January 1, 1745

1745 January 1 (Tuesday).  We began the Year with a Little Association at our House.  Reverend Ministers [Messrs.?] Cushing, Stone and Smith came up and din’d with me, and Smok’d a Pipe.  P.M. There were Two Things I wanted the Thoughts of my Brethren in the Ministry upon.  My Circumstances in Westborough at this present Day — as the Town are like to Violate and Destroy the Covenant and Contract which has hitherto been between us.  And there are Two Meetings before us, to be within a few Days.  A Precinct Meeting to be on the Thursday and a Town Meeting (which is to be partly at my Request) next Monday.  I was not willing that there Should be Such Affairs as these transacting among us without acquainting my Friends about Me therewith and Consulting them thereon.  This therefore I did.  Another Thing was I found there was like to be some Difficulty arising if I ask’d Mr. Jenison[1] to preach for me, or if I Should recommend him to our North side or Countenance his preaching there as in Years past.  Mr. Smith in particular had told me that for himself he Should not ask him — and he conceiv’d that Mr. Cushing would refuse to likewise nor merely on account of his living from his Wife (which had but a bad aspect) but on account of other Conduct in divers respects.  This was therefore talk’d over at my House and all present discover’d their sentiments and their Resolutions, which were that he ought to be refus’d, untill those Matters complain’d of were clear’d up — and they engag’d to second and strengthen me if I found it needful to begin with him in a faithful Discovery of My Mind to him.  But N.B. some unhappy Contrast between Mr. Smith and me at Table on the Score of Mr. Hall, and his Letter concerning the revival of Religion in Sutton inserted in the Christian History.  At Evening before Mr. Cushing went away I sent my Desire to Mr. Jenison to come and sup with me, Which gave me Opportunity, as it did also Mr. Cushing to deal freely with him; and we improv’d it as we were able.  And as far as was discoverable he took it well and was thankfull.

[1]William Jenison (HC 1724) had been dismissed by the East Parish of Salem in 1736. Thereafter he had taught in Lexington, Worcester, Lunenburg, and Westborough. Jenison was eccentric and intemperate, was not living with his wife, and was opposed “on account of other conduct in divers respects” (see entry for April 23).   SHG7:371-374; Allen, Worcester Association, 28.

January 2, 1745

1745 January 2 (Wednesday).  Thus the Year began with Difficult Dutys and Trials, and more follow’d immediately upon them for on the second I rode over to Upton according to my appointment and Message to them.  Lieutenant Tainter (whose wife I visited as I went), Mr. Stratton of Waltham, his son Harrington and Mr. Grow, were my Company over.  We din’d at Captain Sadlers.[1]  It was Somewhat lowery a.m. but was clearer p.m.  Mr. Weld and Mr. Dorr[2] at Meeting.  I preach’d on James 5.9, latter part.  After Sermon Israel Taft junior who had before hand acquaint’d me with his Right to Church Privilege and his Desire of Baptism for his Child, having Stood up, with his Child ready, I laid his Desires before the Church who manifested their Consent to proceeding — But Reverend Weld objected and after long debatings Still insisted that this was one that had not made him Satisfaction etc.  Reverend Mr. Dorr said he thought I ought to abide by our own Result, which granted Privilege.  Several brethren would fain have drawn off but I besought them to tarry.  Mr. Matthew Taft in particular, but he said he thought it had as good be Wav’d for the present Seeing So much was Said.  As to myself I conceiv’d that being the Young Man publickly acknowledg’d he was to blame in leaving Mr. Weld to hear Mr. Pain,[3] and was willing to join in what the Brethren did in the Agreement with Mr. Weld previous to his Dismission, he ought to be restor’d and enjoy Privilege but since there was so much uncomfortable Debate and the Sun just sitting I chose to Wave it.  And so I proceeded to Prayer, and dismiss’d the People.  Mr. Dorr and Mr. Weld went down to Captain Sadlers where Mr. Weld manifested great Disquietment with our last Result as well as the former.  But I would not tarry to contest with him.  We return’d home.  N.B. I supp’d at Neighbour Harringtons with Mr. Stratton and others.

[1]John Sadler, a selectman of Upton.

[2]Rev. Joseph Dorr of Mendon.

[3]Probably the Rev. Seth Pain (YC 1726), who has been dismissed by Stafford, Conn., and became an Anglican. DYG, 334-335.

