January 1, 1749

1749 January 1 (Sunday).  Blessed be the Lord who continually upholds my Soul in Life and especially has conducted me through the changing Scenes of the Last Year — has granted me also to see Chearful Light of another New Years Day!  that we have also the Day of Grace and the means thereof, at the Same Time; and that we have another of the Days of the son of Man!  How undeserv’d!  how discriminating His Mercy and Bounty!  This forenoon I read publickly the 16th chapter of Genesis: and preach’d on Neh. 9.6, using the Body of the Sermon I formerly deliver’d on that Text, but had both a new introduction and an application for Improvement of the Day.  Mr. Joseph Stratton of Waltham din’d with us.  P.M. I read Mat. 16, preach’d on Ps. 17, ult carrying on the Subject of the Happiness of the Saints in Heaven.  May God grant to us the principle of Holiness and divine Love here, which shall be in Such Glory in the future World!  The Weather is grown very Cold.  The Snow hard enough for people to run upon.  God only can Sustain us, for who can Stand before his Cold.

January 2, 1749

1749 January 2 (Monday).  Another very Cold Day.  Mr. Hall[1] of Sutton here with a Letter from the first Church there requesting me to assist in a Fast next Week on Account of Various Difficultys among them by reason of the Separations increasing and on Consideration of a Late Council at Oxford, met at the Request of one of the members of the 1st Church in Sutton (one Davidson) under the Censure of Said Church.  But I was oblig’d to refuse, both because of my own uncertain Health, and my wife’s present Circumstances.  The widow Sarah Forbush[2] here to work for us — Spinning.  Ebenezer is Sledding Wood.

[1]The Reverend David Hall.

[2]Mrs. Samuel Forbush.

January 3, 1749

1749 January 3 (Tuesday).  Not altogether So Cold as yesterday.  Ebenezer Sledded Two Oak Loggs to Maynards Saw Mill.  I rode up to Mr. Knowltons to obtain one of his sons to come and live with me, Ebenezer being about to go to Harvard.  Din’d at Mr. Knowltons.  Was also at Mr. Bellows’s, Mr. Greens and old Mr. Whipples.  Very Raw Cold, and begins to snow before I got home.  Billy began to learn Latin.  May God be pleas’d to grant it may succeed.  Mr. Amos Pratt[1] of Shrewsbury dy’d yesterday.

[1]Formerly of Westborough.

January 4, 1749

1749 January 4 (Wednesday).  The Morning was Somewhat snowy, but Elijah Bellows according to appointment came to go with Ebenezer to Harvard to bring back the Horse.  And therefore my son went Scil. to Mr. William Keyes’s to learn what he can of the Gunsmiths Business.  And God most merciful be gracious to him and be the Guide of his Youth!  Mr. Joseph Roberts[1] from Boston, a young preacher at Grafton (accompany’d by Mr. Simon Tainter of Grafton) came to see me — din’d with us, and tarry’d over Night (Mr. Tainter going to his Father Bruce’s).[2]  Elijah Warrin return’d safe with the Horses from Harvard.

[1]Joseph Roberts (Harvard 1741), a schoolmaster of Weston and the minister of Leicester, 1754-1762.  Sibley, XI, 65-68.

[2]Tainter had married Mary, the daughter of Lieutenant Abijah Bruce of Westborough.

January 7, 1749

1749 January 7 (Saturday).  Very Cold.  Mr. Solomon Woods came — brought a pair of Bellows from Cambridge and mended ‘em.  Din’d here.  P.M. Mrs. Forbush (Phinehas’ Widow) here til now.  She had my mare to ride home, and went for me to Mr. Daniel Hardys to get me some money, he being Collector of the money granted for the last Year, and though he has had the Rates from Month to Month, yet he brings me none.  Nathan Knowlton does not come as I expected.

January 8, 1749

1749 January 8 (Sunday).  Very Cold Day.  No Nathan.  Tending the Cattle at this extreme season very troublesome to me, having been so very unus’d to it — but my little Billy has been some help.  At noon came Cornelius Cook (by desire) to take Care of the Cattle.  At noon likewise one of the Chimneys took fire.  I read in the publick service part of the 17th chapter of Genesis and preach’d on Ps. 17.15 of the Happiness of Heaven.  P.M. read part of the 17th of Matthew.  Preach’d on 2 Cor. 8.7 (repeated), on occasion of the design’d Contributions for the Redemption of the Daughter of Mr. David Woodwell.  But by reason of the Extremity of the Season I (not without advising upon it) thought it prudentest to adjourn it to another Sabbath.  N.B. Deacon Forbush was the person I talked with — he din’d with me, as did his daughter in law (widow Forbush) as well as master Upham.

