1752 December 1 (Friday). The Rain continues Still. Billy goes to School to Day to Mr. Jonathan Ward at Mr. Eliezer Rice’s. Samuel Bumpso Bushel Turnips. P.M. Sun breaks out. I improv’d the Day in Study, prayer and Self Reflection. At Eve Mr. Batherick here. Tells me he is sorry for what he did on the late Day of thanksgiving, and that he will do so no more.
1752 December 2 (Saturday). Ebenezer and his wife watch’d at Mr. Pierce’s last night. It remains an House of great Distress. Ebenezer Pierce is now taken ill. Mr. Hezekiah Pratt a Load of Wood, when we were much Straitned. Mr. Grout another.
1752 December 3 (Sunday). Having finish’d both my Sermons last Night, my Mind is happily freer to Day. Thanks be to God who has enabled me thus far. I preach’d a.m. on Isa. 9.6, first Clauses. Administer’d the Lord’s Supper. Deacon Forbush din’d with us. P.M. on 1 Cor. 6.9.10, the unrighteous etc. Shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. This finishes the eighth Commandment. N.B. Deacon Forbush dines with us. The Weather Comfortable, a great Favour considering how late in the Year. O might I suitably profit by the services of this Day! Behumbl’d for all my unrighteousness, and repair to and copy after Jesus the righteous, and escape the punishment of the unjust!
1752 December 4 (Monday). Mr. John Martyn bore me a Message from his Father desiring me to preach his Lecture next Wednesday. The Town Met to Day at the North Meeting House, to consider and provide Money to pay Town-Debts. N.B. We this Day gave out the Last of the Corn in the Corn-Barn (which was the Island Corn) Nor is there any left of all the Indian Corn that I rais’d here, excepted a few Ears in the Garrett which were trac’d up. Billy gets out Corn for our Eating, at t’other House. At Evening Snows — in the Night the storm prevails, and by Morning the Snow is pritty deep. But God protects and guards Supplys and comforts us.
The son of John Martyn, the minister of the north precinct.
1752 December 5 (Tuesday). A very Winterlike Morning. The Day bright by 10 a.m. but Cold. I examin’d Some Number of Authorities yesterday and to Day on the ninth Commandment and am writing Something of an Exposition of it. Read also Stackhouse’s Body of Divinity. It grows exceeding Cold.
Thomas Stackhouse, A Complete Body of Divinity . . . Extracted the best Ancient and Modern Writers (London, 1729). A second edition was published in London in 1734.
1752 December 6 (Wednesday). Messrs. Martyn Pratt and Elijah Rice, get out Flax. Neighbour Eliphalet Adams also. N.B. Mr. Jonathan Forbush brought me about 254 feet of Plank which he had sav’d for my stable and Cow House. N.B. It was So Cold I did not venture to go over to preach Mr. Martyns Lecture to Day. I desire to be humbled under the Frowns of God’s Providence whereby I am detain’d and prevented.
1752 December 7 (Thursday). Rainy, and raw Cold. Lieutenant Tainter and his son Simon, and Neighbour Eleazer Williams kill’d an Hog for me of 253. I catechiz’d at the Meeting-House, but had only Two Children besides 4 of my own. Lieutenant at Evening. Salted up my Pork.
1752 December 8 (Friday). Lieutenant Tainter assisted my son Ebenezer in killing and dressing a Cow, at t’other House. I visited Mr. Pierce’s Family. Ebenezer Pierce extreme bad. N.B. Mr. Whipple’s Mill-stone from Hopkinton.
1752 December 9 (Saturday). Cold Searching Winds, and very uncomfortable Weather to poor Rheumaticks. Lieutenant Hunt of Concord, Brother in Law to Deacon Merriam of Grafton, here; chiefly on the Affairs of Acton, from whence he wants to be dismiss’d. The uneasiness which he and others have with Mr. Swift, much the Same with the Sudbury Brethren with Mr. Loring.
Joseph Merriam, one of the pioneers of Grafton, married Ruth Hunt of Concord. Pierce, Grafton, p. 532.
John Swift, Jr.
1752 December 10 (Sunday). Extreme high Winds last night. A Cold, uncomfortable Air, though bright. I preach’d a.m. on Exod. 20.16. I had prepar’d what I conceiv’d to be Sufficient for both Exercises, but that I might not be So long in the Exposition of this Commandment as I was of the last, I strove hard, and deliver’d the whole in one. P.M. I form’d an Exercize from 2 Cor. 5.11, first part. N.B. I deliver’d all that related to the Chapter and what was peculiar to the tenth of the Text, without writing. And for the Body of the Subject us’d Sermon on Heb. 9.27, from page 21 to 28, and 37, 38. And O that the Exercise might prove awakening and instructing unto all of us!
