December 1, 1748

1748 December 1 (Thursday).  I rode over to Upton.  Forbush[1] went with me.  We din’d at Jonas Warrins.  Preach’d a Lecture on John 3.36, and baptiz’d Two Children, one of them the Child of Moses Wood, the other of Samuel Wood, their wives being Members of the Church.  Was at Captain Sadlers[2] his wife (who is my kinswoman) was very urgent to have me tarry all night, for it began to rain.  But I chose to get as near home as possible.  It was very dark and rainy before we got to Mr. James Bradish’s.  Then we lodg’d.

[1]Eli Forbush, or Forbes.

[2]John Sadler.

December 2, 1748

1748 December 2 (Friday).  Return’d home.  I have heard of some Frolicks of late at Merchant Rice’s.  On the Trooping night, and last Friday night.  I (before I went home) rode up to Mr. Rice’s and (taking him aside) talk’d with him and warn’d him.  He assur’d me there Should be no more Frolicks of Young People at His House.  I understand that Mrs. Brigham dy’d yesterday.

December 3, 1748

1748 December 3 (Saturday).  Tis now a very alter’d Air.  Cold and Windy.  Molly and Lucy rode together and Bekky Gott rode with me to the Funeral of Mrs. Brigham.  This is now the Ninth Death that has been in this Parish of Late.  May God make me sensible of my own Frailty and Mortality!  My Thoughts have been of late greatly discompos’d, and I don’t know that I have ever felt so inwardly sunk and disheartened and unable to sustain my Infirmity.  What has brought me into this has been my inability to do for my Children, when they come to be of age.  My son Ebenezer in particular.  All my schemes and Designs respecting him fall to the Ground.  He has chose to be a Farmer, but I have not a Farm to give him that is handy or desirable (No other than that at Townshend).  Nor has he strength of Body to drudge and bring to a place.  My Family is so large as to need what I have at home and more too.  But I beg grace to enable me to cast my Care upon God who Careth for us.

December 5, 1748

1748 December 5 (Monday).  Rose very Early and though it was very Cold went over to Mr. Martyn, who is going to Cambridge, with Letters to Deacon Whittemore (who Sends me word he has got me a Chair) and to Sister Lydia Champney.  I both breakfasted and din’d at Mr. Martyns — for after I had taken leave I was met and detain’d on the Road by Captain Amsden; I had also forgot something or at least omitted to speak of something which I was desirous Mr. Martyn should do (respecting bringing up the Chair, if the Affair was fully Clear and I must have it) So I return’d and din’d there.  P.M. returning home I visited Captain Maynard who is recovering.  Old Mr. Joseph Green with me, in difficulty about his Spiritual state.  I visited Mr. Samuel Bakers wife who is very weak and low.  Visited at Mr. Williams’s in the Evening.  When I came home found Mr. Wellman[1] here, on his Journey to Concord to the Ordination of Mr. Lawrence.[2]

[1]The Reverend Mr. James Wellman of Millbury.

[2]William Lawrence (Harvard 1743), the minister of Lincoln, Mass., 1748-1780.

December 6, 1748

1748 December 6 (Tuesday).  Mr. Williams prosecuted his design for Concord.  Cold Day.  Old Mr. Green here again in Spiritual Troubles.  After telling me his Condition he earnestly ask’d me whether I thought there was any Hope for him?  The Lord pity his miserable State, but I conceive him to be over timorous, and born down with his scruples.  Went with Mr. How a while to look up the Bounds of the Ministerial Lot next to him and Me, especially the West End.

December 7, 1748

1748 December 7 (Wednesday).  Another bright Cold Day.  I expected that the Young Men of the private society would have come to cutt wood, for so they had appointed to do — but there came only the Eight following.  Daniel How, Benjamin Tainter, Timothy Newton, Rody Smith (or Devereux), Jonathan Bruce, Moses Warrin, Phinehas Maynard, and Aaron Warrin.  At Eve my wife and I were at Captain Maynards.

December 10, 1748

1748 December 10 (Saturday).  Mr. Martyn sent Thaddeus Fay[1] to desire me to change tomorrow.  The same Lad brought me several Letters — one from my Brother Parkman bewailing the Death of his son John Parkman,[2] goldsmith who was well last Sabbath, but being seiz’d with a Fever, deceas’d yesterday.  May God Sanctify the frequent, sorrowful Breaches upon that Family! and may we all who are related, be shown wherefor the Lord contends with us! and be exited to an actual Readiness for our own Turn!  Another Letter from Deacon Whittemore of Cambridge in Answer to mine of the fifth informing me what he had done about a Chair.

[1]The son of Gershom Fay.

[2]The son of Parkman’s eldest brother, William.

December 13, 1748

1748 December 13 (Tuesday).  Rain a.m.  Clear’d off p.m. So that I Set out on a Journey to Boston.  Call’d at Mr. Stone’s — his wife ill.  Proceeded to Framingham.  Mr. Bridge[1] and wife from Home.  By means of one Isaac Clark I was conducted to Mr. Thomas Stone’s who marry’d Mrs. Betty Andrew of Cambridge — and by this Time it was So far in the Evening that I lodg’d there.  N.B. Said Isaac Clarks wife daughter of Mr. Stone separated from her husband, and residing there.

[1]The Reverend Mr. Matthew Bridge of Framingham.

December 14, 1748

1748 December 14 (Wednesday).  Drizly — but I pursued my Journey.  Din’d at Captain Tainters at Watertown.  Went to Deacon Whittemores to see what he had done about a Chair: it Rain’d harder, yet I went to Charleston and over the Ferry in the Dark and Rain with my young Horse that had never been in a Boat before.  Hasten’d up to my Kinsman Olivers — Supp’d at Captain Davenport Walkers, but lodg’d at Olivers and had my Horse kept there.  Was not well, being kept up late after so much fatigue.