January 10, 1749

1749 January 10 (Tuesday).  Difficulty to get grinding.  Thomas to old Mr. Johnson’s mill, but brought nothing home.  P.M. came Mr. Joseph Williams from Marlborough in a Disquietment about Thomas — in Special his being at Uriah Amsdens (where he had contracted acquaintance by means of the womans being a Westborough woman) after he had forbid him.  And nothing would Satisfie with him or Thomas but throwing up the Indentures, which after much Debate therefore We did.  Thomas acknowledging his Fault in using Amsdens House against his (his masters) will: and his not coming home from Horns of Southborough (at the Time of the late trooping there) along with Silas (his fellow ‘prentice) but riding home with Said Amsden — and some other Indiscretions — and Williams acknowledged he had not done well in speaking to Thomme’s Disparagement undervaluing his Time, and was sorry that in his passion he should Express himself So.  This is a New Affliction, but tis unavoidable.  I desire to acknowledge the hand of God in it, and Submitt to His holy will.  O that God would grant Repentence and forgiveness for what has been amiss!

January 11, 1749

1749 January 11 (Wednesday).  Nathan Knowlton to Drurys Mill with Success.  A.M. pleasant, p.m. clouded.  Sheriff Taylor[1] of Southborough and Several others for his aid, is conducting Jacob Newton (of the Same Town) up to Worcester Goal to committ him for Theft.

[1]Several Taylors lived in Southborough.  Whitmore, Massachusetts Civil List, does not indicate any sheriff of this. name.

January 13, 1749

1749 January 13 (Friday).  Thomas (and his Sister Molly with Bekky Gott) rode in the Slay to Marlborough.  Instead of his bringing up his Chest and all his Things from his late Master Williams’s he gives in to his [kind] Entertainment, leaves his Chest and hearkens to Mr. Williams’s Discourse of employing him again.  N.B. Sally Gott instead of Bekky[1] — in a snow Storm.  At Eve Mr. Samuel Harrington to see how I was on’t, for wood etc., and he helped me in getting in Loggs etc. before the Storm was too hard.

[1]Daughters of Dr. Benjamin Gott of Marlborough.

January 15, 1749

1749 January 15 (Sunday).  A.M. read the latter part of Genesis 17 and gave some Exposition (as I have done several Times) and I preach’d on Mat. 25.46 latter Clause.  Mr. Upham[1] brought his Father to dine with me.  P.M. read the latter part of Mat. 17 and deliver’d part of Several Expositions of Mat. 6 but from 2 Cor. 8.7, and after Sermon we Contributed for the Redemption of the Daughter of Mr. David Woodwell of Hopkinton.  The Lord bless his word, and accept of our Offering!

[1]Caleb Upham, Westborough’s schoolmaster.

January 16, 1749

1749 January 16 (Monday).  Master Uphams Father here.  Sudden News from Dr. Gott, by Sir Henchman that Sally must go home.  Mr. Cushing[1] and his wife to See us, and din’d here.  P.M. Sally return’d with Henchman, to our great Disappointment.  At Eve came Mr. Stone who had visited Mr. Martyn.  N.B. Deacon Newton was with me to count the money gather’d yesterday and it amounted to a few Shillings above 20£ old Tenor.  The Precinct had a Meeting to appoint a Committee to treat with Lieutenant Brigham, the proprietor of the Land which they have voted the Convenientest Spot for a Meeting House.[2]

[1]The Reverend Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[2]In Dec., 1748, the first precinct appropriated £600, old tenor for the construction of the new meeting house.  In Jan., 1749, a piece of land five rods long and eight wide, near the present center of Westborough, was purchased from Nathan Brigham of Southborough.  DeForest and Bates, Westborough, p. 133.

