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 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 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 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 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.