August 16, 1752

1752 August 16 (Sunday).  A very melancholly Sabbath!  I had an exceeding poor Night.  Feverish, profusely Sweating, and extreme faint.  Yet the Lord upheld me till the Morning, and my pains are much abated.  N.B. Ebenezer is published to Mrs. Elizabeth Harrington.  Lieutenant Tainter watch’d at home.  I was somewhat reviv’d in the Day, But this Day was peculiarly Dark as there was no Preacher.  Dr. Willson was to have come, but he was prevented by several Patients.  There was a Meeting at our Meeting House a.m.  They read Dr. Watts[1] on Job 23.3.4.  But all the Meeting p.m. was at my House, 5 persons besides my own Family — who pray’d and Read and sung.

[1]One of the numerous writings of Isaac Watts.  [Additional note: “Sin and Sorrows Spread before the Lord,” Sermon VI in Sermons on Various Subjects, Divine and Moral: with a Sacred Hymn Suited to Each Subject (5th ed., 2 vols.; London: Printed for E. Matthews, R. Ford, and R. Hett, 1734), 1:113-51.]

August 17, 1752

1752 August 17 (Monday).  But a poorish Night, yet my wife tended me.  Wrote by Deacon Newton[1] to Dr. Scammell[2] [my wife wrote just before Day].  Ebenezer gets in the last of my Island Hay, and the Flax.  The Deacon carrys his Daughter Sarah to the Doctors.  Less pain a.m.  Eat something of Dinner.  N.B. Mr. Pierce of Stow his wife and Mrs. Martyn din’d here.  P.M. I was very full of pain in my right Knee.  N.B. In Deacon Newtons return from Dr. Scammell, I find the Doctor will have it that I have the Gout as well as Rheumatism.  Captain Maynard here at Evening.  Mrs. Lucy Bowker makes a Coat for Alexander gratis — and watches with me.

[1]Josiah Newton.

[2]Samuel Scammell, the physician of Milford.

August 22, 1752

1752 August 22 (Saturday).  A pritty good Night for Sleep, and yet this morning full of pain chiefly in my left Hip, Shoulder and Foot.  Great Frost last Night.  Dr. Scammell came while I was at Dinner.  P.M. pains increase exceedingly especially in my left Shoulder.  May God almighty sustain me and prepare me for his sovereign Will.  My little Samuel a Twelve Month old.  May he be born again in the Blessed Spirit of God!  The Evening and night were most distressing with pain that ceased not, no not in any Situation whatever, a Circumstance which I have not, I think, at any Time had till now.  I put on a Blister upon the upper part of my arm — which by Divine favour gave me

August 23, 1752

1752 August 23 (Sunday).  By the Morning some Relief.  A portion of Rhubarb also which I took last Night works to Day, and I am easier of pain, but reduc’d to be very weak and faint.  A Melancholly Sabbath!  a Second Disappointment by Dr. Willson, whom I earnestly sent Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin to, last Thursday, and had return by the Same on Friday Eve that he would certainly come unless some Case of Life or Death occurred.  But the people watch’d till it was late, and then some went to the North End etc. and some attended at the Meeting House the Deacons carrying on both a. and p.m.  N.B. they read Dr. Watts on Col. 3.3.[1]  N.B. Mr. Bradish pray’d with me in the Evening, and my Daughter Forbush watches.  It proves a Night of Fever, faintness and frequent waking.

[1][Additional note: “The Hidden Life of a Christian,” Sermon IX, X in Sermons on Various Subjects, Divine and Moral: with a Sacred Hymn Suited to Each Subject (5th ed., 2 vols.; London: Printed for E. Matthews, R. Ford, and R. Hett, 1734), 1:175-225.]

August 24, 1752

1752 August 24 (Monday).  Freer of Pain, but very weak and feeble.  N.B. ventur’d to Shave not having been shav’d since my Confinement till now.  Rain.  Mr. Daniel Bond here, complaining of my son Ebenezer.  N.B. he went to Ebenezer last Saturday to warn him before Two Witnesses not to marry the person he was publish’d to.  Child carry’d away to be wean’d at t’other House.  Deacon Newton pray’d at Night.

