December 3, 1749

1749 December 3 (Sunday).  Read Exod. 10 with Exposition, and preach’d from 2 Tim. 4.3.  Din’d (by his renewed invitation to me, but no mention of any of the rest) at Deacon Newtons.  Molly and Lucy and Billy tarry’d at the Meeting House.  I enquir’d of Mrs. Newton what was become of them and she manifested concern and Disappointment for she had ask’d them (heretofore) and did Desire they might be with us at Dinner, and said she spoke to Billy (to Day) at the Meeting House Door, to come.  (But I suppose they knew not upon what foot they were to come and therefore did not.  It is a pity that this Affair has made any Difficulty.)  P.M. I read part of Luke 11, viz. to 13, and after a few glances upon it, I wav’d the rest, to the sermon which was upon those words in 2.  When you pray, say, Our Father etc. in which I improv’d what I had upon Mat. 6.9.  For though I had writ more than might have serv’d for one Exercise, upon the Subject in the Morning yet I much rather chose to deliver as much of it as I well could at once.  May God please to pardon my Defects, and own and bless my imperfect, if sincere Endeavours preventing misunderstandings of what has been offer’d, that men might be prejudic’d against seasonable Truth.  May God enable us to see and embrace it as it is in Jesus, and be sanctify’d thereby!  N.B. Besides Neighbour James Maynards going over to the Church of England, we hear sorrowfull News from Hardwick of some Number of those who went from this town (Mr. James Fay[1] etc.) Separating from the Church there and setting up John Roberts[2] late of Grafton, for their Preacher if not Teacher: and some among ourselves hankering to go after them.

[1]Son of the late Captain John Fay of Westborough. Stephen Fay, who had settled in Hardwick in 1746, was a founder of the Separatist Church, Congregational, in Hardwick, in 1750.  Deacon Fay was named as a Tory in 1775 by the Hardwick Committee of Correspondence.  George H. Johnson, One Branch of the Fay Family Tree (Columbus, O., 1913), p. 25.

[2]Roberts was not a college graduate but a lay-preacher or exhorter.  There is no record that the Separatist Church of Hardwick had a settled minister.  In 1761 Roberts and some others of the Congregation voted to move to Bennington, Vermont, and there they formed the first church in the state of Vermont.  Paige, Hardwick, pp. 225-230.

December 6, 1749

1749 December 6 (Wednesday).  Mr. Robert Cooks wife here again.  I acquaint her with the Difficultys in the way of proceeding to propound her.  Ephraim Whitney and Thankful Harrington marry’d a.m.  Neighbour Hezekiah How and Neighbour Daniel Warrin assist my son in killing 3 Swine, one weighing above nine, another above 7, another almost 4 Score.  Foreseeing I must give some of my Corn to my Cattle and Horses by reason of the shortness of Hay, I chose to kill my Pork early though it be small — have laid up the more Beef.  N.B. Mr. Phinehas Hardy has brought 1/2 an Hundred and 8 pound of Iron from Sutton for me, and Mr. Samuel Williams borrows part of it of me.  At Eve Mr. Billings, Mr. Bezaleel Eager, Captain Forbush and Lieutenant Thomas Forbush here.  The last of them came to know whether I desir’d the Committee of the Precinct would call a precinct meeting to Consider of my Remove nigher the Meeting House, and would send them any Writing on that Hand.  I told them I chose they Should themselves consult and advise what would be best to be done.

December 9, 1749

1749 December 9 (Saturday).  Lieutenant Tainter came to acquaint me that the Committee of the Precinct would meet at Esq. Bakers next Monday etc. to desire me to give them my Company there at that Time to confer with me about our Affairs and Circumstances at this Day: and especially with reference to my removal also in the Name of Esq. Baker he desir’d I would henceforward till next May, myself and as many of my Family as Should please, would dine at his (Esq. Bakers) House on Lords Days.  This was the Result of a Meeting which a Number of Southern Neighbours had at Lieutenant Tainters last Night, when likewise they had Discourse with Deacon Newton for his Conduct about this Affair.  Lieutenant remark’d to me and strongly affirm’d that Deacon Newton, when three of them came to my House the Saturday before taking down the old Meeting House to desire and invite me to dine at their Houses on Sabbath Noons, (that then the Deacon) did not invite — as I had suppos’d and had often said.

