September 2, 1745

1745 September 2 (Monday).  My wife and I rode to Stephen Fays.  Mr. Hall was there, and many people.  Mr. Hall preach’d on Mat. 6.10.  Thy Kingdom Come.  Mr. Winchester[1] a Candidate for the Ministry and preacher at Sutton was there also.  N.B. an Handsome Entertainment after the Exercise.  Mr. Hall on his Journey to Concord.  N.B. Thomas Winchester (by agreement) went off.  This I consented to, because my Two sons and Nathan Knowlton Suffic’d for my present Business and it was upon Condition that Thomas Should help me the month of April instead of this month: and as to his lost Time, he is to make it up in Cyder making and Thrashing.  Moses Pratt had my Oxen to cross his Ground in Shrewsbury.

[1]Jonathan Winchester (HC 1737), later first minister of the First Congregational Church of Ashburnham, 1760-1767. SHG 10:264-265.

September 3, 1745

1745 September 3 (Tuesday).  Having heard that one of Reverend Mr. Smiths little Daughters[1] was dead, I went (though not sent for) to the Funeral.  Mr. Loring was there and pray’d.  A very grievous Loss to the poor bereav’d Parents.  The Lord be almightily present with them and Sustain them!  Rode with Mr. Loring to his sons.  Mr. Peabody return’d from Worcester, and tells me that Mr. Nathaniel Gardner is Chose their Pastor.  N.B. Mr. Lorings great Concern at hearing of the Choice of Mr. Gardner at Worcester: and he wrote a Letter to Mr. Prentice[2] of Lancaster while I was present, to induce him to Converse with others in the Neighbouring Ministry about it.  Mr. Josiah Brown the bearer as he was also of another from me to beseach Mr. Prentice to preach to our northside at their approaching Fast.  I return’d from Sutton to Cambridge.  I carry’d to God those Important Articles — and the Particular State of Some of the Flock, more Especially the Condition of Mrs. Abigail Forbush (wife of Daniel) who lyes most dangerously ill, if yet alive; and that of James Bradish junior (if he be among the Living) very Sick and low, at Deerfield; The Contests also raised by Mr. James Fay and his Brother Stephen, chiefly on account of my disapproving of their going to other Towns, to Meeting on Lords Days.  N.B. The Last of them last night in a great Flame, on sudden, about this Matter, but Came to me to Day to acknowledge his unguarded Passion and indecency at that time. Besides these, the Case of my Family, my wife, Children — the Ministry — the Land, the Nation and Protestant Interests abroad, call for Concern and [illegible] Prayers.  Upon the Whole I solemnly Reviewed my Engagements and Resolutions to be the Lords, relying upon the Merits and Reassurances of the Lord Christ alone for Pardon and acceptance with God and the Aids of the Divine Spirit to enable me to adhere to and fulfill them.  And May the Lord most mercifully watch over the future part of my (Short) Life, and prepare me for His whole will!  Amen.

[1]Anna, daughter of the Rev. Aaron Smith of Marlborough, died Sept. 1, aged 4.

[2]Rev. John Prentice.

September 4 ,1745

1745 September 4 (Wednesday).  Visited Mr. Daniel Forbushs wife, but she had not her Reason.  Visited Mr. James Fays family — much uncomfortable Complaint of me and my improving the Neighbouring Ministers, Mr. Barrett Especially.  N.B. Stephen Fay came and return’d as far as his house with me; and just before parting flew into a dreadful passion with me that I did not Consent to his going away to other Towns on the Lords Day: and immoderately rak’d up by [my?] Strict Charge given him about Mr. Elisha Paine.  It griev’d me heartily to see him in such an high Ferment, but the Lord have Mercy on us and pardon us for his Name’s Sake!

September 6, 1745

1745 September 6 (Friday).  At Eve Mr. Bezaleel Eager came from Mr. Billings with his Earnest request to have [me] go over to see his sick Children.  I went and found his little son, his only Son, very high to Death, and Two little Daughters sick.  Return’d at about ten and one-half to my Family.  Their sickness is Fever and Flux[1] which greatly prevails in Shrewsbury and many children are taken away.

[1]Excessive fluid discharge from the bowels.

