September 29, 1736

1736 September 29 (Wednesday).  We went from our Lodging up to Mr. Fisk’s, where the Council was to meet.  Here we formed into an Ecclesiastical Council.  Mr. Campbel Moderator and Mr. Bridgham scribe.  N.B. Mr. Baxter of Medfield could not come by Reason of the Distemper in that Town: nor did Mr. Cheney[1] of Brookfield come till it was very late.  Mr. Rice was Examined by the Moderator and his Qualifyedness voted.  The Church was gathered and signed their Covenant.  They as a Church voted Mr. Rice their Pastor.  When we went to the Meeting House, I was offended with the Indecency of a wrestling Ring and I went to ‘em and expressed my Dissatisfaction.  Rev. Mr. Cheney joined me and we dispersed ‘em.  We also went up resolutely into the Chamber at the Tavern where was a violin and Dancing and stilled and scattered ‘em, declaring loudly against such Indecencys — and then we repaired to the public worship.  Mr. Bridgham prayed.  I preached from Heb. 13.17.  Mr. Campbell prayed and gave the Charge, Mr. Cheney prayed after the Charge.  Mr. Breck gave the Right Hand — and Part of Ps. 132 was sung (read by Mr. How of Dudley[2] the other pastor in the Council).  <illegible gave the Blessing?>  N.B. Mr. Brigham,[3] Mr. Breck, Devotion,[4] Allis,[5] Avery,[6] Whittlesey,[7] and several others (with Madam Throop[8] and Mrs. Morris, whose Husband also came afterwards into the Company) were at a New House near by the House of Entertainment and spent the Evening there, with no little Cheerfullness.  Mr. Breck and Deacon Rice and I lodged at Mr. Rice’s Lodgings; But it was very late before we got to Bed.

[From the New-England Weekly Journal, Oct. 5, 1736, p. [2]:  “New-Medfield in the County of Worcester, Sept. 29.  This Day the Rev. Mr. Caleb Rice, was ordain’d Pastor of the Church in this Place.  The Rev. Mr. Bridgham of Brimfield, began with Prayer; the Rev. Mr. Parkman of Westborough, preach’d on Heb. 13.17.  The Rev. Mr. Campbell of Oxford gave the Charge, the Rev. Mr. Cheney of Brookfield making the latter Prayer during the Imposition of Hands.  And the Rev. Mr. Breck of Springfield gave the Right Hand of Fellowship.]

[1]Thomas Cheney (c. 1692-1747), Harvard 1711, minister of Brookfield, 1717-1747.  SHG, 5:561-63. 

[2]Perley How (c. 1710-1753), Harvard 1731, minister of Dudley, 1735-1743, Killingly (First Congregational Church of Putnam), 1746-1753.  SHG, 9:51-54

[3]James Brigham (1707-1776), Harvard 1726, minister of Brimfield, 1736-1776; SHG, 8:7-10.

[4]Ebenezer Devotion (1684-1741), Harvard 1707, minister of Suffield, Connecticut , 1710-1741; SHG, 5:329-31.

[5]Samuel Allis (1705-1796), Harvard 1724, minister of Somers (Second Church of Enfield), Conn., 1727-1747.  SHG, 7:292-94.

[6]Probably Ephraim Avery (1713-1754), Harvard 1731, minister of Brooklyn (Second Church, Pomfret), Connecticut, 1735-1754.  SHG 9:4-7.

[7]Samuel Whittelsey, Jr. (1713-1768), Yale 1729 (Honorary Harvard, 1732), minister of Second Church, Milford, Conn., 1737-1768.  SHG, 8:635-38.

[8]Possibly Frances (Davis) Throop, widow of Amos Throop (1702-1736), Harvard 1721, minister of Woodstock, 1727-1736.  SHG, 6:572-74.