December 10, 1749

1749 December 10 (Sunday).  Mr. Eliezer Rice sent my Horse in the Morning for us to Meeting.  A.M. read the 10th Chapter of Exod. with some Expository remarks, but read p.m. Luke 11, from 14 to 36 without [?].  Preach’d a. and p.m. on 2 Tim. 4.3.4, which I have this Day Seen much more the need of, than while I was composing the Sermons.  My Wife and I din’d at Esq. Bakers.  I am inform’d that Neighbour Stephen Fay,[1] since the forenoon sermon of last Lords Day has been so warm about leaving us and moving to Lambstown, that seat of Disorder and Separation, and principal subject of Discourse at this Time, that he last week went up and brought him a place there.  God grant him Grace to make a good use of the seasonable word he has heard to Day!  And may it be bless’d as a Solemn Warning to us all!

[1]The brother of James Fay, who had already moved to Hardwick.  Stephen became an innkeeper and prominent citizen of Hardwick. He later moved to Bennington and kept the Green Mountain House there.

December 11, 1749

1749 December 11 (Monday).  P.M. according to the Request brought me by Lieutenant Tainter last Saturday I rode over to Esq. Bakers and Met the Committee of the Precinct, viz. Esq. Baker, Lieutenant Tainter, Lieutenant Thomas Forbush, Messrs. James Bowman and Phinehas Hardy.  The Business was, They wanted to know whether I expected or desir’d the Precinct to do any Thing for me about my Remove from my present Dwelling to the New Meeting House, which I certify’d them I depended upon their assistance.  Was at Merchant Rice’s and had some Talk there with Lieutenant Nathan Brigham of Southborough about the Land round the Meeting House and he seems willing to grant it.

December 13, 1749

1749 December 13 (Wednesday).  Cold.  Mr. Martyn and his wife made us a Visit, and din’d here.  Mr. Maccarty came from Worcester and preach’d a Lecture to Young Men from Luke 16.  If they hear not Moses etc.  My son Ebenezer Set the Psalm: and Nathan Maynard read it.  Mr. Stone[1] and Mr. Smith[2] came from Shrewsbury and din’d here but neither they nor Mr. Martyn or his wife went to Lecture.  Mr. Edward Goddard came for a Copy of Mr. Isaac Stones Complaint.  Hear that Job Cushing is come home.

[1]The Reverend Nathan Stone of Marlborough.

[2]The Reverend Aaron Smith of Southborough.

December 16, 1749

1749 December 16 (Saturday).  Court held at Esq. Liscombs,[1] Mr. Abraham Temple and others having prosecuted a Grafton Bridegroom and some of his Attendants for abusing his son Joseph who with some youngsters from Mr. Jonathan Fays in this Town, broke forth Sounding an  Horn etc. as the nuptial procession went up into Grafton from Esq. Bakers where their Marriage was Solemnized.

[1]Samuel Lyscom of Southborough was a Justice of the Peace.

December 17, 1749

1749 December 17 (Sunday).  Cold and rugged Weather.  Mrs. Chamberlin rode with my wife and Daughter Lucy and me in our slay.  Read part of Exod. 12 and made the Exposition to be a.m. Sermon.  My wife and Billy and I din’d at Esq. Bakers.  I lengthen’d the Time to an Hour and half Intermission.  P.M. read Luke 11.14 to 37.  Preach’d on Jer. 6.16.  Neighbour Eliezer Rice and his wife (though so Cold a Day) went to Meeting at Grafton.  My Lucy din’d at Mr. Abner Newtons.  But O that we may be made willing to undergoe unavoidable Difficultys in getting to the Place of worship for the Sake of Communion with God.  I have lov’d the Habitation of thine House, says David, and the place where thine Honour dwelleth.

