February 1, 1736

1736 February 1 (Sunday).  No body to preach to us upon this dark and Sorrowfull Day.  I know not how to undertake any thing — but God called for it.  Weeping must not hinder sowing.  And I went forth with some old preparation and repeated my sermon on Heb. 12.5.[1]  It was observable how God tyed up my Affections and restrained my Tears, and carryed me through all, without those Confusions I feared and expected.[2]

[1]Heb. 12.5, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.”

[2]On the Puritans’ control of emotions, see Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England (rev. ed.; New York: Harper & Row, 1966), 48-49.

February 2, 1736

1736 February 2 (Monday).  In the Morning I very much dreaded the work of this Day.  I feared I Should discover and publish my Infirmitys in open Indecencys.  I endeavoured therefore to beware, and to set my Self beforehand.  The Ministers I sent to, came; and of their Wives Madam Cushing[1] and Madam Prentice[2] of Grafton.  Of Scholers, Mr. Diman,[3] Mr. James Morris,[4] and Mr. Hovey (of Marlborough) and a considerable Collection of my valuable Friends besides from the neighbouring Towns came to Condole.  Brother Samuel Champney[5] and Cousen Downing Champney[6] also came up.  The Solemnity was brought on with much Decency, through the Care and Diligence of my Friends.  I Earnestly begged of God to teach me the Duty of holy Mourning; That His righteous Ends in this grievous Dispensation, might be answered in every Respect — And that God would be pleased to grant that Some Special Spiritual Advantage might be received (if it might be consistent with His Sovereign Will) before the Corps Should move out of the House — But now when I see my Dear Spouse is moved away — that the Eye that has Seen her Shall See her no more!  [blot] the place that has known her shall know her no more! — <And?> she goes the way whence She shall not return; even unto the House appointed for all the Living.  O my thrice Sorrowful State!  She goes to her long home — and we the mourners, go along the Streets!  And what is now my Duty as I pass along to her Grave?  Lord, make me to know (to know in a practical, Spiritual Saving Manner) My End also — etc.  If God has taken away one half, Shall not the t’other be warned and get ready also?  But my Heart is extreamly unsteady.  Let me form Some Suitable Resolutions, which (by the Grace of God) I will execute — and God be pleased to keep these Things in the Imagination of the Thought of my Heart Continually, and help me that I may do as I have Said!  For I am very much afraid of my Self, and do greatly fear I shall loose the Good I ought to get by this visitation.  The Resolutions I formed upon the way to the Grave were Such as these, First, That I would endeavour (by divine Grace) to become sensible of what God is doing; and to search out the Mind and Pleasure of God in this Visitation.  That I will Humble my Self under His Holy and Mighty Hand and That I will particularly for those Sins which I may Judge may have, in a peculiar Manner, displeased and provoked an holy and Jealous God against me: That I will, with Some Close attention and personal Application, reflect upon my own frailty; for God having taken away one so very near to me, So much the t’other part of my Self, it Should awaken me to reallize it, that I must be in a little time wholly in the Same Condition.  As those who are struck with the Numb Palsey (as it has been called) and are dead on one Side, are alarmed to Consider what will shortly become of the Other side also.  In pursuance of this Resolution, I resolve further (by the Aids of Grace) That I will keep strictly my Wife’s dying Counsel, both respecting myself and my Family — To be, my Self, a serious, Steddy (or solid) Religious Man, And that we all, together, get and keep Ready together, all of us keep ready, always ready.  Accordingly O that I might immediately see to it that I be indeed Converted and regenerate!  That no time be lost; but that this may be thorowly seen to!  And further, That So much the more particular, Strict Care must be taken of the Children, as they are bereaved of that wondrous Care which their Dear and Tender Mother took of them.  That I will value and prize, and endeavour to improve, the Presence and Comfort and Advantage of Surviving Relatives — and That I will endeavour that this grievous Affliction serve for my great Quickening in my Ministerial work — And O that out of this Furnace I may come forth as Gold!  At the Grave I endeavoured to Exercise Faith in Him who Said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in me tho’ he be dead yet shall he live.”[7]  I desired to committ my Dead to the Earth in Hope of the Resurrection.  And I viewed the 4th Space of Ground [marginal notation: The former 3 were Maro’s,[8] Lydia’s,[9] and now her mother’s.], as not knowing but that There I might Shortly be laid.  The Condolence of many Friends at my House, and the Respect shewn to the Memory of my Deceased Spouse — was very relieving and Comforting — But unless God shall Comfort us, and take up his Dwelling with us, all Comfort is lifeless and my House will be not only Lonely, but Desolate!  O that therefore God would be pleased to take up his peculiar Abode with us!  And let not his Consolations be Small to us!  Let God also, now their Mother, at his Commandment has forsaken them, take the Motherless Children up, and take ‘em under His more immediate Protection and Care and Favour!  Particularly dear Little LucyFinally, As to all my Circumstances, I desire, and would in the strength of Christ Resolve, that I will put my Self and mine, under the Guidance and would in all my Conduct and Managements before me, follow the Direction, of the Word and Providence of God.