January 3, 1745

1745 January 3 (Thursday).  The First Precinct had their First Meeting, and chose Precinct Officers, and a Committee to treat with Me.  By this Days Transactions all Enquiry whether the Town Submitts to the General Courts Act in dividing the Town is Superseded: for this is an actual Submission thereto and proceeding accordingly.  This Day therefore I look upon the Contract between this Town and my Self to be Shock’d and Violated.  God grant me wisdom proportionable to the Trial![1]  My Ox bad.  Eliezer Rice rak’d him.  Sent for Mr. Daniel Garfield.[2]  On the 3 Mr. Daniel Forbush laid an Hearth in my New Study.

[1]See DeForest and Bates, Westborough, 131.

[2]Given as Gafield in Westborough Vital Records.

January 4, 1745

1745 January 4 (Friday).  Bad Weather, yet Mr. William Caruth coming to call me to Visit Mr. Simon Howards young Child, I went over — and having admonish’d them for their Neglect in not bringing it to Baptism, now the third Month — I sent to all those Neighbours round about who could be thought to attend, who accordingly came; Several of the Church, viz. Mr. Nathan Ball, Mr. Livermore, Mr. Townsend,[1] and others — who all judging and Concluding that the Child[2] would not live but was near its End, I baptiz’d it by the name of Solomon.  After which we Commended it to God.  Sang a Psalm and dismiss’d them with the Blessing.  Not well when I got home went early to bed.  Mr. Garfield came to look at my Ox which grows rather better.  He rak’d him.

[1]Joshua Townsend.

[2]Neither the birth nor the death is recorded in the Westborough Vital Records.

January 6, 1745

1745 January 6 (Sunday).  A.M. on Consideration of the Very Weighty Affairs which in Divine Providence are before me with relation to this Town I preach’d on Mat. 6.25, and p.m. on Phil. 4.6.  Mr. Jenison and Mr. Stratton din’d here.  It was not difficult for the Congregation to perceive that my Subject pointed at the purpos’d Business before us on the Morrow.  The Lord prepare my Heart!

January 7, 1745

1745 January 7 (Monday).  I sat up till nigh two o’Clock this Morning in preparing for the Meeting (which was this Day) of the Town, and when the Town had been some Time together they sent a Committee, viz. Captain Eager and Captain Warrin to desire me to go to the Meeting House, which I did and deliver’d my mind to them, which being from a written Paper, See.  It was a Matter that my Mind wrought in: and I endeavour’d in some measure, to Committ it to God the Fountain of all Knowledge and Grace and the supreme orderer and Disposer of all Events.  At Eve I visited Captain Maynard and Mr. Jenison.  There were several Neighbours — Mr. Francis Whipple, Lieutenant Aaron Forbush, etc.  N.B. The Town Meeting was adjourn’d to next Friday.

January 8, 1745

1745 January 8 (Tuesday).  A Stormy Day, otherwise I should have been Expected to be at Southborough where some Ministers propos’d to meet in order to calling our Association together that a public Testimony may be drawn up against Mr. Whitefield.[1]

[1]Parkman’s name was among those ministers who expressed their approval of Whitefield’s work in a letter to The Boston Gazette or Weekly Journal, Jan. 8, 1745.

January 11, 1745

1745 January 11 (Friday).  The Town met again about my Affairs.  They granted Money at the Rate of £220 per Year for my preaching from June 5 to the 19th of October when the Town was divided into Two Precincts.  Captain Fay and Captain Warrin were the Committee to inform Me, to which I return’d a Written Answer.  And So now I am after these Things to be thrown upon a Precinct, or out of Doors — our old Covenants and Contracts being nullify’d and dissolved — and this without any Consent of mine, or Opportunity from either the Court or the Town to Shew whether I consented or not.  At Eve came Captain Eager, Lieutenant Holloway, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Livermore, Mr. James Ball, Mr. Jesse Brigham, Mr. Nathaniel Oake and Lieutenant Tainter and several of them had not heard the Paper which I read to the Town on the 7th.  I did not read it for it was nigh Dark and they were Moving; but I gave them the Substance and enquir’d whether any one had a Mind to say anything about the Things which had been offer’d — upon which Mr. Wheeler and I had a long Conference In which I prov’d the Necessity of Order, but especially of Reasonableness in Societys, and that what the Town had done had been opposite to both; and that especially by the breaking up of our Covenant I was become a great Sufferer.  Constable Livermore paid me all.