1752 December 11 (Monday). The Parish met and made the like Grant of 60£ Lawfull Money, as last Year; and voted to finish the pulpit, ministerial Pew, Stairs, Gallery Floors, and Breast work. Ebenezer brought over 3 Quarters of the Cow, he with Lieutenant Tainters help kill’d last Week — the 4 Quarters weigh’d 18 score wanting one part.
At this precinct meeting they also voted “to sell the pews; the highest payer in the two years they were building to have the first choice. Chose a committee to mark out the pews and to dignify and set a price upon each pew. Voted that the pew room on the floor next to the walls, and the room where the four hind seats should be, shall be called Pew-Room.” DeForest and Bates, Westborough, p. 137.
1752 December 12 (Tuesday). My sons wife goes over to her Brother Bonds to stay a few Days. I walk’d up to Mr. Charles Rice’s. Reckon’d with Merchant Rice and I am this Day indebted to him about 12£ old Tenor. Cousen Samuel Trask here.
1752 December 13 (Wednesday). Visited at Mr. Pierce’s. Ebenezer somewhat reviv’d had desir’d me to come. I was at Dinner with them. Was p.m. at Mr. Bonds and at Mr. Warrins.
1752 December 14 (Thursday). Heard of the Sudden Death of Venerable and aged Mr. Hancock of Lexington. May God be pleas’d to show me convincingly and Effectually that I must also put off this my Tabernacle! At Evening marry’d Joseph Bruce to the Widow Child.
John Hancock died Dec. 5, 1752.
Sibyl (Cibel, Sibel) was the widow of Jonas Child of Westborough.
1752 December 15 (Friday). A very Cold Morning after a Cold Night. Mrs. Molly Martyn din’d with us. She came over on foot, and p.m. goes up to Justice Bakers. Ebenezer Pierce dy’d about noon in his twenty second Year, accounted the most hopeful in the Family.
1752 December 16 (Saturday). The Season becomes very Cold, and we are so unhappy as to have but a Small Woodpile: but I desire the Grace suitably to depend upon the kind Providence of God, who has always taken Care of me.
1752 December 17 (Sunday). I provided very sufficiently for each part of the Day, especially for such a Short, Cold Day — but I was afraid my Expositions of this Commandment would take up too many Exercises, and therefore Strove hard to do as last Lords Day, even though I had now more pages than then, and deliver’d it all in the a.m. on Exod. 20.16. P.M. repeated Sermon on Mat. 25.46, on the Extremity of Hells Torments. O that God might please to accompany it with his Special Blessing!
1752 December 18 (Monday). At the Funeral of Ebenezer Pierce. A Sorrowful Time! This Death Seems to be much lamented. Many more attended it than I expected because of the fears of the people are under of being Seiz’d with the Same Fever. Mrs. Pierce and their Daughter Hannah lies sick yet. O might these Providences issue in the divine Glory, and their, and all our highest Good! And especially may our young people be Suitably awaken’d, and abiding Impressions be made upon them hereby! Alexander to School to Captain Maynards.
1752 December 19 (Tuesday). My Wife and I rode over to Mr. Martyns — din’d there, and tarry’d till almost Evening. Mr. Martyn has lately bought a Variety of New Books. I borrow’d of him Martins Phylosophical Grammar. At Evening we stop’d at t’other House, and talk’d with Ebenezer about his Circumstances and Manner of living there, and gave him what Encouragement I could. I feel a great deal of deep Concern for both his Temporal and Spiritual Good. May God direct me what to do for him, for the Securing both, but especially the latter! N.B. Lieutenant Tainter brought a Load of choice Walnut Wood. My Sons Father in Law, Mr. Joseph Harrington, on his Journey to Connecticut call’d here, while we were absent.
Benjamin Martin, The Philosophical Grammar; being a View of the Present State of Experimented Physiology, or Natural Philosophy (London, 1735). Another edition was published in London in 1738.
Ebenezer, Jr., who had married Elizabeth Harrington of Watertown, Sept. 21, 1752, was living in the old parsonage located on the hill where the Lyman School now stands.
1752 December 20 (Wednesday). Mr. Hezekiah Pratt and Mr. Aaron Nurse assisted in Killing my other Hog. Weigh’d 9 Score and Six Pounds. At Eve Mr. David Maynard assisted in Cutting it out. Mr. Samuel Harrington a Load of Wood.
1752 December 21 (Thursday). I went over to t’other House. My 3 sons are trimming over the New swamp the Ground being open and froze. I din’d there. I gave Ebenezer my Yoke of Oxen, and Two Young Heifers coming Two: also a last Year Calf. Alpheus Newton brought Two Load of Wood. Mr. William Rogers cutt up a Parcell of Wood at the Door, which was a Considerable Kindness. Cousen Winchester here.