[1]Mary, dau. of Rev. John Prentice (Harvard 1700), mar. Job Cushing, Mar. 16, 1727; d. May 24, 1798.  SHG 6:45-46.

[2]Sarah (Sartel) Prentice, wife of Rev. Solomon Prentice of Grafton.  On Sarah Prentice, see Ross W. Beales, Jr., “The Ecstasy of Sarah Prentice; Death, Re-Birth, and the Great Awakening in Grafton, Massachusetts,” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 26:2 (Summer 1997), 101-23.

[3]James Diman (1707-1788), Harvard 1730, Librarian at Harvard College, 1735-1737; minister of the Second Church, Salem, 1737-1785.  SHG 8:695-700.

[4]Possibly James Morris of Hopkinton (1713-c. 1758), Harvard 1732.  SHG 9:186-87.

[5]Samuel, son of Samuel and Hannah Champney, b. Nov. 12, 1701 (CVR, 1:128)

[6]Downing, son of Daniel Champney, bapt. Mar. 10, 1706 (CVR, 1:126).

[7]John 11.25.

[8]Parkman purchased a slave, “Barrow, alias Maro,” from his father, Aug. 8, 1728; Maro d. Dec. 6, 1729 (Parkman diary).

[9]Lydia (Sept. 20, 1731-June 21, 1733) was the Parkmans’ fourth child.

February 3, 1736

1736 February 3 (Tuesday).  This Morning All my Relations (except Sister Ruth) left me, to return to their respective Homes — but I would humbly trust that the omnipresent and allsufficient God Stays with me.  N.B. Ensign Maynard Singularly Friendly all along, and continues so.  P.M. Mr. William Wait of Sutton here; he acquaints me with his Mothers[1] Decease (at Deacon Tomlins[2]) last Sabbath Morn — asks me to the Funeral to morrow.

[1]Widow Reuhamy Wait d. Feb. 1, 1736 (WVR, 255).

[2]Isaac Tomin served as a deacon of the Westborough church from 1727 to 1745; Worthley, Inventory, 658.

February 5, 1736

1736 February 5 (Thursday).  Silas Pratt (a Lad) came to be with me a few Days.  Mr. Prentice of Grafton (very kindly and on purpose to Comfort me) made me a brotherly visit.  In the Evening Mr. Noah Rice’s Wife[1] here in order to joining with the Church.

[1]Noah Rice mar. Hannah Warren of Watertown, Sept. 21, 1731 (WVR, 201).  Hannah Rice was admitted to the church on Feb. 29, 1736; Noah Rice on July 18, 1736.  They were dismissed to the church in Sutton, June 23, 1745 (WCR, 40, 43, 73).

February 8, 1736

1736 February 8 (Sunday).  I had no body to preach for me.  I prepar’d what I could in the middst of the broken, heavy Thoughts of the Week — and I preached on Ezek. 24.16.[1]  My Daughter Molly[2] had been much troubled with an Ague in her Face, her Teeth and Ear; but is better.

[1]Ezek. 24.16, “Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.”

[2]Mary, or Molly, Parkman, eldest daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (Molly) Parkman, b. Sept. 14, 1725 (WVR, 82).

February 10, 1736

1736 February 10 (Tuesday).  Samuel Baker[1] came instead of his Brother Solomon.  Lieut. Holloway and Neighbour Dantforth[2] here.  A very Moderate pleasant Day.

[1]Samuel Baker, son of Edward and Persis (Brigham) Baker, b. Aug. 27, 1722 (WVR 12).

[2]John Danforth had “own’d the Covenant at Billerica and Submitted to the Discipline of this Church”; his daughter, Lydia, was baptized June 29, 1729.  His son John was baptized on July 25, 1731.  He was admitted to the church on Aug. 29, 1736 (WCR, 19, 28, 43).

February 11, 1736

1736 February 11 (Wednesday).  Storm of Snow.  Yet Samuel Bumso[1] (Indian) being very ill of a Fever, I went to See him, at the house of Mr. James Fay.  I was at Mr. Josiah Newtons[2] in the Eve.  Reckoned with him.  N.B. he Considered how heavy it was at this Time upon his Pastor (to use his Phrase) and therefore have me back Twenty shillings of his own due <word crossed out>.