January 17, 1749

1749 January 17 (Tuesday).  Mr. David Woodwell here on his Return from Deerfield to Hopkinton.  He tells us that last week dy’d Mr. Benjamin Doolittle[1] the pastor of Northfield.  Many Southern Neighbours came to Cutt and Sled wood for me.  My Son Thomas went also with my own Team.  The Company were Mr. Samuel Harrington with a Team, Mr. Timothy Warrin and Team, Benjamin Tainter (for his Brother Jonathan Forbush — but) with his Fathers Team, Mr. Growe, Mr. Bowman, Mr. Daniel Hardy, Mr. Phinehas Hardy, Mr. Zebulon Rice, Messrs. Solomon Woods, Jonas Child, Samuel Baker, Eleazer Williams, besides which were Robert Cook, Nathaniel Whitney junior, Joseph Grout, Judah Rice, Thomas Hardy, and Samuel Bumpso.  And they got down 34 Load to the Door.  Sorrowful News of the Death of Mr. Daniel Cooks son, at Newton, his only Child, who was here not long since with his designed Father in Law, Reverend Mr. Cotton.  My wife continually in much pain particularly in her Side: but especially o’Nights — I fear the Event.  The Lord be pleas’d to prepare us for his holy Will!

[1](Yale 1716).  The minister of Northfield, 1717-1748.  Dexter, Biographical Sketches, pp. 151-154.

January 18, 1749

1749 January 18 (Wednesday).  A.M. being a bright pleasant Day I assisted Thomas in Sledding home 2 load of the Wood which the people yesterday left cutt in the woods; for there is danger of its being cover’d up if there should come another Snow.  P.M. I rode in my Slay to Mr. Cooks with Irons (given last year by Mr. Cowell) to shooe it.  At Eve Cold.  Thomas informs me that there is no water to be found at the Springs; though he cutt quite through the Ice he meets with nothing but Mudd.  My wife continues very full of pain in her side.

January 22, 1749

1749 January 22 (Sunday).  Read Genesis 18 and gave some Extracts from Mr. Ainsworth[1] and some Observations of my own for an Exposition.  Preached on John 12.26.  Mr. Upham[2] and Dodge[3] from College din’d here.  P.M. read Mat. 18 with some brief observations, and preached from 2 Pet. 1.5.6.  The former part too unprepar’d, the body of the Discourse was from sermon on Titus 2.12 — add to their Knowledge of Temperance, from page 55 to 68.  Because of what I had lately heard of some persons being overtaken with Drink, and some of them members of the Church.

[1]Henry Ainsworth (d. 1622) was a prominent non-conformist minister who belonged to the Brownists.  He wrote many works which were published in England.

[2]Caleb Upham (Harvard 1744).

[3]Ezekiel Dodge (Harvard 1749).

January 23, 1749

1749 January 23 (Monday).  A.M. Dodge here.  In my Defence of my Sermon on Eph. 5.14, awake that Sleepest etc. against what Dodge had heard diverse people say of it, I read him the chief of the Notes.  P.M. Deacon Newton came to review the counting of the late Contribution for Mr. Woodwell, and he brought somewhat more which a person put into his Hands, who was not at Meeting on the Day of the Contributions — the whole sum now amounts to £29.11.2.  The precinct also met today to hear the Report of their Committee about the Land which they have pitch upon for the new Meeting House to Stand on: but they are at present at a stand by reason of the Objections of those Rice’s who are fellow-heirs with the late wife of Lieutenant Nathan Brigham of Southborough, who is the present possessor or Claimer of the spot.  N.B. At Eve Several men were in here, after the meeting.  Mr. Daniel Hardy paid me the full of 152£ 10 s. to make up for last Year.  And I gave the precinct a Receipt in full from the Beginning of the precinct to June 5 last.  Lieutenant Forbush was here and he was the first who mention’d to me any Dissatisfaction of his own, with my public Reading of the holy Scriptures in public.  Captain Forbush and Daniel Hardy also offer’d something in my hearing of the like nature.  I endeavour’d further to Vindicate it — and we had fervent argument upon another Point likewise.  Scil. the Beginning of the Sabbath.  I was griev’d to find such a Disposition to Objecting and finding fault — for Lieutenant Said he believ’d we Should not only come to reading the Scripture, but to reading Prayers, for we were got to reading our Notes, whereas our Charge was to preach — not read.  No word in the Bible that we should read, as for singing, he said I had preach’d about it some Time ago and recommended the Duty very much, and that they should all have their Psalm-Books — but now we were going (he thought) to turn it out of the worship, by degrees, for we had got to singing but one Stave.  I answer’d that this was only in extreme Cold Day, or while they were so short that we needed to redeem time, and to Satisfie such people as had most frequently been very uneasy that they could not get home to their Cattle sooner.  And therefore it was exceeding unreasonable to complain of that.  May the Lord pitty and pardon us, for his names sake!  My Wife in the Meantime was extreme full of pain, and when the Company retir’d home I rode to Mr. Maynards and would have got Nathan to go for Mrs. Forbush (the Midwife) but he was not at home.  His Brother Ebenezer offer’d to go; whilst I went myself for Captain Maynards wife: and those Two women were here all night.

