January 1, 1748

1748 January 1 (Friday).  I would heartily bless God for His Sparing Mercy and Goodness!  Having spent part of the Day in Rest and Exercises of Religion and Abstinence (See Memoirs etc.), Lieutenant Perez Rice of Sutton came to acquaint me with the Desire of Captain Fay to see me.  I comply’d and went. Found him very low and scarce capable to Converse, could get only a word or two and then he would drop into sleep presently — I prayed and soon I took leave and bid him farewell, he reply’d Farewell — and we could hear a few words more such as, “God bless you, Support you, Succeed you” — (and may God be pleased to hear this dying prayer!  Oh might we all be ready for such an Hour!) I went from there to old Mr. Samuel Fays (after I had eat something with ‘em at Dinner) — Had some talk with Mr. Fay about the old Disgusts, and prayed we might come to a thorough Reconcilement. Talked with Jeduthun and his wife about their Delays. N.B. Jeduthun put into my Hand, at coming away, a Token of his Regard in Two Bills amounting to 20/6 Old Tenor, saying withall, that he could not come to help me get wood nor assist me as others, and would therefore pray me to accept that.  So slow riding it was near night when I got home, the weather being thick fogg, southerly wind and warm.

January 4, 1748

1748 January 4 (Monday).  This day the precinct met together by adjournment upon the affair of the depreciating of the Bills of Credit in which my Sallery was paid.  I went to the Meeting House myself, being desired by the Meeting. Mr. Miller was the person the Moderator sent. I read Two papers which I had drawn up to lay before them, and after a few words I returned.  Lieutenant Forbush together with Captain Forbush and Ensign Bruce informed at eve, that they had considered the depreciating of money according to the Act of the General Court, and had allowed me 12£ 10 shillings per cent, that is 27£ and conceiving that this would not suffice they had chosen a Committee to Consider of my papers and make report to the precinct Committee for raising Meeting that they might raise another Meeting to see what the precinct will do further, they not being able to do any more now by vertue of the present Warrant.  Said Committee for Considering my papers are Captain Warrin, Mr. Miller, Deacon Newton, Mr. Whipple, and Mr. Abner Newton. And thus this Day went over, on which so much seemed to be depending. However, there seemed to be good humour and respect. N.B. The Day was a very Cold Day, yet many attended the Meeting. N.B. Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin Collector here and paid me 34.4.9 old Tenor.

January 5, 1748

1748 January 5 (Tuesday).  Snow Storm. Went to Captain Maynard’s to see Jeremy Goodhue the cooper who is sick there.  Heard that Captain Fay is Dead. About 8 or 9 in the evening came Rody Devereux to call me to go and see Goodhue who is grown far worse.  He soon after I spoke to him, got into a very peculiar Frame, expressing in a wondrous Tone, his Experiences at Ipswich, his Behavior since, and his present hopes and assurances.  I felt he was somewhat delirious. I rather thought so by his praying Lord whilst I was at Prayer (at his Desire), and continuing to pray when we had done.

January 7, 1748

1748 January 7 (Thursday).  In the Morning Mr. William Goodhue of Holliston was here to desire me to go down to Captain Maynard’s, his Brother would be glad to see me.  I complyed and the Special Reason of his sending for me was to assist him in Making his will. His Senses were sound — he confirmed what he said to me t’other night of his Experiences of the Divine grace at Ipswich, and was earnest in his Defence of the late work of God in the Land.  My taking Minutes of his Will detained me till past Noon and was obliged to dine there. After prayer I returned home and drew the will. At eve I went to him again and compleated it. Having prayed with him again at Captain Maynard’s earnest Desire, I came home. Forbush from College here, he tells me he keeps School in Town to make up some of Mr. Jenison’s Time.

January 8, 1748

1748 January 8 (Friday).  Snowy again. N.B. sent Mr. Stow the original of Result of Council at Narragansett by Mr. John Bent of Framingham.  Mr. Jeduthan Fay here to Desire me to attend the Funeral of Captain Fay today. He dined with us, and then both my wife and I went.  It was a large Funeral, and Twas very sorrowfull to bury such an old Friend, such a pious, useful, good tempered man, and the principal Deacon in the Church.  The Lord awaken us to be in readiness ourself. I am told by the Deacon’s Son James that they could not discern that he was any clearer about his Spiritual state till he dyed, than he was when I was with him.  Such was the Sovereign will of God!