[1]Parkman frequently employed Samuel Bumso, whose estate was administered in 1756 (Worcester County Registry of Probate, #8,935).

[2]Josiah Newton served as treasurer, 1735-36, 1748, 1750, 1752-53; DeForest and Bates, Westborough, 469.  He joined the Westborough church, Apr. 4, 1725, and was elected deacon in 1738 (WCR, 2, 45-46, 47, 49-50); he d. Feb. 9, 1755 (WVR, 248).

February 14, 1736

1736 February 14 (Saturday).  Mr. Livermore[1] came to desire me to visit Mr. James Ball’s little Daughter[2] being very Sick — And though it was with great Difficulty and when my preparations for the Sabbath were very backward, yet I complyed and went — called to see old Mrs. Holloway[3] as I went, and the widow Fay as I returned.  Moderate Weather.  I was very sorrowfull.

[1]Jonathan Livermore.  When his daughter Rebecca was bapt. Sept. 22, 1728, the church records describe him and his wife Abigail as “members of West Waterton” (WCR, 15).

[2]Lydia, the youngest of the five daughters of James and Sarah Ball, was bapt., Mar. 31, 1734 (WCR, 34).

[3]Hannah Holloway was admitted to the Westborough church, Nov. 13, 1726 (WCR, 4); d. Dec. 30, 1736, “aged about 93 or 4 years” (Parkman diary).

February 15, 1736

1736 February 15 (Sunday).  On Ezek. 24.16.[1]  The Days and Nights pass in a very Melancholly, disconsolate Manner — but I would earnestly repair to God [roll?] my Way, and cast my Care upon Him.  Snow storm — but it did not prevail to Such violence as it did in the Eve and Night.

[1]Ezek. 24.16, “Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.”

February 18, 1736

1736 February 18 (Wednesday).  Very Cold, and Windy.  I visited Capt. Warrins Family — his son Moses[1] continuing very Sick and weak yet.  Met Lieut. Holloway and Mr. Wheeler[2] who had been to see Neighbour Samuel Hardy on account of his writing and Spreading Mary Bradishs[3] Verses — But to no Purpose.  Very Cold Night.  Little Molly broke out since her Blister for her ague.

[1]Moses, son of Daniel and Mary (Witherby) Warrin, b. Oct. 10, 1728 (WVR, 104).

[2]Joseph Wheeler (1700-1747), one of the first inhabitants of Westborough, joined the church, was a founding member of the church (WCR, 379).

[3]Mary Bradish (b. March 25 1715, WVR, 24) was admitted into the church, Dec. 3, 1727 (WCR, 9)  On Nov. 23, 1735, “Mary Bradish offered a Confession for having composed a paper of Verses of a Scandalous and Calumniating Nature respecting the Committee appointed by the Town (some time since) to Search out who it was Cut the pulpit Cusheon, and tending to defame others also – she was very penitent – but there was some objection made by Several against reading Said Confession to Day, but the Church more generally insisting for it, and the chief objectors yielding, it was read and she was restored” (WCR, 38).

February 19, 1736

1736 February 19 (Thursday).  The Cold not altogether so violent — but the Wind high.  I had gone to Lancaster if the Weather, the Roads, the State of my Family, and my own Health had permitted, to Lecture there, Several affairs requiring the Ministers of this Vicinity to meet together.  But it proves too Extream a season.  Jesse Maynard[1] here with the Petition of 25 persons, requesting (in form) that I would print my Last Fast Sermons.[2]  Another very Cold Night.

[1]Jesse Maynard, b. June 24, 1712, son of David and Hannah, MVR, 125; m. Phebe Fisk of Wenham, Sept. 27, 1737, in Wenham (WVR, 182).

[2]There is no record of when these sermons were preached or that they were printed

February 23, 1736

1736 February 23 (Monday).  Mr. Hovey (Schoolm. Marlborough) visited me.  Mr. Campbell[1] also of Oxford and Several others.  So good sledding, that Sleds go and are about to go, to Boston.  Mr. Hovey lodged here.  Lent Neighbour Rogers my Oxen for Logging to Mr. Forb. Mill.

[1]John Campbell (1691-1761), Edinburgh 1716, minister of Oxford, Mass., 1721-1761.  Weis, Colonial Clergy, 49.

February 24, 1736

1736 February 24 (Tuesday).  Mr. Hall[1] of Sutton visited me — dined with me.  Mr. Jonathan Bellows and his wife[2] here to be Examined etc.  Moderate Weather.  Mr. Whipple and Mr. Aaron Forb.[3] brought Each of them a Load of Hay home from the Meadow.

