great Iniquities might be all so pardoned and washed away in the Blood of the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sin of the World, promising allso that if God would in his great Mercy Spare my Life I would Spend it more to the Glory and praise of his great Name through his grace assisting me; and God was pleas’d to look upon my Affliction and my Pain and to remember me in my Low Estate, and the Lord Raised me from my Bed of long Sickness and Languishing renewing allso my Strength So that in the Latter end of December I went to School again and continued So doing till by the Often persuasions of the Reverend Mr. John Webb[4] and My Brother William[5] My Father Sent Me to Harvard College Cambridge where I was admitted on August 22, 1717, and had Pain,[6] Davis,[7] Champney[8] for my Chamber fellows for the first year; removing the Second I had Jenison,[9] Pierpont[10] and Wyman[11] (for my chamber fellows) In both which Years I had Mr. Hezekiah Gold[12] for my Particular friend for whose instructions advice and inculcations both in Temporalls and in Spiritualls, I Shall have occasion of praising God Throughout Eternity.  On April 19 I had Some Strivings and Motions of the holy Spirit to turn and live, and on December 27 allso  but they Soon vanished as the Morning Cloud and as the early Dew.  The Blessing of My Mother, the Advice of my Brother William, and the instructions of Mr. Webb, are I hope not quite (though I fear almost) fruitless.  That I had the Reverend Mr. John Leveret[13] for my President and Mr. Thomas Robie[14] for my Tutor is no Small blessing.  Through the deceitfullness of my heart I Neglected this work (the Collection of Mercys) to my great Shame and Sorrow till February 19, 1719/20.  When again I was awakened out of my Sleepy Security of Sin, I was roused out of my Sloth, and the awakenings of my Conscience, which had for a long time been Quiet, giving me but now and then a touch and a Small hint that I remained in my unconverted State, began afresh upon me, the Divil and my own wicked and abominably Sinfull and polluted heart persuading me that there was no hopes of Salvation lest That the Door of Mercy was Shut and the Day of Grace over — and that No man had Ba[c]kslidden or apostatized as I had done; till Barrett put me in Mind of one passage in Scripture Jer. together with the following Hosea 14.4.  I was little encouraged, utterly ashamed of my self and hating my self I resolved I would return, and that I would once more Seek to God by Prayer.  This I did, but soon grew Lookewarm Neither cold nor hot wherefore I might justly have been Spew’d out And Yet, through the Abundant, the Infinite grace and unparallel’d Mercy of the Eternal JEHOVAH I have such privileges Yet, the Lord knows how long they may be continued for there Never was any in the world So unworthy as I am


DIURNA:  or An Account of the Remarkable Transactions of Every Day:  No. 7.  Being a Continuation of a Design form’d in the Year 1719/20, February 19th.  August 1723

[1]The English divine, of Wadhurst, Sussex.

[2](Harvard 1708).  Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, V (Boston, 1937), 461-463.  Subsequent reference: Sibley, V, 461-463.

[3](Harvard 1709). The minister at Andover, 1718-1757.  Sibley, V, 475-479.

[4](Harvard 1708). The minister of the New North Church of Boston, 1714-1750.  Sibley, V,463-471.

[5]Ebenezer Parkman’s eldest brother.

[6]Stephen Paine (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 510-511.

[7]Simon Davis (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 469.

[8]Joseph Champney (Harvard 1721) was Parkman’s future brother-in-law.  Sibley, VI, 437-438.

[9]Samuel Jennison (Harvard 1720).  Sibley, VI, 389-390.

[10]Thomas Pierpont (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 547-549.

[11]John Wyman (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 591.

[12](Harvard 1719).  Later the minister at Stratford, Conn.  Sibley, VI, 311-314.

[13](Harvard 1680).  John L. Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, III (Cambridge, 1885), 180-198.  Subsequent reference: Sibley, III, 180-198.

[14](Harvard 1708).  Sibley, V, 450-455.