January 24, 1749

1749 January 24 (Tuesday).  Mrs. Maynard return’d home.  Mrs. Forbush tarrys.  The weather changes to a Snow Storm.  Yet I rode to Mr. Joseph Knowltons after his son Jacob to hire him for the year.  Heard there that Mr. Samuel Crosby dy’d last night, a considerable Loss!  I was at Mr. Bellows’s, Mr. Samuel Fays, Mr. Greens, and Mr. Francis Whipple’s.  My wife, at my return, much the Same as when I left her.

January 26, 1749

1749 January 26 (Thursday).  My Wife has somewhat more distinct Travail pains, but desires to consult Dr. Gott.  Thomas rode to Marlborough with a Letter to him.  He went also to his Master Williams’s, to bring up some More of his Things, and to know more of his Mind, since he had put a Stop to bringing away his Chest.  Thomas carried likewise a Letter directed to the Reverend Mr. Loring, to be lodg’d at Mr. Jonathan Lorings for Conveyance.  P.M. My Wife desires the Assistance of Neighbouring Women.  I tackled up the Slay and went for old Mrs. Whipple and Mrs. Kitty Rice, then for Mrs. How and her Daughter Molly.  Old Mrs. Maynard being notify’d came again; and I had the help of Nathan Maynard to bring Captain Forbush’s Wife.  Thus we were waiting upon the Divine Pleasure this Evening.  Thomas in Return from Marlborough has brought a Letter and Druggs from the Doctors, and word from Mr. Williams (of Marlborough) that he will Shortly come and see me.

January 27, 1749

1749 January 27 (Friday).  About 4 this Morning came Captain Forbush’s Wife to my Bed Side, and waking me wish’d me Joy with my new Son which was now newly born, a lusty Child and the Mother in great Comfort.  The Name of God be glorify’d!  for though weeping may endure for a Night, yet Joy comes in the Morning.  May this Child (with all my others) graciously given me of God, be the Lords!  Devoted to his Service and an Instrument of his Glory!  A very fine pleasant Day.  Thomas waited on Mrs. Whipple, and Mrs. Eleazer Rice’s wife home in the Slay.  The Rest went home o’foot.  Thus I had very little Trouble in gathering the Women, or waiting on ‘em home.  Thomas brought the widow Mary Fay[1] to nurse, and she watch’d.

[1]The widow of Captain John Fay.

January 29, 1749

1749 January 29 (Sunday).  Tis now 13 Year since my dear wife (Mary) dy’d — but God has turn’d our Sorrows into Joys.  A.M. I read Genesis 19, and gave some brief glances upon it.  Preach’d on Neh. 9.6, repeating my old sermon on that Text.  It was Seasonable after what we have lately experienc’d.  Mr. Upham and Granny Forbush[1] din’d here.  P.M. I read and briefly remark’d upon Matthew 19.  Preach’d on 1 Tim. 2.15.  N.B. I began it with a very Cautionary Introduction extempore, but I think there was no great need of it.  My Twelfth, Eleventh living, Child was publickly dedicated to God and baptiz’d.  In Honour of my worthy and Reverend Father in Law[2] and excellent Friend I call’d him Breck.  May the Lord graciously accept of him and bless him!  and make him a Blessing in his Generation!  The Granny and not the Nurse held him up.  The Young Widow, Sarah Forbush Stay’d and watch’d.  N.B. My Wife has been somewhat faint and weak, but was got up to Day.  At Eve, She having endured a great deal of pain in her Hipp (She supposes tis the same flatulent pain which had before been so troublesome in her Side) and nothing past through her since last Thursday, I sent my son Thomas to Dr. Gott, and had Return from him the Same Night.

[1]The widow of Thomas Forbush.

[2]The late Reverend Robert Breck, Sr., of Marlborough.

January 30, 1749

1749 January 30 (Monday).  Endeavour’d some Retirement and Abstinence on Consideration of the Troubles I was in when my former wife lay dead.  I would not forget the Wormwood and the Gall: and may my Soul be humbled in me!  Brother Hicks here.  It happened to be a Sad Interruption to me — by Enquirys about the Settlement of Mother Champneys Estate; but Especially by uneasiness about a particular trifling article of the Goods which put me out of Frame to see him so Stiff and Disobliging to me — only about Father Champneys old Sword.  I desire to bewail my ill frames on Such Days!  Mrs. Fay, our Nurse, watched herself, again.