January 13, 1745

1745 January 13 (Sunday).  Preach’d on Phil. 4.7.  Very Moderate and pleasant Weather for the Season, and we had a pritty good Assembly, I Thank God.  O that his word might do us Good as it does the upright!  O that We might have the Peace of God reigning in our Hearts!  and that we may, might it please God to help us to Cast all our Care upon Him and in Every Thing make our Requests known to Him.

January 14, 1745

1745 January 14 (Monday).  I rode to Mr. Grouts to pay him £16 Old Tenor for Thomas Winchester and I was in at Mr. Jeduthan Fays.  P.M. Captain Maynard kill’d a sow for me assisted by Lieutenant Aaron Forbush and Nathan Maynard — in order to his Carrying it down in his Cart to Boston.  P.M. The Committee of the first Precinct, viz. Old Mr. Whipple, Deacon Newton and Lieutenant Thomas Forbush came to me to see whether I inclin’d to Stay in this Parish or no?  To which I return’d this Answer that the Parish ought first to manifest whether they desire me to; and this might be Two ways first by public Vote, and then by suitable Provision etc.  At eve John Hicks junior here and lodg’d.

January 15, 1745

1745 January 15 (Tuesday).  Captain Maynard to Boston, having my sow in his Team, for the Market.  Mr. Aaron Hardy of Grafton here at Evening who acquaints me that they are yet in great and increasing Troubles by means of Mr. Prentice’s[1] Conduct and preaching; having no regard to the Result of the Council that sat there, and Says he never did come in with it.  He informs me that Mr. Dutton was the most of last Week among them and that Mr. Prentice gave him a very high Commendation on the Lords Day after.

[1]The Rev. Solomon Prentice had been rebuked by an ecclesiastical council at Grafton, Oct. 2, 1744, for his unreserved New-Light preaching. SHG 8:249-250. Pierce, Grafton, 173-178. On Jan. 22, 1745, Prentice asked to be dismissed from the Marlborough Association and that body consented. Allen, Worcester Association, 24.

January 22, 1745

1745 January 22 (Tuesday).  At the Request of Mr. Loring,[1] Mr. Cook[2] and Mr. Smith, divers ministers were to Meet at Marlborough in order to draw up and publish a Testimony against Mr. Whitefield.  But I sent a Letter by Thomme to Mr. Stone directed to Mr. Smith containing my Reasons why I did not go.  See the Letter.  Thomme brought home a piece of White Cloth from Mr. Britons fulling mill, 10 yards and 3/4.  The Committee of the North Precinct here again for my answer but was not ready.  The first Precinct having done nothing to Effect yet.  Deacon Newton and Captain Maynard here in the Evening.

[1]Rev. Israel Loring of Sudbury.

[2]Rev. William Cooke of Wayland.

January 23, 1745

1745 January 23 (Wednesday).  At Deacon Newtons in the Evening, to Solemnize the Marriage of his Daughter Mary to Asa Brigham,[1] now an inhabitant of Shrewsbury.  N.B. Mr. Goodale[2] of Marlborough awhile there.  After supper I return’d.

[1]Son of David Brigham of Westborough. He became captain of the South Militia Company of Shrewsbury and later moved to Fitzwilliam. Ward, Shrewsbury, 236.

[2]Benjamin Goodale.

January 29, 1745

1745 January 29 (Tuesday).  I desire to remember the Wormwood and the Gall; and may my soul be humbled within Me!  Nine Years have roll’d off Since the Lord was pleas’d to bereave me of the Desire of my Eyes by his holy Stroke!  Jejun. and Consider.  At Eve Neighbour Jedidiah How and Neighbour Daniel Hardy here.  This Day an Ecclesiastical Council (as I have heard) Sitts At Hopkinton.  Eli Forbush went home.

January 30, 1745

1745 January 30 (Wednesday).  I rode to Ensign [Thomas] Newtons — din’d at Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s — visited Mr. Nathaniel Whitneys Family — Mr. Jonas Childs — was at Lieutenant Tainters.  (The School began by Mr. Jenison at the South School House.)  Conferr’d with Mrs. Martha Warrin (wife of Daniel) touching her Admission into the Church.  I call’d also to talk with Captain Bakers wife who was desirous of the Same Privilege.  Dr. Gott and Dr. Breck here whilst I was gone and din’d with my wife.