January 1, 1728

1728 January 1 (Monday).  A moderate pleasant day, My heart was filled with Joy before God for his wondrous Sparing Mercy in bringing Me to the Light of this Day beginning another Year which truly, considering the Deserts of Sin and the late threatenings of Providence, it was almost beyond my Expectations to See.  Oh that it might please God, through his abundant Mercy in Christ to remove away those Sins of mine and those of his people of this Land that brought down Tokens of Displeasure in Such distressing and fearfull Dispensations as those of the Last Year, lest if his anger be not turned away his hand Should be stretched out still this Year also, and our plagues be made wonderfull, if we be not brought to utter Desolation.


As to the Earthquake, being down at Mr. David Maynards in the Evening (requested to visit his 5 Sick children and pray with them) Mr. Daniel Maynard of Marlborough enquir’d whether any of us had heard it, intimating herewith to us that Some persons were afraid they had, and afraid that it had been heard Every Sabbath night Since the great shocks.  When I came home I understood by Noah Rice[1] and Daniell Hardy that Mr. James Miller and Nathaniel Whitney[2] each of them were so apprehensive that they heard it in the night before last that they both got up.  The Divine Compassion that Safeguards and Delivers us!  O that God would still deliver us.  I was not without Some hearty, though I confess too weak and lame Endeavours after, as the pardon of the Miscarriages and offences of the Last year (particularly of March 17th which Oh that it may be blotted out of the book of Gods remembrance) to Such a Settled pious Disposition that this Year may be Spent wholly to the Glory of God, in a walk that may please him, and in Essayes to promote his Church’s interest to the last of my Capacity.

[1]Son of Thomas Rice, one of the original settlers of Westborough.

[2]All of these were young men of Westborough.

January 2, 1728

1728 January 2 (Tuesday).  I rode to Mr. Hezekiah How’s.  I went with him to Examine some of the Bounds of the ministerial Lot, that I might make some Improvement of it.

In the Evening Mrs. Mary Whiting[1] was with me requesting I would Examine her in order to her joining with our Church.  I hope the work of grace is at least begun in her Heart.

[1]No record of a family of this name in Westborough at this time.

January 3, 1728

1728 January 3 (Wednesday).  Reading Mr. Foxcrofts Sermon on the Earthquake (preach’d by him before the Court).[1]  I was mov’d I hope rather with justifiable emulation and ambition than Envy.  But verily I was much Excited most of the Day to reflect on the progress and advancement he and Some few other persons of distinguish’d Characters had gain’d in both Piety and Learning.  I could but draw up a Resolution that though my powers are small yet according to my Measures I would by the Grace of Christ, lead a Religious, Serviceable and contented Life, with Diligence and industry laying in what Store of Knowledge, and especially Striving after as many Divine Virtues to adorn and accomplish me, as I may be able.


Lieutenant Forbush[2] came to me in the Evening who among other things, Speaking of Samuell Hardy’s Case[3] Express’d himself so as Convinced me I should meet with some Trouble in managing it.

[1]Thomas Foxcroft, The Voice of the Lord, from the Deep Places of the Earth (Boston, 1727).

[2]Samuel Forbush of Westborough.

[3]The Westborough Church Records, Feb. 11, 1728 contain the following details. “Another Affair was also brought before the Church at this meeting.  The Pastor took their Advice in what would be most warrantable and Regular to be done in the Case of Samuel Hardy and his wife who desir’d baptism for their Child born Three Dayes within Seven Months after the parents’ Marriage.  No opposition was made to proceeding to grant the Privilege, the Circumstances of the fright it was declar’d the mother was in, occasioning as was believed the hasty birth, together with their Serious Declaration that they were innocent, being all the Satisfaction the Church could have in a Case of this Nature.”  Parson Parkman may not have been convinced that this was the right decision.  At any rate he brought this matter before the Marlborough Association where the advice given was that the child “be baptized.”  Allen, Worcester Association, p. 12.  Finally, on April 28, 1728, the Reverend Mr. Parkman baptized Elizabeth, the daughter of Daniel and Tabitha Hardy.

January 4, 1728

1728 January 4 (Thursday).  Private Meeting at Mr. Pratts.  I sent Dr. Increase Mathers Kingdom of Christ is approaching,[1] etc., by Mr. Thurston.  Deacon Fay[2] and Mr. Abner Newton[3] and others came to see me in the Evening.  Very cold.  Mr. How brought me Store Geese.

[1]Mather did not publish a work with this title.  Possibly Parkman was referring to The Glorious Throne: or A Sermon Concerning The Glory of the Throne of the Lord Jesus Christ Which is now in Heaven, and shall quickly be seen on the Earth (Boston, 1702).  [Addition to Walett’s footnote: Increase Mather, A discourse concerning faith and fervency in prayer, and the glorious kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, on earth, now approaching. Delivered in several sermons, in which the signs of the present times are considered, with a true account of the late wonderful and astonishing success of the Gospel in Ceilon, Amboina, and Malabar (Boston in N.E. Printed by B. Green for T. Green, at his shop in Middle Street., 1710).  Evans 1473.]

[2]Captain John Fay was one of the first deacons chosen by the Westborough church Oct. 12, 1727.  The other was Isaac Tomblin.

[3]The son of Thomas Newton.