September 10, 1745

1745 September 10 (Tuesday).  In the Morning rode to Southborough to Mr. Hudsons and took up my Bond.  N.B. Mr. Edy and his wife at Mr. Hudsons.  N.B. Mr. Stone gone to Harwich.  After my Return, my wife and I went to the Funeral of Two of Mr. Billings’s[1] Children[2] — his little Son and a little Daughter who sabbath was Sennight went hand in hand to the House of God now lay in one Grave in one Coffin.  They were buryed by the New Meeting House, the first that have been buryed in that place.

[1]Thomas Billing or Billings of Westborough.

[2]Nathaniel d.  Sept. 8; Mary, Sept. 9; and Jane, Sept. 15.

September 11, 1745

1745 September 11 (Wednesday).  N.B. Mr. Wolcott[1] of Salem and his wife at Bezaleel Eagers.  Ebenezer and Thomme went to Grafton and brought down our young Cattle from Mr. David Batchellors.  At Eve Mr. Ebenezer Rice and his wife here but I could not converse with them only directed them when to come to me.  Mr. James Ball, Laurence and James Rice were here, and brought me a Paper sign’d by eleven persons of the North precinct Shewing that they were against their Brethrens appointing the Fast approaching in order to call and settle a minister.  A Fast, they acknowledge, there is reason for and they are ready to join in one, but not for the Calling a Minister.  N.B. I had so much hindrance that I could not without Difficulty prepare a Sermon.

[1]John Wolcott (HC 1721), a gentleman and merchant, who served as a Representative, Justice of the Peace, and High Sheriff of Essex County. SHG 6:590-591.

September 12, 1745

1745 September 12 (Thursday).  Fast on the North Side.  Mr. Cushing[1] Sent a Letter that the Sick and Dead among them prevented his Coming.  Mr. Morse[2] Sent a Letter also that not only was there most distressing Sickness among his Neighbours, but he himself was Sick; nay and desir’d a Fast might be kept among them, next Week.  Mr. Prentice of Lancaster neither Came nor sent why.  Mr. Goss[3] came.  Show’d him the paper I receiv’d last night.  A.M. I pray’d and Mr. Goss preach’d on Lev. 44.  P.M. Mr. Goss pray’d and I preach’d on 2 Chron.15.2.  O that God might make it a Day of Atonement and Reconciliation, and that He would please truely to humble, direct prepare and Bless the precinct!  We were entertain’d at Captain Eagers.  At Evening came a Committee (viz. Messrs. Livermore, McAllister, Townsend and Matthias Rice) to take Advice of the Ministers — and the Dissatisfy’d also came and brought their reasons against joining in the Fast.  We heard much, yet deferr’d the matter to another Time when the other Ministers might be present: viz. next Monday come sennight and to meet then at Lieutenant Holloways, at 12 o’Clock.  N.B. Captain Fay my Company coming and going.  N.B. News of the Mohawks Threatening.

[1]Rev. Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[2]Rev. Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.

[3]Rev. Thomas Goss of Bolton.

September 13, 1745

1745 September 13 (Friday).  Mr. Smith of Marlborough sent David Warrin to me, informing me that his wife was ill and he desir’d Earnestly to Change next Sabbath.  P.M. went to Mr. Ebenezer Johnsons of Southborough to see his wife who was very sick and low, and Mr. Stone at Harwich was at Mr. Jacob Amsdens as I return’d home.  N.B. Thomas Winchester at work for me both yesterday and today, making Cyder.

September 16, 1745

1745 September 16 (Monday).  Was at the Funeral of another of Mr. Billings Children and Mrs. Billings ill.  N.B. A Story had got about of a Dream of Mrs. Billings, and which I took the Freedom to enquire into and which She confirm’d, viz. that She Saw a man bring the Coffin of her youngest Child into the House, upon which She took on; but presently there came in another Man with a large Coffin, and said to her that She had not need to take on for her Child for here was a Coffin for herself also, for she Should die next.  N.B. Mr. Hale who lives near the new burying place (tis said) saw a large Coffin (as well as a small one) in the air just over the Burying place last Tuesday Evening immediately after the burying Mr. Billings Two Children — but I reply’d that we have a more Sure word of Prophecy etc. Mr. John Oake and Mr. Jesse Brigham have Each of them a Child very bad of the Distemper, both which I visited and pray’d with.  N.B. Dark riding home through the woods at Night from Brighams, nor was it without Danger — but God was pleas’d to Preserve and Conduct me.  Captain Fay told me that a Negro man from Mendon was committed to gaol last night for murthering his Mistress.

