December 1, 1747

1747 December 1 (Tuesday).  We din’d early and my Wife visited old Mrs. Crouch (Mrs. Rogers’s mother) in her Blindness and lameness.  I also call’d there and took her with me (Mrs. Crouch not able to go) to old Mrs. Dorcas Forbushs,[1] where, according to appointment made in my Name by the Reverend Mr. Martyn last Lords Day I preach’d to the Said Widow Forbush.  Text John 9.4.  A Considerable Assembly.  O that the word of God might have free Course and be glorifed! After the Exercise we visited Martha Ward again and pray’d with her.

[1]Widow of Thomas Forbush.

December 2 ,1747

1747 December 2 (Wednesday).  Lieutenant Tainter and his son Benjamin came over and kill’d my Cambridge Cow.  Weigh’d 413, the Quarters — Hide 65, Tallow 35. Lieutenant was very kind and obliging — not only gave me freely his pains, but knowing my straights for winter keeping for my Stock, he took home a Cow to winter for me.  N.B. A Sorrowful accident befell us in the Night. My son Ebenezer being greatly fatigu’d with his worrying in the Day, sat sleeping by the fire after we were come up to Bed, with his Head upon his Arms on his Knees: his Elbows slip’d from his Knees and his Chair slip’d away from under him, and he fell into the Fire — his Hands were both burnt, his right Hand especially which threw him into great pain and smart.  For his Relief I immediately kill’d a Cat and he wash’d his Hands in the Blood. God be prais’d he was awak’d and enabled to get out of the Fire! May the Providence of God be Sanctify’d to both him and us!

December 3, 1747

1747 December 3 (Thursday).  A.M. Messrs. Spencer and Strong here in their Return from Boston and are now engag’d in the mission to the Mohawks, upon the Donation of Dr. Daniel Williams.  As a Token of my Hearty good wishes I presented the Missions Calvins Institutions, an handsome large Octavo Edition. May the Hand of the Lord be with them and give them good success!  P.M. My Wife rode with me to the private meeting at Captain Baker’s. I preach’d on Mat. 7.13.14. A greater Number of hearers than I expected. I am very glad they can find in their Hearts to come together so roundly, though it is a Second Time this week.  May God give an efficacious Blessing! We supp’d there — Lieutenant Tainter with us. A snow storm to go home in. The storm increas’d very much, both the Snow and Wind. The Night was very Tempestuous. The House Shook exceedingly. But God safely preserv’d us.  To his Name be Praise and Glory! N.B. After Exercise I desir’d their Help in getting Wood next Monday, because of my sons Lameness.

December 4, 1747

1747 December 4 (Friday).  A very difficult Morning. The Snow deep — my son lame and unable to go to the Barn.  I was oblig’d to go myself. We were also very much out of wood, but Neighbour Ebenezer Maynard and his brother Nathan came and both cut and sledded for me.  And at Eve came Mr. Benjamin Tainter and offer’d to tarry over night to help me tomorrow notwithstanding his purpose to come with his Father and others to get wood next Monday.  I bless God for those kind Tokens from my Neighbours! May I have grace suitably to improve them!

December 7 1747

1747 December 7 (Monday).  Old Mr. Maynard informs me that Martha Ward dy’d last Evening.  A Very Cold Day. There came only the few following Hands to cutt Wood (N.B. Not one Team came to sled) Messrs. Jonah Warrin, and Daniel Hardy, Solomon Baker and Benjamin Tainter, Charles Rice junior, and Timothy Newton.  Benjamin Tainter took my Oxen, mare and sled and sledded down 8 Load. N.B. The first of the Hands came about 11 a.m. the rest at near Noon. Captain Maynard here at Eve whilst I sold Mr. Jonah Warrin (of whom, and his son Elijah, I had this last Fall 178£ of Beef at 12 d. per pound) Two Steers, one coming 3, the other coming 2 for 21£ old Tenor.  Twas Captain Maynards Judgment that they were worth so much, and offer’d to give it for ‘em if he hadn’t ‘em. N.B. I offer’d the Captain pay for keeping the Horses I sent to him at Thanksgiving Time, but he would not take it.