January 6, 1728

1728 January 6 (Saturday).  The First of my Discourses on Ps. 60.1.2 took me up (though began in no improper Season of the week) till 3 p.m. of this Day When I began the first of those Discourses on 1 Cor., and it was prepar’d before it was over late in the night.  I Suppose it not much after Eleven when I was actually in my bed.  It must be remembered that my Choice was determined upon the Subject though I had no so much as laid my Scheme before the hour abovesaid.

January 11, 1728

1728 January 11 (Thursday).  The Church (at my appointment) came together and I entertain’d them with a Discourse from Acts 6.6 but I left the method we should proceed in to the Church’s Consideration.  Afterwards they came down to my house whereby Mr. Asher Rice[1] was no small [illegible] about Mr. Josiah Newton.[2]

[1]Son of Thomas Rice, one of the original settlers of Westborough.

[2]Josiah and Thomas Newton were cousins.  Both were original settlers of Westborough.  See DeForest and Bates, Westborough, pp. 46-47.

January 21, 1728

1728 January 21 (Sunday).  I preach’d both fore and after noon from 1Cor.  I rode to Mr. Pratts and to Mr. Increase Wards[1] and Ballanced with Constable Warrin.[2]  Mr. Collister[3] came with his complaints and witnesses.

[1]Increase Ward operated a saw-mill in that part of Westborough that became Northborough.

[2]Daniel Warrin, an original settler in the eastern part of Westborough.

[3]John McCollister of Westborough.

January 22, 1728

1728 January 22 (Monday).  I rode to Mr. John Pratt junior where was Captain Fay.  With him I had discourse concerning the Sad Broils in the Town.  We went to Mr. Thomas Rice’s[1] where it was continued till Evening.  I rode over to see Mr. Shattuck[2] (which was my purpose in coming out) he being in a low state.  We return’d to Mr. Rices and then I came home.  There I found Father Champney[3] and Sister Lydia.[4]  The Town is in great uneasiness and ready to fall together by the Ears for the management of their military officers but mostly for receiving money for writs and Summons when he had none of the Justice.  Hezekiah Pratt and Eleazer Ward cut wood.

[1]Believed to be the first settler of that part of Marlborough that became Westborough.  DeForest and Bates, Westborough, p. 20.

[2]Isaac Shattuck.

[3]Samuel Champney, Sr., Parkman’s father-in-law.

[4]Lydia Champney, Parkman’s sister-in-law.

January 28, 1728

1728 January 28 (Sunday).  Diverse young men were with me requesting advice and instruction touching their setting up a private society.  I desir’d ‘em to come again on this Sennight.  This Eve Mr. Asher Rice and Mr. Josiah Newton were again with me endeavouring something towards their reconciliation, but all means were in vain.  Instead of healing new work was made for, Mr. Rice having charg’d Mr. Newton with having (not only deceived in the article they were upon) but a principle of falsehood in his heart, which was so high, and beyond his real intention to Speak, he acknowledg’d it was wrong to Speak So of his brother and was Sorry for what he had said.  The Cause was rais’d to a difficult pitch, and little prospect of Concord or Composition.  Extream cold.  The Earthquake was heard as was reported and Some say, felt this Morning about or just after Break of Day.  I preach’d again upon 1 Cor.  In admitting [illegible] Tomlin[1] to the Church I was So much employ’d in my thoughts by incorporating the Baptismal Covenant and Church Covenant together that I forgot to go to prayer before I baptiz’d Him, which I remain’d thoughtless about till I went up into the Pulpit from the Basen.  It put me into a Consternation.  I went to Prayer in which I lamented the miscarriage and enlarg’d the Prayer with those petitions that might be proper on this occasion.  But I desire to lay my Self low before God for so grievous an omission and would learn hence forward to be more carefull and watchfull but especially more strongly relying on the Divine aid.

[1]From the Church Records it appears this was Hezekiah Tomlin.

January 30, 1728

1728 January 30 (Tuesday).  I rode to Mr. Behmans,[1] and thence (with Mr. Wheeler[2]) to Marlborough.  At Mr. Williams,[3] Mr. Breck[4] was, and immediately asked me whether I had heard the Earthquake about 3/4 of an hour before (it being then after Two o’clock).  I had not heard anything of it.  It was heard and felt also by most persons.  The Sound was great, and, with many, a shake was distinctly perceiv’d.  Some were ready to say that it was heard every day for 4 or 5 dayes last past.  Unto the Lord from whom cometh our help.


I had something of Difficulty in my trading with Mr. Williams.


I lodg’d at Mr. Brecks.  We discours’d upon the Signs of the Times.  We rode to Mr. Woods.  A wedding was Solemnized at Mr. Brecks.  Samuel Eday[5] was joined to Elizabeth Bellows.[6]  I was compell’d to bear Some part.

[1]Eleazer Behman or Beeman of Westborough.

[2]Joseph Wheeler, an original settler of Westborough

[3]Colonel Abraham Williams.

[4]Reverend Robert Breck of Marlborough.

[5]Samuel Eady or Eddy of Oxford.

[6]Daughter of John Bellows of Marlborough.

January 31, 1728

1728 January 31 (Wednesday).  The morning was very stormy, snow and Rain.  But after dinner I rode Home.  My Wife told me Mr. Ashur Rice had been here again with a great deal to say about peoples uneasiness at my refusing at least deferring to have a Church Meeting on the account of accommodating the Differences.


[At a later point in the diary Parkman inserted several entries for January, 1728, as follows.]


1728 January 28 (Sunday).  It was heard by very many, and


1728 January 30 (Tuesday).  Almost all people heard it and many felt it shake the houses.