[1]David Hall (1704-1789), Harvard 1724, minister of Sutton, 1729-1789.  SHG, 7:345-56.

[2]Jonathan and Judith Bellows were admitted to the church, June 3, 1736 (WCR, 41).  Jonathan Bellows was born either Mar. 27, 1704, son of Elliazer and Esther, or Dec. 7, 1713, son of Isaac and Ellizabeth (MVR, 26).  He mar. Judith [Teser?] of Southborough, ____ 27, 1732 (Lancaster VR, 397). 

[3]Aaron, son of Thomas and Dorcas Forbush, b. Apr. 13, 1693 (MVR, 73).

February 26, 1736

1736 February 26 (Thursday).  Lecture.  Mr. Stone (of Southborough) preached on Numb. 23.10.  I Stayed the Church after Sermon to read Mr. Frinks[1] Proposals of a County Consociation of the Churches.  A word also of Relations — of the Watch of the Church over the Children of the Covenant — and I acquainted the Church with Several Books which were presented to the Church, Scil: Mr. Whites Lamentations,[2] Mr. Clark (of Salem Village) upon Infant Baptism.[3]

[1]Thomas Frink (1705-1777), Harvard 1722, minister of Rutland, 1727-1740; minister of the Third Church, Plymouth, 1744-1748; minister of Barre, 1753-1766.  SHG 7:69-75.

[2]John White, New England’s Lamentations under these Three Heads. The Decay of the Power of Godliness; The Danger of Arminian Principles; The Declining State of Our Church-Order… (Boston, 1734).  White (c. 1677-1760), Harvard 1698, was minister of Gloucester, 1703-1760.  SHG, 4:421-24.

[3]Peter Clark, The Scripture-Grounds of the Baptism of Christian Infants…. A Vindication…Against Mr. Walton’s Exceptions… (Boston, 1735).  Clark (1694-1768), Harvard 1712, was minister at Salem Village, now Danvers, 1716-1768; SHG, 5:616-23.

February 27, 1736

1736 February 27 (Friday).  A Cold Morning, but a very Pleasant Day.  Warm p.m.  N.B. Brother Asher Rice[1] here, I having Sent Several Times for him.  He gave me Some Satisfaction.

[1]Son of Thomas Rice.  He had been captured by the Indians in 1704 and later was redeemed.  DeForest and Bates, History, 37-39 [Walett]. When he had his son Benjamin bapt., June 24, 1744, he was “now dwelling at Leicester.”  Rice later moved to Spencer and told Parkman “he does not go to the Communion and that 3 of his Children are unbaptized.  But he Strongly asserts his own Innocence, and desires I would write to Rev. Eaton that his Cause may be heard” (Parkman diary, Nov. 2, 1759).  He was later living in Brookfield and was afflicted with a cancer that Parkman judged to be fatal (Parkman diary, Sept. 5, 1772).

February 28, 1736

1736 February 28 (Saturday).  P.M. Mr. Ivory Hovey here, and lodged here.  At Eve Some very uncomfortable Prospect respecting the Approach of Brother Samuel Hardy to the Communion.  Several perplexing Difficultys likely to occur if he doth.  I trust however that God Himself will graciously Order Matters in His Providence — that there may be escape from these Temptations and threatning Troubles!  I may not interpose without Danger of the public peace; I must discharge my Self in my sermon as prudently as I can, and leave the rest to God.

February 29, 1736

1736 February 29 (Sunday).  I preached on Job.[1]  P.M. on Matth. 24.44.  I Desire to Improve this Sacrament Day in the following manner, viz. 1. I would humbly Confess my Sins before God — Sins in General but especially Such as have provoked the Lord against me in Sending Sickness into my Family (Besides the Sickness of my Family in the Month past, Ebenezer is this Day sick of a Fever again) And Death into my Bosom.  And Such Sins as have attended my Mourning — Either Defect, — or Excess.  2. I would committ my Self and my Family unto God, to His more immediate Care and Protection, now we are so much bereaved and deprived of the Care and faithfullness, Constancy and Dexterity of my late wife in Guiding the Family: and O that God would Conduct me in All Things!  3. I would enter into or Confirm Espousals Solemnly unto Christ now that God has taken away the wife of my Bosom from me by His stroke.  And now my Dear Wife is deceased I would the more stir up my Faith in a Living Redeemer.  O that this might be done truely — and that Christ would please to Accept of me!

 4.  I would Confirm the Purposes I formed at my Wife’s Funeral.

 5.  I would stir up my Faith in the Resurrection from the Dead — My ownMy Wife’s — And Christs coming and standing upon the Earth in the Latter Day.

[1]Job 19.25, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”  Job 19.26, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”  Job 19.27, “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”