December 12, 1747

1747 December 12 (Saturday).  Very Cold. Old Mr. Maynard came repeatedly and chop’d wood for us at the Door, Ebenezer not being able to handle an Ax to any purpose — but he tends the Cattle.  A dozen Fowls kill’d to send to Boston by Neighbour Richard Barns next Monday morning. P.M. Jonathan Grout came and chop’d wood for us at the Door. A great Kindness that my Neighbours thus help me in this the small article, it would otherwise take up so much of my Time since my son is so lame.  N.B. We have the sorrowful News that the Town House in Boston was burnt last Wednesday.

December 18, 1747

1747 December 18 (Friday).  A very Severe night we have pass’d through, but God’s Mercys are new this morning which is bright without Clouds, and silver’d by the Icicles everywhere shining and the Trees glistening.  But it is still Cold. As the Day gets up the Wind rises. ‘Tis as much as we can do to take Care of ourselves and the Children, provide for and Tend the Fires, and the Cattle. But our Eyes should be to the Lord our never failing Support.  Benjamin Whipple came, and got wood out of the Snow and cut it for Me. The Evening somewhat moderate.

December 20, 1747

1747 December 20 (Sunday).  It Snow’d again last night — but to Day bright very pleasant and Comfortable.  On Mat. 13.53 to the End of the Chapter. P.M. on Eccl. 8.13. Mr. Stratton of Waltham and Mr. Samuel Fay juniors wife din’d here.  O that God would help us suitably to Entertain the Lord Jesus Christ and not by our Unbelief Prevent Him in the mighty works of his Grace and Spirit upon our Souls! and O that we might not be of the wicked, that vainly imagine they shall prolong their Day.  May we remember that our Days are as a shadow and may we fear before God that it may go well with us!

December 22, 1747

1747 December 22 (Tuesday).  Heard there was a Man found dead on Boston Neck about last Wednesday, Suppos’d to have perish’d in the Cold.  I rode to Merchant Rice’s — and had further Conversation with him about his Case respecting Lydia Pratt of Grafton.  I visited Mr. Jonathan Fay’s wife who lyes sick. Call’d at Mr. Grouts where was Mr. Phinehas Hardy. But I made it my Business, according to my Intention when I went out from Home, to visit Neighbour Eliezer Rice, and talked with him about his going away from Mr. Martyn’s Ministrations here, both when he preaches my Lecture and when we change.  I desir’d his Reasons. He gave me these following, and Said that these were they, viz. That he had always understood that a minister should be blameless and of good character, but he heard Mr. Martyn had not, in the former part of his Life been so, and was not of good Report, and Secondly, he reckon’d that Mr. Martyn did not act like a man of good Conscience in taking that Money which was gather’d from those familys who had mov’d out of that Precinct.  I endeavour’d to answer both these Reasons. N.B. In our Conversation Mr. Rice would by no means allow that any Man who had been vicious when young though through the Grace of God ever so Penitent, and furnish’d with Gifts Should be admitted into the Ministry; or that any minister who Should fall into Scandal might on any Terms be restor’d to his ministry, but to the Privileges of a Brother only. I dealt plainly with him — and may God Succeed what I Said.

December 25, 1747

1747 December 25 (Friday).  God grant that I and mine may be happy partakers this Day with all those who Sincerely celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ!  We had Captain Maynards Team, to join with mine and draw down Wood from my Hill. Mr. Biglo, Noah and Daniel How, Rody Smith, Benjamin Whipple, Nathan Maynard, Silas Newton, Jonathan and Robert Cook, Jonas Bradish, Jonathan Bruce, Samuel Warrin, Josiah Walker, Samuel Bumpso (Indian) and Elijah Bellows came and Cutt Wood.  Receiv’d a Letter by Mr. Barns from Brother Samuel Parkman informing that Dr. Parkman had a Son born on the 9th instant, and which they have call’d Elias. May God make him a great Blessing!

December 31 ,1747

1747 December 31 (Thursday).  I preach’d to the Young people, especially to the Society of Young Men, from Eph. 5.16.  This I thought seasonable at the Conclusion of the Year — for alas! how far have we been from rightly improving this precious Talent.  If God shall grant the Continuance of it to me, will He please to afford with all, the Grace rightly to husband it!