February 1, 1728

1728 February 1 (Thursday).  I am in great Concern respecting first my own Spiritual State and fearing the Earthquake that great and terrible operation of the Divine Hand has not been so Suitably regarded by me as to produce a due Effect, and The impressions that were made I fear May be Sadly wearing off; and my preparations to meet my God are very low and Scanty.


Secondly.  I am concerned in my mind about the Troubles that threaten in this Town.  I See my Self unable to manage a Quarrell and very much indispos’d towards it; but especially I would be afraid of the Interest of Religion Suffering; I would dread the Sins and mischiefs my people may be rushing into; and Contention has the blacker aspect in the Day wherein we see Such evident manifestations of the Divine Displeasure upon us.


Whereupon I, in the fear of God, would Set apart this Day, therein to seek the face of God, to avert the Evils threatening, to give me his Grace to quicken me, and savingly to Convert me unto him, to give me a sealed pardon of my sins, and assist me to walk before him according to his most Blessed will; graciously to interpose for his people of this Town and restore peace and unanimity to us (which Blessings, Gods name be praised, that we happily enjoyed so long; and O that God would forgive our misimprovement of them).  However, to prepare and accomplish me with wisdom from above, and vouchsafe his immediate assistance and Conduct through all that may be before me; and grant the Issue may be his own Glory.  And now the Lord be with me in the Dayes work and Show me his favour for his mercies Sake.  Let also these my Endeavours contribute not a little to fit me for waiting upon God in the Solemnities of the Supper of the Lord.  I religiously observed the Day according to the abovementioned appointment of it, till I was interrupted by Mr. Tainter[1] who came from the Private Meeting (about 3 p.m.) desiring me to go to their Assistance in the Exercises.  I went and Entertained my hearers with my Discourse (Sometime Since publickly deliver’d) upon Hoseah 4.12.  So that I had nevertheless, Opportunity to carry along the Private Designs abovesaid.  At least they (I took care) were not forgotten or neglected.  I had design’d for the Sake of promoting peace among my Brethren, to have gone to them in the Evening and I therefore Desired them to take all Suitable Methods for pacification and Reconciliation.  Mr. Newton[2] was gone home but Asher Rice immediately Step’d forward full of his bitter case, but was almost immediately oppos’d by Ensign Newton, and then almost everyone in the Room engag’d in an unsuitable Clamour, which it was hard to lay.  The Subject was that a Church meeting would alone help our State and was the only method that could be taken.  But at length by Mr. Bradishes[3] urging it that “inasmuch as it could not be Expected to have a Church Meeting before the Sacrament he thought our present Duty was to Endeavour if possible to obtain that Christian Disposition that might qualifie us to come acceptably to God and comfortably to ourselves; or however to prosecute these Ends as far as we could in doing what was to be done, and after the Sacrament if need were he would advise to discourse about a Church Meeting or what else was Suitable.”  I thought it Sage and Sat in with it and entreated for a composure and sedateness of Spirit as considering how holy the order we were  to put our Selves into preparation for.  I ask’d whether they were so disquieted that they could not in a Christian Temper Sit down at the approaching ordinance.  Though I had no direct answer yet I found that many of the Church would be disquieted if Mr. Newton should be there; and Some, on the other Hand, would be disquieted if Mr. McCollister and Rice[4] should be present.  I advised and Entreated therefore that a person or Two Should be with those three men together and improve the Time and their utmost Skill to compose them, And if no Methods could be Successfull, I desir’d those 3 persons to absent themselves from this administration rather than disturb the whole communion.  And so requested nothing more might pass among us this Night but what might be of an healing and salving nature.  And this met with universal acceptance and thereupon we broke up.  So that I hope there was Some happy issue and Effect, notwithstanding that unlikely view I had in the foregoing part of the Evening.  To God be the Glory of any Good enabled from him to do.  And I hope it was not altogether without Benefit and Comfort in my own Soul that this Day has been set apart; though too much reason to reflect on my own unstableness and inexpertness, thro’ which if it had not been, perhaps I had reap’d more the Mercy of God through the Merits of Christ vouchsafe Remission.