1752 December 22 (Friday). A Cold Day. Old Mr. Dunlop din’d here. Billy at t’other House. They kill’d one of the Ridgling Shoats which have been some Trouble to us. Ensign Rice sent another Turkey Cock to t’other House — price 20/ old Tenor.
1752 December 23 (Saturday). Raw Cold. Ebenezer brought over in the Team 4 Sticks for Sleepers to lay my Barn Floor, and he hung my Small Door on the South Side of the Barn. Mr. David Goodenow here. He brings a Petition (drawn up by Mr. Martyn) Sign’d by himself requesting a Charitable Contribution for him.
1752 December 24 (Sunday). Preach’d on Exod. 20.16 a. and p.m. Mrs. Grow din’d here. N.B. I had Some Discourse with Mr. Richard before I consented to baptize his infant Child. He assures me his wife and he are well reconcil’d, and he promises to walk orderly and soberly as becomes a Christian. P.M. after the Exercises, immediately before giving the Blessing, I read Mr. Goodenows Petition for a Contribution. I desir’d the Deacons of the Church and the Committee of the Parish to meet at my House tomorrow Eve, that I may have their Thoughts about it.
1752 December 25 (Monday). I rode to Mr. Amsdens to Mr. Thaddeus Gale’s son Jacob who lies Sick. N.B. Dr. Robinson of Marlborough there. Din’d with him at Mr. Amsdens Table. N.B. Instead of Resentments with Mr. Gale, who has been of a long Time represented by Mr. Grow as offended Mr. Gale came to me and thank’d me for my Visit etc. and then presented me with a double Toasting Iron requesting I would come again and See them. At Eve Deacons Forbush and Newton, Lieutenant Bruce and Mr. Phinehas Hardy (who with Deacon Newton made up a Majority of the Precinct Committee) met here at my Request publickly yesterday, to confer and give me their Thought, what would be best to be done with regard to the Contribution which Mr. David Goodenow had petitioned for. Mr. Grow was also here. They, upon the whole, could not advise to it by Virtue of that Petition, the reason they gave was, he did not appear humble, and blaming himself for his poverty, but the Contrary, and rather casting Blame where he ought not. And they Thought it left that I Should write to him.
Jeremiah Robinson, who did not have a college education, married Eunice, the daughter of Thomas Amsden of Marlborough. Robinson practiced medicine in Marlborough for many years.
1752 December 26 (Tuesday). Deacon Newton returns to me this Morning further to strengthen what was Said last Night. P.M. Deacon Newton carry’d a Letter from me to Mr. Goodenow — he went also to Mr. Martyns. My wife to old Mr. Rice’s at Widow Newtons — I went to her at Eve. At Eve Ebenezer here and brings me an Hat which he brought from Mr. Doolittle’s. Had still some further Discourse with Ebenezer about his Circumstances — occasion’d by his own Desire to know how he must be settled. Mr. Israel Walker here in the Evening desirous that I would take Boards of him to pay Thomas for a Saddle, or at least in part.
1752 December 27 (Wednesday). Deacon Newton here to give me account of his Journey to the North Side; and Says he saw but little alteration, by his Discourse, with Mr. Goodenow. I read Martyns Phylosophical Grammar. Ebenezer brought 4 more Sleepers for my Cow-House floor. My Wife to Captain Maynards.
1752 December 28 (Thursday). Mr. Joseph Harrington (my Brother in law) here — Supps with me but goes to Mr. Bonds to lodge.
1752 December 29 (Friday). A Severe Storm of Snow. At Eve Sundry Men here; particularly Three of the Committee laying out the Pew Ground in the Meeting House who have been upon that Business to Day. They were Mr. Grow, Lieutenant Bruce, Mr. Jonathan Bond. The other Two of the Committee are Messrs. Francis Whipple and David Maynard junior.
1752 December 30 (Saturday). Billy face remains So broke out that it is very Sore, but goes up to Mr. Winchesters in Grafton. John Maynard tertius brings a piece of Beef. It may be noted and remember’d that I have receiv’d from the people above an hundred Valuable Presents and kind Assistances, which I have writ down, Since August 3, when I began to be confin’d by Rheumatism. I desire to take a grateful Notice herefor. Would bless God who has inclin’d and open’d their Hearts hereunto. May God be pleas’d to reward them abundantly for all their Bountys, and give me and mine the Grace to make a right use and Improvement of them!
1752 December 31 (Sunday). I preach’d on Deut. 32.29, a. and p.m., but could not finish my design as to a full and large Application and especially dilating in the Meditations on our Last Day of Life, and on the Last Day of the World: but must leave it to another Time. However, I went into Some brief Hints hereof to the people, and endeavoured more peculiarly to exercise myself therein in the Evening when the Year was closing up