December 18, 1749

1749 December 18 (Monday).  Court held at Esq. Wards,[1] the Opposite Party to those which prosecuted on Saturday, viz. Captain Drury and now prosecutor Temple’s son, Eleazer Whitney and Two of Mr. William Nurse’s sons, for their Behaviour.  Samuel Bumpso here to borrow money, but declar’d himself to have been clear, not so much as a witness, nor any way concern’d, only that he ow’d his Landlord Fay some Money, and he now wanted it.  I lent him 82/.  A very Cold Day.  P.M. Mrs. Ann Maynard made us a Visit, and it was at the Time when Oliver Whitney[2] and Dorcus Forbush[3] were marry’d.  Neighbour Noah How came and took away Eight stray Sheep to keep, and legally Stray ‘em.

[1]Nahum Ward of Shrewsbury.

[2]The son of Nathaniel Whitney.

[3]The daughter of the late Thomas Forbush.

December 20, 1749

1749 December 20 (Wednesday).  The season is somewhat Severe — Close Time for Spending Hay.  But we are in the Hands of God whose tender Mercys are great.  At Mr. Rice’s Desire I wrote a Letter to President Holyoke concerning Asaphs confinement, and sent the pedigree of Mr. Secretary Wyllys[1] of Hartford.  At Eve Captain Maynard here — made a Business of Consulting him about the Circumstances of my Remove, and desir’d him to Sell me some Land which lys near.

[1]George Wyllys, Secretary of Conn.

December 22, 1749

1749 December 22 (Friday).  Somewhat moderater.  Had prepar’d of Sermons as much as might well serve for Two Exercises — besides some Thoughts Expository of the Paragraph of the Chapter which we are next to read.  At Eve was sent for to visit Mr. Hezekiah Pratts youngest Child, which Seems to be dying — went and pray’d.  Some others of the Neighbours and their Wives being there also.

December 24, 1749

1749 December 24 (Sunday).  The Weather somewhat troublesome.  A.M. I read Exod. 12.11 to 20, gave some brief unwritten Remarks or Glances — preach’d a. and p.m. on Jer. 6.16.  Din’d at Esq. Bakers, Molly at Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s, and Lucy at Mr. Abner Newtons.  P.M. read Luke 11, latter part.  In returning home at Eve call’d in at Mr. Hezekiah Pratts, whose youngest Child lyes dead.  N.B. It gave me great Relief to be so seasonably prepar’d for the Sabbath and Exercises were perform’d with much more pleasure.  My Heart also was not altogether unaffected.  Blessed be God for it.

December 26, 1749

1749 December 26 (Tuesday).  Somewhat Cold but bright.  My wife and I rode in the Slay to visit a Number of Neighbours, viz. Captain Forbush,[1] Old Mrs. Forbush,[2] Lieutenant Bruce, Mr. Amsden, where we din’d — My little Alexander being with us.  Then we proceeded to Elisha Wards and return’d by Isaac Amsdens.  Were at Mr. Beemans and Eliphalet Adams’s.  Were oblig’d to leave the rest of the Familys to some other Time.  But alas that no more good is done for the Souls of Men!

[1]Samuel Forbush.

[2]The widow of Thomas Forbush.

December 28, 1749

1749 December 28 (Thursday).  It was very Cold — and somewhat Windy But I was oblig’d to provide another place (than Mr. Eliezer Rice’s) for the Entertainment of my Horse.  I undertook a walk — was at Mr. Pratts and Mr. Williams without success.  N.B. Reckon’d with Mr. Ebenezer Rice, and din’d there — walk’d up to Mr. Grouts — in returning call’d at Moses Brighams — visited old Mrs. Fay — Exhorted Jeduthun and his wife to attend to their Duty in making a Profession of Religion and that their Children might be baptized — of which they now have five.  Call’d also at Neighbour Eliezer Rice’s.

December 31, 1749

1749 December 31 (Sunday).  A moderate pleasant Day.  A.M. I read Exod. 12.29 to 36.  The Exposition was the forenoon Exercise.  I din’d at Esq. Bakers.  My Wife and Children return’d home in the Slay.  P.M. I read Luke 12 to 21.  Sermon on Jer. 6.16.  In both the Exercises I had reference to the Concluding of the Year.  May God accompany etc.  Had some lively sense of our Mortal state.  May God impress my Soul thoroughly!  That when not only Years, but Time itself Shall finish, I may be ready!  may be Secure and Happy — But I see I had need to be awake, and diligent for the Grand Period hastens upon Me apace.  May God almighty and most mercifull grant His needed Grace!