[1]Simon Tainter.

[2]Josiah Newton.

[3]James Bradish.

[4]Asher Rice.

February 2, 3, 1728

1728 February 2, 3 (Friday, Saturday).  Prepar’d for the Sabbath but not without Troublesome casts doubting of a Reconciliation between those foresaid Dissenting persons, and Sorrowing that Things should be brought to that pitch among us already that any of us should be oblig’d to withdraw from the Sacrament through want of Peace and Christian agreement.  Tabitha Hardy[1] with me.

[1]Mrs. Samuel Hardy of Westborough.

February 4, 1728

1728 February 4 (Sunday).  I preach’d from [blank].  Mr. Newton withdrawing (the other Two I believe were not at meeting) was a melancholly Sight to me.  I administer’d the Sacrament.  I hope God was convers’d with.  For any Communications I would praise his Name But I would humble my Self that I receiv’d no more Spiritual Benefit.  In the  Afternoon I preach’d upon the Same Text.

February 10, 1728

1728 February 10 (Saturday).  Mr. Jonathan Forbush came and requested I would go See his Son in law Isaac Shattuck before He dy’d, and gave me his sons Earnest Desire to see me.  Accordingly I went.  Found him low and decay’d in Body, almost beyond all Hopes, But with great Encouragement touching Eternall matters.  Having discours’d and pray’d with him I took my leave.

February 11, 1728

1728 February 11 (Sunday).  I preach’d upon Isaiah 1.4 a. and p.m.  After the Exercises Sister Lydia rode with me to see Mr. Shattuck,  Found him living and that appear’d to be all.  Scarcely speaking but manifesting great ground of hope through almighty grace of God thro’ the merits of Christ.  We thought he began to Change.  We pray’d recomending him to God and his family to the Divine grace and protection in as brief an address as posible.  I took my last leave.  Returning Sister Lydia fell from the horse but more surpriz’d than dammag’d.  At our house was Mr. Bows[1] who had preach’d at Southborough on the Day past.

[1]Nicholas Bowes (Harvard 1725), later the first minister of Bedford, 1730-1754.  Sibley, VII, 455-457.

February 12, 1728

1728 February 12 (Monday).   I rode down with Mr. Bows to Cambridge, dining at Mr. Jonsons[1] of Southborough and calling in likewise at Mr. Briton’s[2] of the Same Town and at Mr. Williams[3] at Weston.

[1]William Johnson resided in that part of Marlborough that was incorporated as the new town of Southborough in July 1727.

[2]John Britton of Southborough.

[3]Reverend William Williams (Harvard 1705), minister at Weston, 1709-1750.  Sibley, V, 295-300.

February 13, 1728

1728 February 13 (Tuesday).  Mr. Isaac Greenwood[1] was inaugurated in the College Hall, the overseers and a great number of Gentlemen being present and handsomely entertain’d at Dinner after.  In the Exercise Mr. Flynt[2] first pray’d and then made a Latin oration.  The statutes of his founder read.  The oaths were administered and he made his Declaration according to Mr. Hollis’s Statutes that he would religiously observe them, and Mr. Greenwood made an handsome Oration in Latin.  Mr. Flynt renunciated or openly declar’d Mr. Greenwood Professor of Mathematicks and Naturall and Experimental Phylosophy according to Mr. Hollis’s institution.  Mr. Appleton[3] pray’d and we in Conclusion Sang Ps. 104, the 1st and 2 last Stanzas of Tate and Brady’s Version.  It was a Day of Solemnity and great Joy, and I hope Glory was given to God.  I tarried at College chiefly with Mr. Greenwood till time to repair to Lodgings at Father Champney’s.  I was at College at Mr. Greenwoods over a Dish of Tea, Stay’d till Sundown and then I went to Boston.  Kept my Horse at Mr. Goldthwaits.  The Great Dr. Cotton Mather dy’d this morning 4 a.m. after Suffering of an asthma.

[1]First Hollis Professor of Mathematics at Harvard College.

[2]Henry Flynt (Harvard 1693), Tutor at Harvard College.  Sibley, IV, 162-167.