January 10, 1748

1748 January 10 (Sunday).  A.M. and p.m. on Occasion of the Death of Deacon Fay  I preached on Gen. 25.8.  Mr. James Fay and his mother, the Widow dined here.  N.B. At noon received a letter from the Honorable Judge Wilder[1] informing me of the Death of their Reverend and dear Pastor Mr. John Prentice and desiring my assistance at the Interment of his Remains next Thursday.  An heavy stroke this, upon not only that Town but this part of the Country!  The Lord Sanctifies it to all of us, and to me in Special!  Snowed and Stormed especially at Night and I was concerned about my journey to Lancaster.

[1]Joseph Wilder, a deacon of the Lancaster church.

January 11, 1748

1748 January 11 (Monday).  Sent for Captain Maynard — who consented to go with me if I would venture, at least he would go with me as far as Shrewsbury.  It was a rugged Day — The Snow deep, the air somewhat sharp, the wind blew about the Snow — but we ventured to Shrewsbury.  Mr. Cushing and Dr. Smith[1] with their Wives were going.  I was exceedingly well wrapped up, and we ventured with them.  Stopped at Deacon Jonathan Keyes,[2] Mr. Morse’s,[3] and at Moore’s[4] (in Chauxitt).  Arrived at the House of sorrow in the evening where I lodged.  Mr. Gardner of Stow there, having preached there the day before, Captain Maynard lodged at Colonel Oliver Wilder’s.  N.B. Disquietment among Mr. Prentice’s children by reason of their Father’s will.

[1]Joshua Smith, the physician of Shrewsbury.

[2]Of the north precinct (Boylston) of Shrewsbury.

[3]The Reverend Mr. Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.

[4]Deacon Joseph Moore.

January 12, 1748

1748 January 12 (Tuesday).  The Funeral Obsequies of Reverend Mr. Prentice Solemnized.  Mr. Loring prayed.  Mr. Loring, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Stow, Mr. Seccomb, Mr. Mellen[1] and I were Bearers.  (Were favored with moderate weather.  A considerable number of Ministers.)  The Church and Congregation (males) walked before the corps.  Mr. Thomas Prentice made a short Speech after covering up in the grave.  The Parish bore the Expenses of the Funeral so far as 200£ old Tenor.  Judge Wilder by Request was with the Bearers at the Drawing up of Character and took the Care of transmitting it to the Printer.  A most Sorrowfull and Mournful Time!  The Lord repair the wide Breach! and comfort all the Bereaved and grant them to study peace and Love!  Lodged there again.

[1]The Reverend Mr. John Mellen of Sterling.

January 13, 1748

1748 January 13 (Wednesday).  In Returning today, dined at Mr. Morse’s and (though it snowed) we tarried and attended his Lecture.  I preached on John 17.4.  N.B. Colonel Nahum Ward,[1] Mr. Cushing, and Mr. Maccarty[2] with us.  Captain Maynard and I called at Mr. Cushing’s and at evening returned home, through God’s mercy in Comfort and safety and found our Familys in peace.  D.G.

[1]The magistrate of Shrewsbury.

[2]The Reverend Mr. Thaddeus Maccarty of Worcester.

January 17, 1748

1748 January 17 (Sunday).  It Snowed this Sabbath also.  I preached a.m. on John 12.35, on the Death of Reverend Mr. John Prentice of Lancaster.  N.B. for a character of him I took the original of what was delivered to Judge Wilder to be printed.  But O might we all who survive Consider our remaining Advantages, and have Grace to improve ‘em whilst the Lord is pleased to continue them.  May we also have proper apprehensions of those Dark Days that threaten us! I delivered the whole of my preparation in one Exercise, for though ‘twas very long I could not divide it.  And preached p.m. on Mathew 26.20, and intimated to the people that it was a Repetition. And may God be pleased to remember this His gracious promise for our Support in these Cloudy Times: and when such a number of Ministers have been within this six months taken away from us!  When we came home at Evening it snowed very hard and was very Windy and Cold — the Night a Windy, Cold Night.

