February 21, 1744

1744 February 21 (Tuesday).  Jedidiah Rice[1] went Early in the Morn with a Letter to Mr. Prentice of Grafton, and return’d me Mr. Prentices answer.  Brother Hicks for Cambridge.  Robert Evans Leather Dresser and seller, here and I bought Two of him.  He din’d with us.  Church Meeting by Adjournment.  After Prayer we proceeded to Choose Delegates for the Council at Upton.  Brother Francis Whipple and Deacon Newton were Chosen, and no Difficulty arose.  All, or the Chief, Debate we had was from my recommending it to them previous to the Choice that no Brother ought to be Chose who had Interest in that Town.  The Members of the Council Should be disinterested persons.  It was upon this mov’d to me that no Inhabitant of Upton might vote; which was freely yielded to.  After this Affair I pray’d the Church to take into (which took off Brother Zebulon Rice) consideration the Case of Neighbour Cornelius Cook;[2] and the Church saw cause to send a Committee to him, viz. Deacon Forbush, Brother James Bradish and Brother James Bradish junior.  With Prayer and Blessing the Meeting Concluded.  Before Captain Baker went home I had a little Conference with him upon his unreasonable Warmth respecting my undesign’d and (as to me) innocent Oversight on the Lords Day, and I told him it may be he did not know the Meaning of the Word Collusion, which imply’d that there was intent to Deceive.  He did not make any Reply to that, but said it look’d to him at the Juncture of my declaring those men Chosen that I design’d to let it go if they (He and Brother Whipple) had not Spoke — which verily I hope I should not.  He spake about a fair and full meeting of the Church, and upon asking him what he intended by that?  He answer’d he meant when the North side was duly Notify’d.  I told him the Church was notify’d publickly in the Appointed place; and if any did absent themselves I could not either go after them or hire a man to goe round like a Constable to Warn them.  As for their drawing off, it had never been in such good Order as they ought to have done it in.  They had never acquaint’d the Church though under Covenant to hold Communion and though I had advis’d them to consider their Duty.  I told him that Certainly as to Such peculiar pains and Trouble to notifie them they did not Deserve it.  This expression he did not desire to hear.  But for the foresaid Reasons and their late Conduct toward me in Cutting off my support, I thought to be just and fitt, upon which he declar’d himself Satisfy’d.

[1]Son of Perez Rice.

[2]Cook was guilty of “profane swearing.”  In January, 1743, when Cook’s confession of this offense was read to the church, not one member voted to accept it.