[3]Reverend Nathaniel Appleton, D.D. (Harvard 1712), minister of the First Church of Cambridge, 1717-1784.  Sibley, V, 599-609.

February 15, 1728

1728 February 15 (Thursday).  Mr. Colman[1] preach’d Dr. Mathers funeral Sermon from Gen. 5.24.  I went in the Evening to Mr. Gerrish’s[2] Retail.  Here was Mr. Sewal,[3] Mr. Prince,[4] Mr. Cooper[5] and Mr. Foxcroft.  After Candle Light I rode out of Town, to Cambridge upon my journey home.  Here I found my wife and Son who were brought down yesterday by William Clark of Westborough.  It rain’d So I was detain’d.  Now I had opportunity to see much of Father Champney’s Methods which were much out of due Course through the violence of a Fever many years agoe.  Great grief and Concern in the Family.

[1]Reverend Benjamin Colman of the Brattle Street Church.

[2]Samuel Gerrish, the bookseller.

[3]Reverend Joseph Sewall of the Old South Church, Boston.

[4]Reverend Thomas Prince also of the Old South Church.

[5]Reverend William Cooper (Harvard 1712), of the Brattle Street Church, 1716-1743.  Sibley, V, 624-634.

February 18, 1728

1728 February 18 (Sunday).  Mr. Appleton a.m. on Eccl. 7.2 for That is the End of all men.  I preach’d p.m. from Acts 24.16.  Supp’d at Mr. Appletons.  Mr. Marston Gibs and Fitch[1] of Piscataqua there, and afterwards Mr. Remington,[2] Mr. Wigglesworth[3] and Sir Rogers.[4]  I return’d to Father Champney’s at nine.

[1]John Fitch (Harvard 1728) of Portsmouth, N. H.  The son of the Reverend Jabez Fitch.  Sibley, VIII, 426-427.

[2]Jonathan Remington (Harvard 1696), Tutor at Harvard College, a judge, and Councillor of the Province.  Sibley, IV, 300-303.

[3]Edward Wigglesworth (Harvard 1710), Professor at Harvard College.  Sibley, V, 546-555.

[4]John Rogers (Harvard 1728).  Sibley, VIII, 480-481.

February 19, 1728

1728 February 19 (Monday).  I rode to Boston to Dr. Mathers Funerall.  It look’d very Sad — almost as if it were the funerall of the Country.  A very Sad Breach.  Of for Sufficient portions of Gods Spirit upon surviving ministers!  Vast Concourse Exceeding long Procession and numberless Spectators.  Every heart Sad.  This Evening at cousin Dorcas Bows[1] where was Mrs. Rebecca Adams and by and by Brother Samuell Parkman.

[1]Mrs. Dorcas Bowes, cousin of Mrs. Parkman.

February 22, 1728

1728 February 22 (Thursday).  I was much detain’d the forenoon by making writings, Deed, Bonds, Etc.  Father Champney bying woodland of Cousin Daniel Champneys Children.  I stop’d at Mr. Williams’s a little while, but it began to Snow and I hastened.  The Storm increas’d greatly So that night coming on also I turn’d away to Mr. Winchesters,[1] and lodg’d there.

[1]Probably Ebenezer Winchester, prominent citizen of Framingham.  Temple, Framingham, p. 752.

February 23, 1728

1728 February 23 (Friday).  The Morning was much worse till near Eleven, and though the wind was very high and the snow blowing very much, yet the Clouds began to grow thinner.  He rode with me into the Road, the Paths being very much blown up and indeed the Roads too.  I met with great Difficulties.  I hardly reach’d Mr. Moss’s where I had refreshment for my Self and horse, and a Young Man offer’d to ride with me.  We reach’d Mr. Nathan Brighams,[1] refresh’d again, and Mr. Brigham rode up into this Town.  But it was a Sad time to be abroad in, the Snow being very deep and great Danger if happening out of the Path and yet the Path almost wholly blown up.  But through the Divine Goodness I arrived without Damage and found my people well.  Deo opt. nostro grates.

[1]Captain Brigham of Marlborough.