January 1, 1726

1726 January 1 (Saturday).  Besides my making my preparations for the approaching Sabbath, I have little to remark concerning this Day, as it looks as if very many kindred and most of my Dayes have rolled away without anything worth noting upon them.  Some are left Blank because of the Confusion I am put into by Diem perdidi; or because with all my Desire to Improve my time, I prove but of little importance either to Myself, or anyone Else.  I had through the whole of this Day crowds of imperfect Reflections upon the Consumption of Time and the misimprovement of my Talents.  Late in the Evening when I had finished my Sermons, as my manner has often been to look into Myself and view the State of my Heart, that I may be in some Measure prepar’d for the Holy time and solemn Employments coming on; at this Season, I say, my Thoughts run more free from those Confusions and interruptions just mentioned, than in the Day, but were chiefly engag’d upon my grievous Neglect of the Affairs and Concerns of my Soul and preparations for Eternity, and particularly upon my omission of this Method of keeping a journal (or Diary) so long as I have.  And I regret that when I did make a Business of it, there was so much time and pain spent in Vanity.  I fix’d a Resolution to prosecute other Aims and purposes, and to confine myself more severely and strictly to Studies of Grave and Serious Subjects, to Enquirys into my own Deportment, and to such observations on the Demeanour and Conduct of these as that thereby I may learn the most Suitable regular method of forming my own Thoughts and Actions.

January 2, 1726

1726 January 2 (Sunday).  My Early Thoughts were upon the Revolutions of Time which will, none knows how soon with me, be swallowed up in Eternity, And upon the wondrous Grace of God in Continuing the Day and means of Salvation.  Our Entertainments for this Day was raised from 1 Cor. 16.22.  Mr. Nehemiah How[1] and Mr. Joseph Wheeler[2] din’d with us.  The Evening Reflections were much the Same as Last Night.

[1]Of Westborough.

[2]Of Westborough.

January 3, 1726

1726 January 3 (Monday).  I began, in a Serious Manner, with the abovesaid purpose of numbering my Dayes; and I beseach God to aid me by his Holy Spirit, that I may do it aright, and that I may apply my Heart to true Divine wisdom.  And there is so much and more need of Dependence upon God, because I am very suspicious that without Such preternaturall power and assistance lent me, what through my wretched Inconstancy, Inadvertence and want of Resolution against which would interrupt the Affair, would either altogether Drop or loose its principal Design.

January 4, 1726

1726 January 4 (Tuesday).  I went to Mr. Bakers,[1] Captain Fay and to his Brothers.  At the Captain’s we were much engag’d about the circumstances of my delivering my Quit Claim to Mr. Elmer’s[2] Land to Captain Goddard,[3] etc.

[1]Edward Baker of Westborough.

[2]Reverend Daniel Elmer, formerly of Westborough.

[3]Edward Goddard of Shrewsbury.  Andrew H. Ward, History of Shrewsbury (Boston, 1847), pp. 283-284.

January 12, 1726

1726 January 12 (Wednesday).  A Spaniard, Oko Smiths, of Valencia came and offered himself to my Service.  In the Evening I rode abroad to Captain Byles[1] who Complain’d much of Pains and Lameness.  I pay’d him for four Barrells and a powdering Tub made for me.  Thence I rode to Neighbor Brighams[2] Whose Son and Daughter were ill.  N.B. This Morning my Peacock dy’d.

[1]Captain Joseph Byles, an early inhabitant of Westborough.

[2]David Brigham.

January 17, 1726

1726 January 17 (Monday).  Last night was Exceeding Cold.  This Morning One of my Summer Piggs I perceived was frozen to Death.  Mr. Barrett[1] came to see us, and with Heavy Tidings of my Fathers being so very ill that my Brother by him sent me this word, that there was Ground to fear My Father would never go abroad again; and therefore it was much desir’d I would immediately go down.  Hereupon I went first to Mr. David Maynards and then to Mr. Pratts[2] for an Horse, mine being not yet returned, but I succeeded not till Eleazer Pratt[3] went to Mr. David Goodno’s and Obtained His.  My Walking so far in the Cold, together with my Troubles and fears, and the Worries of my Mind, were such that I felt very uncomfortable, and I had an Uneasy Night, a bad Cold and grievous Head ach.  And a Tedious Journey at this Season in Prospect, Besides the Melancholly Expectations of what I was altogether unprepar’d for.

[1]Reverend Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.

[2]John Pratt.