January 18, 1748

1748 January 18 (Monday).  And such a Day followed as the Night was which rendered it a tedious Time.  I kept close to my Study all Day, read Dr. Increase Mather’s Order Of The Churches In New England vindicated,[1] Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs of Gospel remission.

[1]The Order of the Gospel, Professed and Practiced by the Churches of Christ in New-England, Justified (Boston, 1700).

January 20, 1748

1748 January 20 (Wednesday).  Brother Hicks went home.  Mr. Martyn came and dined with us.  Tarried till evening when Captain Eager came to wait on him home.  N.B. Mr. James Fay has been here and brought me a piece of black shalloon from Mr. Harwood[1] of Hardwick and Mr. Edwards’s sermon on the Death of Mr. Brainerd.[2]  At eve Mr. Daniel Forbush[3] was married to Mrs. Mary Parker of Shrewsbury.

[1]John Harwood.

[2]Jonathan Edwards, True Saints, when Absent from the Body, are Present with the Lord (Boston, 1747).

[3]Son of Deacon Jonathan Forbush of Westborough.

January 23, 1748

1748 January 23 (Saturday).  A somewhat Cold Day, but conceiving it to be my Duty to use my best endeavor to get to Lancaster, I first rode to Mr. Cushing’s, dined there and obtained of Mr. Cushing to send his son Jacob along with me who accordingly was my Fellow-traveler.  The Snow was so deep before we got to Deacon Jonathan Keyes that I was obliged to dismount several Times, my Mare worrying sometimes pritty much to surmount or get through the Banks.  Mr. Morse came to Westborough, and Mr. Stevens[1] went to Mr. Morse’s.  We arrived at Lancaster by Daylight.

[1]Benjamin Stevens (Harvard 1740).  Later the minister of Kittery, Maine, 1751-1791.  Sibley, X, 539-539.

January 24, 1748

1748 January 24 (Sunday).  It Snowed all Day.  I preached a. and p.m. on John 12.35.  On the Death of their late worthy pastor.  May the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Chief Shepherd, Compassionate their State, hear and accept their humble Supplication in their late Test (Last Thursday), provide for their guidance to a Resettlement and may they walk while they have the Light — Darkness may not come upon you.  N.B. A sorrowful Accident this morning.  My Mare Slunk 2 Colts.[1]

[1][Additional footnote: That is, miscarried.  Oxford English Dictionary: Of calves: Cast prematurely.]

January 25, 1478

1748 January 25 (Monday).  Dr. Stanton Prentice[1] has been very kind in looking after my Mare.  Breakfasted there — before I left Lancaster, Dr. Stanton came over to his Mother’s to take Leave and I perceiving that there was disquietment among them on account of Mr. Prentice’s Will, gave ‘em an Earnest Friendly Exhortation.  Cushing and I rode to Mr. Silas Brigham’s at the Mills and dined there.  Mr. Brigham rode with me home, we called at Mr. Morse’s and at Mr. Cushing’s.  My wife had returned safely from Boston last Saturday Night, brings me News that my Brother Alexander is in a poor State of Health and my sister Willard but feeble and lives alone much broken and decayed.  Nabby also (Elias’s wife) in but a weak and low condition.

[1]Physician of Lancaster. Son of the Reverend Mr. John Prentice.

January 29, 1748

1748 January 29 (Friday).  A Day to be remembered. Twelve Years ago my dear wife Mary died, may I never lose the sense of God’s holy Dispensation toward me and mine, but I was not able to devote this Day as I would have inclined to by reason on my unavoidable Engagement in preparing for the next Sabbath.  Sarah Henry takes my plush coat to pieces in order to New line it. P.M., Ebenezer to Marlborough to get him a great coat cut out and pay Deacon Andrew Price the full of the Interest of my Bond to him and brought it home. I am now again out of Debt (a few Dribbles, etc. excepted), and my obligation to my own Children.

January 31, 1748

1748 January 31 (Sunday).  Preached on John 12.35 a. and p.m.  It was a bright Day which we have not had for public Assembling this very great While.  But may we see the Glorious Sun of [illegible] and delight in the Lord.  Tis of no small consequence to us that we improve the Light while we are indulged with it, for our contempt of it will provoke God to send a dreadful Darkness upon us and this Land has Reason to fear it.  Mrs. Dunlop dined here.