August 25, 1752

1752 August 25 (Tuesday).  Last Night was exceeding tedious not for pains so much as Faintness, especially towards Morning I was exceeding low.  My Wife watch’d.  The forenoon was of apiece with the Morning.  My wife stills a miscellany of Meat, Herbs, Roots, seeds etc. by the Doctor’s Direction.  But my Eye and Heart are to God to Show Mercy.  Dr. Chase waits upon his Father here.  P.M. I was more lively and comfortable.  D.G.  Very free of pain — a better Evening and Night.

August 26, 1752

1752 August 26 (Wednesday).  My wife tends me o’nights and supply’s me with Breast-Milk.  Rain’d hard last night.  The Thumb of my left Hand seiz’d this morning.  We presently put on a Blister to my Wrist.  Days of deep Affliction and Distress, though now and then intervals of Comfort.  May the Lord look upon me and be gracious to me!  P.M. Captain Forbush and divers others here.  I sent for Justice Baker who came to confer with him about Sending to Mr. Minot[1] of Concord to come and preach next Lords Day.  My Hand grows much worse.

[1]Timothy Minot, schoolmaster and supply preacher.

August 27, 1752

1752 August 27 (Thursday).  So that I had a Night of grevious Trouble and Exercise till the Morning.  My Hand somewhat easier in the Day, and I was more comfortable and lively.  But these days are Days of Darkness and sorrow.  Mrs. Molly Brigham (Gershom’s wife) brought some bak’d Bear with Sauce which I could Eat of though I have a more deprav’d appetite and have eaten next to no Meat these Two Days.  Mr. Baxter visits me and pray’d with me.  He tells me Noah Hows has been with him about his Baptism.  Mrs. Hepzibah Maynard visits me.  A.M. Mrs. Rachael Rice and her son Abners Wife here, but no particular Notice was taken of the latter one way nor another.  At Night my Hand still very sore and much swell’d, yet not so as to prevent my sleeping.  But a Blister a little below my Knee has more prevented my walking in the room, thereat almost any Time of late.

August 29, 1752

1752 August 29 (Saturday).  A very good Night last, for sleep.  D.G.  Yet its followed with a Day of faintness.  Mr. Beeton carrys a Letter for me directed to Lieutenant Taylor[1] of Townshend.  Mr. Joseph Woods din’d here.  Towards Night sister Lydia and my Daughter went back.

[1]Daniel Taylor.  See Ithamar B. Sawtelle, History of the Town of Townsend (Fitchburg, 1878), pp. 154-155.

August 30, 1752

1752 August 30 (Sunday).  Another tolerable Night for sleep, yet remain faint and weak only my appetite is Somewhat better.  I am humbly waiting the will of God.  But it is Another Melancholly, sorrowful Sabbath.  A meeting is held at the Meeting House, but few attend it.  The School-Master, Mr. Jonathan Ward reads a. and p.m.  Dr. Watts on Ps. 42.2.[1]  At Dinner we had Deacon Forbush and old Mr. Bradish.  At Eve Mr. Eliezer Rice desirous of Dr. Scammell (if he Should come here) for his Young Child.  The Nights are Cold and frosty.

[1][Additional Note: “Appearing before God,” Sermon XIII, XIV in Sermons on Various Subjects, Divine and Moral: with a Sacred Hymn Suited to Each Subject (5th ed., 2 vols.; London: Printed for E. Matthews, R. Ford, and R. Hett, 1734), 1:267-322.]

August 31, 1752

1752 August 31 (Monday).  I had a very Good Night — but am weak and faint in the Day.  Kind Letter from the Reverend Brother Morse[1] recommending a Remedy which he had taken with Success.  Mr. Francis Whipple tells me he publish’d my son yesterday at the North Meeting House.  Thus have I been carry’d through this Month of deep and distressing Sickness and Pain.  May it please God to engage my whole Soul in holy Gratitude and Praise to Him who has been my only Saviour, my Refuge and Support!  And might it please him to perfect the begun Mercy in my thorow Restoration and Recovery!

[1]Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.