[3]Of Westborough.

January 18, 1726

1726 January 18 (Tuesday).  Three quarters after nine in the Morning, I mounted from home upon a very poor dull Horse, which was another Affliction to meet [to me at?] this time.  At Mr. David Hows[1] I saw Mr. McKinstry[2] of Sutton with his friend Briton.  Very Snowy.  In Weston I met my own Beast and it much rejoic’d me to Change.  I got to Father Champney’s[3] in good Season to have gone to Boston, But the Storm was so violent, the wind very high and no less Cold, and very Slippery Riding, Besides that I was so tired and faint that I was necessitated to tarry all night here, though my Resolution had been very Strong to have seen my Father if alive before I left.  Father Champney was very melancholy and Dejected, a great Alteration from a few Months ago.

[1]At the Wayside Inn in Sudbury.

[2]Reverend John McKinstry.

[3]Samuel Champney, Sr.

January 20, 1726

1726 January 19 (Wednesday).  I got into Boston before noon, and joyfull to tell, my Father I saw Sitting up and in some Hopefull Way.  Soli Deo Omnipotenti Gratias ago maximas qui hodienas preces matutinas audiebat et a tanta miseria et Calamitate quanta involutus fui Eiexit.  I visited Mr. Thatcher in the Evening.  Mr. Webb[1] came in, and the Conversation turned upon the Kingdom of Christ, the calling of the Jew, etc.  I observ’d Mrs. Thatcher[2] to discourse with a great deal of pertinence and Solidity as well as Zeal upon the Side of the millenists.  By and by Madame rose up and to Mr. Webb we’ll go if you please Sir from the Jews to Spanish and Polish at which game [?] they play’d till near nine when I left them and went to Captain Boyse’s[3] to see Cousin Dorcas Bowes.  He was presently very Earnest about the Late Transactions at the wedding of Miss Sarah Champney[4] to John Lowell,[5] who were married the 23 of Last Month.  To Day Mr. Lowell ordained at Newbury.

[1]Reverend John Webb of Boston.

[2]Wife of the Reverend Peter Thatcher of Boston.

[3]Samuel Boyce of Boston.

[4]Daughter of Noah and Sarah (Tunnell) Champney.

[5]Reverend John Lowell (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 496-502.

January 20, 1726

1726 January 20 (Thursday).  Mr. Gee[1] preach’d the publick Lecture on Psalm 122.  I went in the Afternoon to Mr. Lewis’s to see Mrs. Edward’s, but she herself was so ill with a broken Breast, and her son was apprehended to be dying, that therefore I could not see her.  Captain Storey[2] convers’d with me about his Sons living with me.  His words were these about the Conditions of our Discourse.  ‘Take the Lad, Sir, Till about May, when I expect to return from Sea, but if it please God to prevent me, if you like the Boy keep him till he is 15 or 16 years old, when I would have him to put to apprentice.  All I Desire is that you keep him warm, and feed him Suitably.  Instruct him Christianity.  My main Expectation and hope is that you’ll give him Education proper to such an One.  Let him Serve you as he is able, impose not on him those heavy burthens that will either Cripple him or Spoil his Growth.  But in all regards I am willing he should Serve you to his Utmost.  Upon my Consenting to this he said he has no Hatt.  Let him have one of yours, and if it should so happen that he doth not remain with you I’ll pay for it.’  Upon all which I got him a Hatt at my Brothers and took him with Me at the Entrance of the Evening.  It was very Cold and for the Sake of the Boy I was forc’d to call in twice by the way to Cambridge.  We got up to Father Champney’s in good Season, but very Cold.

[1]Reverend Joshua Gee of Boston.

[2]Probably Rowland Storey of Boston.

January 25, 1726

1726 January 24 (Monday).  I visited Mr. Thomas Newton[1] who had been ill some time.  I am thankfull to Mr. Pratt who came to my Family to assist them in my Absence, and to see what might be done for their Comfort, and today came himself and went to Mill for me.  Much foul weather, frequent Snows.

[1]An early inhabitant of Westborough.  DeForest and Bates, Westborough, pp. 46-47.

January 25, 1726

1726 January 25 (Tuesday).  In the Evening I was full of Reflections upon my Negligence and in Trouble upon that account.  The Circumstances of my Family are such that I can’t avoid innumerable interruptions and impediments as it has prov’d all this winter, that I have been much obstructed in my Studies.  I pay’d Mr. Goodeno 15 shillings for Labour in last Hay time.