September 17, 1745

1745 September 17 (Tuesday).  I visited Eunice Bradish a.m. she lying Sick.  Messengers one after another of the Deaths and sickness among us.  Mr. Brighams[1] and Oakes[2] Children dy’d last Night.  Mrs. Billings very bad.  Mrs. Dinah Goddenow taken last night, but better today.  Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s wife here to be Examin’d.  Mrs. Thomas Kendal (that formerly liv’d with me) here to See me.  Mr. Joseph Batchellor of Grafton, with Mr. Francis Whipple, here.

[1]Persis Brigham d. Sept. 17.

[2]Hannah Oake d. Sept. 16.

September 18, 1745

1745 September 18 (Wednesday).  I went to the Funeral of Mr. Jesse Brighams Child, a little Daughter of about 3 and ½. From thence I went to the Funeral of Mr. John Oakes eldest Child between 2 and 3.  By the way I visited Mrs. Billing also, who was very ill yet — and pray’d with her.  N.B. Mr. Whipple accompany’d me when I went and return’d with me.  Mrs. Daniel Goodenow was in great Distress, the night before last in such agony, that by means of the Trouble of her Mind under a sense of Gods Judgments and her own Hardness of heart.

September 19, 1745

1745 September 19 (Thursday).  A Public Fast on Occasion of the Warr lately Declar’d against the Indians, both at the Eastward, and Westward, and great Apprehensions that the 6 Nations, The Iroquois, viz. Mohawks etc. who have been from Early Times in Alliance with us, would break forth against us.  A.M. I preach’d on 2 Chron. 20.12.  P.M. on Heb. 6.7.8.  May it please God to accept the Solemnity and bless and prosper his holy Word for our awakening and saving Benefit!

Septemebr 23, 1745

1745 September 23 (Monday).  Wrote to my Mother and Brother Samuel.  Din’d at Lieutenant Holloways, with Mr. Prentice of Lancaster and Mr. Cushing; afterwards came Mr. Morse; but Mr. Goss was gone to Brookfield to see his Father who is sick.  After Mr. Prentice had pray’d, The Committee appointed to wait on the Ministers for their Advice came in, viz. Messrs. Livermore, Townsend, McAllister, Jacob and Matthias Rice, and by word of mouth express’d the Desire of the Precincts.  There came in also Mr. Wheeler, Ball etc. who were dissatisfy’d with proceeding at the present to settle a minister.  After hearing both sides at large, they withdrew and the ministers conferr’d one with another.  We look’d as impartially as we could into each part of the Case, and drew up and sign’d our Advice to them which was also read to them.  But when Mr. Wheeler heard it, he was not a little Disturb’d.  Several of us in the Ministry address’d them with earnest Exhortations, Cautions etc.  We Supp’d there — my Mare broke out of the Pasture there and ran home to her Colt.  I rode Lieutenants Mare home. It was after Midnight when I got home, and my Family o’Bed.

September 24, 1745

1745 September 24 (Tuesday).  Greatly Troubled at the Slender success of our Advice last night.  Captain Maynard going to Boston.  I sent Letters by him to Reverend Messrs. Webb[1] and Eliot[2] respecting the meeting of ministers this week at Boston to subscribe Confessions of Faith.  At Eve Mr. Ebenezer Rice here to be Examin’d.  I began a Letter to the Committee of the North Precinct — in which I would fain qualifie their Tempers so far as to be Condescending to their Brethren and induce them to proceed with moderation in their Affairs.  Catechiz’d young Women.  Preach’d to them on Mat. 13.39.

[1]Rev. John Webb of Boston.

[2]Rev. Andrew Eliot of Boston.

September 25, 1745

1745 September 25 (Wednesday).  Besides finishing my Letter to the Committee I wrote affectionately to the dissatisfy’d party if possible to Calm them a little under their uneasiness and Caution them against the evils to which they are now in great Danger — especially against prostituting and sacrificing the Interests of the Soul to Temporal etc., being afraid, from Some discourse from them that they are in Danger of turning to the Church of England.  At Eve Stephen Fay here with his uneasiness Still, for my reproofs at the Time of Mr. Elisha Pain and for my Saying at his Brother Fays that his [Stephen’s] wife had acknowledged to me that her disaffection to Me and my ministrations was from a wrong Spirit which was true. See her talk with me, May 3, 1744.

