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, 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.
Widow of Thomas Forbush.
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!
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.
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!
1747 December 5 (Saturday). Benjamin Tainter came, and brought with him Noah How, who (together) having a Large Saw, saw’d off a Stout Pine Logg for the sawmill. They din’d with us and p.m. Benjamin Cutt and sledded down some wood. The Cold increases.
1747 December 6 (Sunday). A pritty Cold Day, but few at Meeting. I preach’d all Day upon 1 Cor. 10.31. Mr. Winchester and widow Sarah Forbush (Phinehas’s widow) din’d with us. It was so cold that I finish’d the Exercises early about 3.
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.
1747 December 8 (Tuesday). Cold Day. My Daughter Molly rode with me to the Burial of Martha Ward. May every Instance of Death awaken and quicken us! and in Special our Youth! After Burying we went to Deacon Newtons, and I sat there whilst Silas How Sow’d a Soal, upon one of my Boots.
1747 December 9 (Wednesday). Last Night snow’d; this morning very Cold, but bright more moderate and pleasant afterwards. Read Dr. Owen of Apostacy.
John Owen, The Nature of Apostasie from the Profession of the Gospel (London, 1676).
1747 December 10 (Thursday). The Cold continues.
1747 December 11 (Friday). Snow’d again.
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.
1747 December 13 (Sunday). A very Cold Day. On John 17.4 and p.m. on Eccl. 8.8. Our Exercise short for I am not able to undergo the Cold without much Care. The Lord accept us (wherein through Grace we are sincere) through his Dear son! Lieutenant Tainter and one Mr. Bond din’d with us.
1747 December 14 (Monday). A Very Cold Storm of Snow. Mr. Barns does not go to Boston. Precinct Meeting to call in Debts and to Consider my sallery — but was adjourn’d. (See Lee’s Solomon Temple on Ministers Maintenance which I read at Even.)
Samuel Lee, Orbis Miraculum; or. The Temple of Solomon (London, 1659).
1747 December 15 (Tuesday). Bright and pleasant but Cold. A very tight severe Season. But God is the preserver of Man and Beast.
1747 December 16 (Wednesday). A Cold Storm of Snow again. Ebenezer went at Evening to old Mr. Maynards, the young men to Settle their accounts for the year.
1747 December 17 (Thursday). Exceeding Cold and stormy Some Hail and Rain and forms a Crust. Ceas’d storming p.m. but very Cold; as almost any weather that Comes. In the Evening Captain Maynard here. Winds exceeding high. N.B. I am inform’d that the Reverend Mr. Cheney of Brookfield is to be bury’d today (the 17th).
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.
1747 December 19 (Saturday). Several Neighbours were so good as to come and assist in cutting wood for the Sabbath and getting in Loggs. Old Mr. Maynard — Neighbour Barns and Neighbour John Rogers.
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!
1747 December 21 (Monday). A Moderate Day. Benjamin Tainter came before we were out of wood, and with my son got a little more to the Door. Mr. Cushing here and Captain Maynard towards Evening. The Chief I did today was reading Limestreet Sermons, some of which I can’t but very highly esteem.
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.
1747 December 23 (Wednesday). Neighbour Eliezer Rice came with Neighbour Edwards Whipple and they kill’d a Sow which weigh’d 167 and a Barrow which weigh’d 175. They did it gratis. N.B. Captain Maynard and I had some Talk of visiting Father Prentice at Lancaster, but the Weather was such as I could not venture out in.
1747 December 24 (Thursday). Cloudy and rainy.
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!
1747 December 26 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1747 December 27 (Sunday). On Mat. 14.1 to 4. P.M. repeated the first sermon on Eph. 5.16 from Col. 4.5. Mrs. Tainter and the widow of Nehemiah How din’d with us. Snowy Day
1747 December 28 (Monday). Snow Storm. At Eve Mr. Benjamin Fay here to inform his aged Father was very low.
1747 December 29 (Tuesday). A Bright pleasant Day. Was at Merchant Rice’s. Visited Captain Fay and din’d there. Pray’d and took solemn leave of him. N.B. his son James there. Call’d at Mr. Williams’s he being confin’d by Rheumatism.
1747 December 30 (Wednesday). [No entry.]
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!