January 1, 1744

1744 January 1 (Sunday).  If I have heretofore taken Some Notice of the wondrous Patience and Longsuffering of God towards me in Time past, what far more increas’d Reason to now!  O that Since God is vouchsafing and protecting His rich Mercys to me, it might please Him to add This Great Mercy to all the other Grace to enable me to make a right Improvement thereof!  The Thoughts and Conversation of People Seem to be very much engross’d by the Appearing and Continuance of the Comet in the West.  I think it the largest that I have ever Seen, and that it comes Nearer and Nearer to the Earth.  I desire it may put me in Mind of the Greatness, Glory and Power, and the wisdom and So great Dominion of the infinite God whose works these are; And that I may bring to remembrance and have an abiding sense of that Day that Shall burn as an Oven, when this Earth also shall be sett on Fire and, all the wicked shall be Consumed.  Mal. 4.1.  2 Epistle of Pet. 3.7.  I preach’d on Col. 1.21.  Mr. Coolidge though in town yet not well nor at meeting.

January 3, 1744

1744 January 3 (Tuesday).  Was to have assisted Mr. Cushing in keeping a Fast at the House of one Samuel Brown in Shrewsbury, who is in a distress’d if not distracted Frame and has been so for Several Years without Relief.  But it was Such a storm of Snow that I was prevented.  Short of Wood but Nathan Maynard kindly helpfull in Splitting what was at the Door, etc.

January 4, 1744

1744 January 4 (Wednesday).  Nathan Maynard, Daniel Bellows,[1] Benjamin Whipple[2] and [blank] came and got me a present Supply of wood.  P.M. Colonel Nahum Ward[3] here.  Seems to have a Concern about Religion.  At Eve Abner Maynard[4] of Shrewsbury here and brought me a Token of respect from the Society I had lately preach’d to in that town.  20 shillings old Tenor from these Lads.

[1]Son of Eleazer Bellows.

[2]Son of Francis Whipple.

[3]Of Shrewsbury.

[4]Son of Sergeant Simon Maynard, one of the founders of the Shrewsbury church.

January 5, 1744

1744 January 5 (Thursday).  Preach’d at the private Meeting at Deacon Forbush’s on Matt. 11.26.  N.B. Lieutenant Tainter sick.  N.B. after Meeting relating the Story of Mercy Wheeler[1] of Plainfield her wonderful Recovery, Mrs. Whitney Scarcely Contains.  [?]  N.B. My wife went with me and we were at old Mr. Rice’s in the Evening.

[1]See Benjamin Lord, God Glorified in His Works, of Providence and Grace.  A Remarkable Instance of it, in the Various and Signal Deliverances, that Evidently Appears to be Wrought for Mrs. Mercy Wheeler, in Plainfield (Boston, 1743).  See also Thomas S. Kidd, “The Healing of Mercy Wheeler: Illness and Miracles among Early American Evangelicals,” William and Mary Quarterly 3d ser. 63:1 (Jan. 2006), 149-70.  Kidd quotes Parkman, p. 149.

January 16, 1744

1744 January 16 (Monday).  Cold, Windy.  Neighbour Wheeler here, he brought 2 Bushels of Rie at 16 shillings per Bushel.  John Roberts[1] of Grafton was also here, to ask my Advice concerning his applying to Books and Learning in order to his Education for the Ministry.

[1]Roberts did not pursue his interest.  Later in 1746 he married Elizabeth Fay of Westborough.  Pierce, Grafton, 559.

January 19, 1744

1744 January 19 (Thursday).  Mr. Cushing here.  Troubles in Shrewsbury increase.  Zebediah Johnson,[1] Lieutenant Stone,[2] etc. very uneasy as if they had not Spiritual Diet.  Mr. Cushing and I din’d at Ensign Maynards[3] with Colonel Nahum Ward, Colonel Williams and others at the giving out a Number more of Commissions — and particularly Ensign Maynard is now Constituted a Captain.  N.B. Lieutenant Lee of Worcester his unguarded Talk, both at Captain Maynards and at my House.

[1]Ward, Shrewsbury, 334.

[2]Isaac Stone, one of the first selectmen of Shrewsbury.

[3]Stephen Maynard of Westborough.

January 20, 1744

1744 January 20 (Friday).  Nine Men came and got Wood.  Neighbour Hezekiah Pratt, James Bradish, Eleazer Williams, Noah How, Paul Newton,[1] Elijah Rice, Thomas Winchester, Solomon Baker[2] and James Maynard.  12 Large Load.  N.B. Trouble in the Young Mens Society on account of Richard Roberts a young Man of Grafton who is hir’d to keep School on the South west Corner of the town, and who being a serious and Religious person many are desirous should meet with them but Nathan Maynard chiefly opposes it (he being a New Light) and they bring the Difficulty to me.  I sent for Nathan and he Came and gave his Reasons.  But I advis’d that Roberts defer his meeting till the society can be a little more Compos’d.

[1]Son of Deacon Josiah Newton.

[2]Son of Edward Baker.

January 23, 1744

1744 January 23 (Monday).  Reverend Mr. Smith of Marlborough made a Visit.  We don’t meet without some Contests about the Times.  He Thinks that there are as many and as deeply heart searching sermons among those term’d opposers as any others whosoever etc.  He din’d with me but it was at a Time when a Number of my Neighbours were here getting Wood.  Viz. Mr. Grout,[1] Thomas Whitney, Harrington, Bowman,[2] Daniel Forbush, Jonathan, Phinehas and Eli Forbush, Daniel Stone, Eliezer and Jeb Rice, Benjamin and Daniel Fay, each of which with a Team.  Dan Warrin, James and Ebenezer Miller, Eleazer and Oliver Whitney, Samuel Baker.  N.B. What wood was at the Door before and what there is now brought amounts to at least 50 Load now in the Piles, D. Gr.

[1]Joseph Grout.

[2]James Bowman.

January 26, 1744

1744 January 26 (Thursday).  Went to Lieutenant Tainters who is weak and feeble yet.  Was also at Stephen Fays.  His Brother James there.  He acquaints me with Mr. Halls going to Framingham shortly to preach there.  Desir’d me to let him preach at his House.  I chose he should at the Meeting House and wrote a Letter to Mr. Hall for that End, which he took the Care to Convey.

January 30, 1744

1744 January 30 (Monday).  Another Town Meeting upon my support etc.  They voted but £200 — Old Tenor.  The North Side very Resolute.  They urg’d that the Town gave me last year more than I needed or desir’d, that provisions were cheaper, etc., whereas I never gave so much as for both my Beef and my Rie — and also for Labour.  The Moderator Mr. Livermore[1] would not as much as Send me any Committee or Message of what they had done — said it was not in the Warrant.  The Year has been of far greater Labours than Ever with me for them and of far greater charge on the Account of the Company etc., by means of the multiply’d Exercises, Lectures, etc.  But God grant me an Even mind and resignation to His will!  O that I may also have Grace to Examine my Ends, aims and Views.  Mr. Whitneys Daughter Mary here — also Brother Hicks.  At Evening Captain Warrin and Lieutenant Forbush[2] here.

[1]Jonathan Livermore.

[2]Samuel Forbush of Westborough.