September 26, 1745

1745 September 26 (Thursday).  Divers poor Sickly Soldiers from Cape Breton here, bound for Suffield — whom I endeavour’d to refresh and they went on their way.  Mr. Martyn came, din’d with me and preach’d my Lecture on John 8.23 those words Ye are of this World.  A reasonable and Excellent Sermon.  May God make it usefull and Effectual to all of us!  After Lecture many people were here. Captain Eager, Lieutenant Holloway.  I deliver’d my Letter to the Committee to Mr. Livermore, McAllister and Matthias Rice (three of them) and manifested my hearty Concern for them and my Fears lest these Trials which some of their Brethren (viz. the Dissatisfy’d) were brought into, would be too hard for them, and this I had the more reason for when they themselves told me that they heard that Mr. (Commissary) Price is design’d to preach a Lecture in a short time in Mr. Wheelers Chamber.  As to Mr. Martyn, I found that Captain Eager etc. were desirous of his coming over and preaching for me on Communion Day.  I plainly intimated to him my Concurrence therewith, and desire of it.  His answer left it at uncertaintys for a while, but at length he consented I might depend upon Seeing him, God willing, next Saturday p.m.  Messrs. James and Stephen Fay and their wives here, and had a long Conference with me about their Uneasiness.  They judg’d that Seeing Ruths Offence against me (May 3, 1744) was private, I ought not to have divulg’d it.  I Reply’d that if She had not done it herself I Should not made [sic] the Reply that I did at James’s that She confess’d to me that her Disaffection to me was from a wrong Spirit. They said she had not done it, for they never knew of what was done or said at the Time referr’d to; she had not told them.  I return’d that by their telling me that she was dissatisfy’d with me, and expressing themselves as they did I could not but take it that She had, for that was the principal if not only Time wherein she had manifested dissatisfaction and disaffection to me.  But I added that if she had not I misapprehended them, and I was Sorry that I said a word about it; and I desir’d James and his wife to take notice of it; but I hop’d they would not be so unwise as to Make any Noise about these Things, but prudently Conceal them.  Lydia Said I had pray’d them at their House not to mention what at that time I said of Ruth, and they did not intend to, but She drop’d something of it before she was aware.  Stephen very much insisted and entreated I would humour him so much as to let him see what I had writ about his wifes Discourse with me.  After some time refusing I gratify’d him (with her Consent) and putting the others into another Room, I read my Journal of that time to them but she Seem’d not to Remember much about it.  I said many things to them of the unreasonableness of their Disgusts, before they went away; and of my Grief to have persons that profess’d to be such Friends of the Interest of Christ to do So many Things for the Clogging and hindering it.

September 27, 1745

1745 September 27 (Friday).  Very heavy Rains last night and this Morning.  Mr. Thomas Goodenow here.  He informs me of his infant’s illness and requests me to go over and baptize it; but I was unwilling Considering that we should not be likely to have any Number of person together it being so near night, but especially I was not able to be out in the Evening and expose my Health — but I deferr’d the matter till tomorrow.  We would God willing, See how the Child would be then, and what would be best to be done.

September 28, 1745

1745 September 28 (Saturday).  I went over to Mr. Thomas Goodenow’s and baptiz’d his Infant Child.  By the Name of [blank].[1]  Brother Ephraim Allen, Matthias Rice etc. were present.  It appear’d to those who were there that the Child was in Danger of Death.  After that Baptism I visited Josiah Cutting who is taken sick of Fever and Flux, and grows very bad.

[1]Aaron, son of Thomas and Persis Goodanow, born Sept. 17, 1745; died Sept. 29; Westborough VR, 53, 240.

September 29, 1745

1745 September 29 (Sunday).  I expected Mr. Martyn last night, but he came no further than Lieutenant Holloways.  He was at Communion with us and the Generality of the Northside, there being no Meeting there to Day.  I preach’d on 2 Cor. 3.14, and administered the Sacrament.  Mr. Martyn, Deacon Fay etc. din’d with me.  Mr. Martyn p.m. on Song 5.16, last Clause, This is my Friend, O Daughters of Jerusalem.  The Lord bless what has been done this Day for our Saving Benefit!  Mr. Martyn lodg’d here: and his Conversation not disagreeable.