December 15, 1748

1748 December 15 (Thursday).  After a Night of Disorder, and tempestuous Storm of Wind and Rain, wak’d early.  Shav’d at Mr. Mallow’s.  Had Some Contest with Major Henchman for his not sending any Return to my repeated Letters.  He resented my last.  I took it again.  Public Lecture by Mr. Wellsteed[1] on Ps. 51.11 or 12 of our Need of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.  Din’d at Brother Samuels.  Visited Mrs. Mary Bennett (who was so good as to make me a present of Tea) — visited my poor Mourning Niece — but the prizers were there.  After visits to my other Relations — Supp’d at Olivers, my Two Brethren also there.  N.B. Talk in private with my Brother Parkman; concerning the Grounds of the Reproachful Storm in most people’s mouths of his Conduct towards his sons widow, and especially the very night of the Funeral.  I rejoice to hear him declare his Innocence.  Lodg’d at Olivers; my Horse kept here Still.  N.B. Old Mr. S. Clark the Builder bury’d and Mr. Joseph White’s widow (sister Hannahs sister) dy’d.

[1]William Wellsteed of the New Brick Church.

December 17, 1748

1748 December 17 (Saturday).  In the Morning and my Horses Lampsas[1] burnt by Mr. William Morse.  The Deacon and I at Mr. Ebenezer Bradish’s about the Chair.  Have deliver’d the Deacon 60£ old Tenor for it.  Left Cambridge about 11 a.m.  Din’d at Mr. Nathaniel Harrington’s.  Mr. Bridge and his wife gone to a Funeral and could not see him going or returning to know whether he designs to preach my Lecture to Young Men.  Was at old Clark Johnsons at Evening.  Mr. Eleazer Bellows my Company Home.  My Family Well.  To God be Glory!

[1]Lampas, or lampers, is an inflammation and swelling of the roof of the mouth of a horse.

December 22, 1748

1748 December 22 (Thursday).  Kitty Grout went home a.m.  Molly rode with me over to Mr. Martyns and Mr. Martyn rode with me to Harvard.  N.B. we din’d at Mr. Townsends — went up to Lancaster — and I proceeded with Mr. Martyn to Mr. Ebenezer Beeman’s, and buying Bricks of him, I bought a few with him.  We lodg’d at Mr. Seccombs.[1]  N.B. Mrs. Seccomb a Fitt at Eve.

[1]The Reverend Mr. John Seccomb of Harvard.

December 23, 1748

1748 December 23 (Friday).  We left Mr. Seccombs and came to Mr. [blank] Keys’s, and I made some proposals to him about his taking my son Ebenezer to learn the Business of a Gunsmith, which he accepted of.  We din’d late at Mr. Goss’s.  It was Evening when Molly and I return’d home.  Here was Mr. Caleb Upham who is our Schoolmaster; he supp’d and lodg’d here.

December 28, 1748

1748 December 28 (Wednesday).  I visited Lucy Pratt (heretofore Whipple) in her Mourning for the Loss of her husband Moses Pratt at Hardwick.  I was also at Mr. Eleazer Bellows’s, at Mr. Daniel Warrins in Shrewsbury; and at Mr. Crosbys; Deacon Miles’s,[1] and din’d there.  At Mr. Joseph Miles’s[2] to bespeak the making a Cart; went over to Mr. Benjamin Willards at Grafton and bespoke Joshua Winchester[3] to come and live with me next season — was at his Fathers — from thence went to Mr. Nathaniel Whitneys to see his son Olivers, who was lately hurt by a Tree.  At my Returning home in the Eve, receiv’d a Letter from Mr. Upham inclosing a piece of Poetry which he stiles the Choice.  N.B. our people begin to stir in getting Timber for a Meeting House.

[1]Samuel Miles of Shrewsbury.

[2]A brother of Deacon Miles.

[3]The son of Benjamin Winchester of Grafton.

December 29, 1748

1748 December 29 (Thursday).  Wrote a brief answer to Mr. Upham.  P.M. Deacon Newton came and we reckon’d and I paid all and his son Silas’s account likewise by a Note to the Collector Mr. Daniel Hardy.  N.B. Mr. Caryl from Hopkinton here to see whether we had done anything in Contributing for the Redemption of his Brother Woodwell’s Daughter out of Captivity — whereas this was one part of Deacon Newtons Business with me, to acquaint me that the Deacons and Committee of the Precinct did advise to my publickly proposing it, to our Congregation next Sabbath.  I was sorry we were so late; for other Congregations round about had collected already, and they now (who were concern’d) were receiving it, that our Bills may be Exchang’d into Silver.  This afternoon it began to snow there having been no Snow, if to cover the Ground, yet not to lye this Year till now.  At Night the storm increas’d.

December 31 1748

1748 December 31 (Saturday).  Extremely high Gusts of Wind last Night.  But through God’s Mercy we are all well this Morning.  Proves a very Cold blustering Day.  Thus through the tender Mercy of God I have finish’d another Year.  Blessed be his glorious Name!  But when I look back and see what I have done in this further Measure of divine Forbearance, alas!  What reason for Grief and shame that I have been so unprofitable; having brought so little Glory to the name of God — done so little for my own Soul, and been so Slenderly Beneficial unto others!  May God be pleas’d to grant me true holy Mourning and Sorrow; and may I by Faith be enabled to repair to and depend on the atoning Blood of the son of God which Cleanseth from all sin!  May I have part in the Merits of his Righteousness and Obedience when my own is so defective; nay, have none at all!  And O that the glorious High Priest who ever lives to make Intercession might allow and enable me to come to God by him — and notwithstanding all my infinite unworthiness Save me to the Uttermost.  Amen.