1756 January 1 (Thursday). What astonishing Patience and Longsuffering of God this is which endures me so ungrateful and unprofitable a Creature! O might I be made Sutably Sensible of it and of my infinite Obligations to Him herefor!
A.M. I walked to Lt. Forbush’s to talk with him about Mrs. Judith Bellows’s Sorrowful Case, he having gratifyed her by writing Something for her, to be laid before the Church; but which could have no tendency to reconcile the Church to her; as he himself was apprehensive — but he was not at home.
His Daughter in Law, Lucy, Seems to be in great Concern about the true State of her Soul — and is very Serious. May God enlighten, direct and Comfort her!
P.M. I walked to Deacon Forb. and attended the private meeting there: preached on Ps. 39.6, former clause. May God grant there may be lasting Impressions! I rode home one of their Horses. Called at Deacon Bonds, his son Jonathan being still in a weak Condition.
1756 January 2 (Friday). Though I have a great esteem of Mrs. Martyn and her Daughter, and am much obliged to them for their friendly visit, especially as they were willing to undergo the hardship of the Cold, it being a sharp Air; Yet I was Much less capable of receiving the Comfort and Pleasure of their visit to Day, because I wanted the Time in my Study.
1756 January 3 (Saturday). A Storm of Snow, and p.m. clears. Very Cold; especially at night it is very Sharp and frosty. My son Billy, through Gods mercy is grown better. O that his Soul were healed of Spiritual Distempers!
1756 January 4 (Sunday). It was so very Cold I omitted the public reading a.m. Preached on Mat. 16.24. Took Master Gardner home to Dinner. P.M. read Mat. 9 to v. 18. In preaching repeated the latter sermon on 1 Pet. 4.7. The Public Exercises being over about 3 o’Clock I took my Son Ebenezers Mare and rode to Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlins to see his Son Nathaniel again who still lyes in a low State. I called to See aged Mr. Bradish as I returned home.
1756 January 5 (Monday). Bargained with Mr. Ebenezer Forb. for an Hog at 16 d. per pound to be killed to Day. Billy went to Mill to Hopkinton and brought home 3 Bushels Rye which I have bought of Mr. Daniel Forb. N.B. One Roger Alexander of Cumberland (a Baptist by perswasion) here. Lt. Tainter and young Deacon Forb. brought each of them a Load of wood; and sledded 3 Great stones to place, for stone Wall, for me; though it proved a very rainy time, and it was Somewhat Difficult.
1756 January 6 (Tuesday). A warm, comfortable Day. Mr. Abijah Gale came to work for me in closing my Kitchin. Mr. Ebenezer Forb. brought an Hog of 211 lb., at 16 d. old Tenor, per pound, which is £14.1.4,which I have bought of him. And my Son Ebenezer brought 2 Quarters of a Cow he had killed, the weight 200, at 13 d. Deacon Jonathan Forb. junior at night brought me in Cash 24£ 17.3 old Tenor to which we added 4£ and 2 d. of Ebenezer Forb. Rates (part of pay for his Hog) which made 28.17.5 and he had brought me as a present from his Father and himself 22 pound weight of the pork which they had killed. May God grant me an Heart to make a right Improvement of his constant and neverfailing Care and Kindness to me and mine!
1756 January 7 (Wednesday). Another fine Day; but can’t get any body to work on my Kitchin. N.B. John Maynard, Capt. Maynards Grandson, came with a present of Beef and Sewet; but he especially brought from his Grandmother 2 and 1/2 Yards of black, home-made Cloth, to make me a Jacket: it is of fine Wool, and is well wrought — a worthy Token of her Goodness! May God return it in Spiritual Blessings in heavenly Things in Christ Jesus! I casually Struck my Leg against the rough End of a Board, which wounded me much. I sat up very Late at my writing, till 3 Neighbours came from market; and went to bed about 2 o’Clock.
1756 January 8 (Thursday). This was a Day of Publick Humilliation and prayer on Account of the Earthquakes, and of praise for our Deliverance. A.M. I repeated the latter part of Sermon on Ps. 60.1. P.M. preached on Amos 8, former part of 8th and latter part of 10th v. May God accept us; and Bless His word to us! Mr. Ebenezer Baker put up a note incog. brought by Lt. Stephen Maynard.
1756 January 9 (Friday). Had an exceedingly pained Night, by reason of Cold got in my Leg. My Daughter Lucy has received from Mrs. Anne Fleet the Life of Miss Clarissa Harlowe vol. 1 for (under my Direction) She wrote a Letter to her requesting the Favour to read it, which Miss Fleet immediately complyed with.
I think those sorts of Books are indeed to be read Sparingly; and others which Relate to God and the soul and many others still there are to be preferred far before them but yet Such as are bred in the Country, and cant be afforded to live at Boarding schools, may by these Means come to some Taste of brilliant sense, when they cant be polished by Conversation. But this indulgence had need be kept under a Strict Guard, and Caution. Mr. Grow at work and p.m. Messrs. Zebulun Rice, and Alph. Newton, closing.
1756 January 10 (Saturday). I was So lame I didn’t go Out of my Chamber nor so much as across it. Mr. Grow at work, halving Boards for my Kitchin, but did not nail up any to Day by reason of the Wetness of the Season.1756
1756 January 11 (Sunday). To my great Grief and Sorrow I was detained from the Public Worship. My Lameness and feebleness, the means of it, were Still so great I found I Should incur more Blame, and be in Danger of more Harm, than I might do Good, if I ventured out — for I put notes into my Bible, crawled down below; and was very desirous of going; but I got back again to my Chamber, and was Sensible by this Trial that the Advice of Friends about me had best be complyed with, which was unitedly, that it was not best to attempt it. I therefore resigned, and stayed at Home. May God Sanctifie this His holy Frown upon me! And pity me and Pardon me, for the Lord Jesus Christ sake! I Sent the People Mr. Cottons Way of Life. Lt. Tainter prayed and Deacon Bond read Sermon ii on Zech. 12.10 and concluded with prayer. Deacon Forb. dined here. P.M. Deacon Bond prayed and read Sermon iii on that Text and Lt. Tainter concluded. May God accept their Offerings and give a Blessing to His Word of Grace!
I am grieved also to hear that more of Mr. Chamberlins Family are taken Sick. And particularly Anna, who is very bad, and desires me to Visit her as soon as may be.
1756 January 12 (Monday). A bright Day, but I am confined yet, nor is my Leg much better if any thing at all. This bright Day is therefore turned into Darkness to me. Such is the Sovereign Will of God! To which I humbly beg Grace to submitt. P.M. Mr. Williams to See me. We were out of Small Wood: and my Fire So low I fear I took Cold, for I was very aguish and that was followed with much Pain, feverishness etc. in the Evening and when I got to bed. Brother Forb. came to see me in the Eve, and it was very comforting in my Trouble. Before I went to sleep I had sad fears about my present Condition and what this Lameness would end in; but I endeavoured to Committ my Self to the Glorious and Sovereign God!
1756 January 13 (Tuesday). Had a better night than I expected. Deo Misericordi omnipotenti Gloria! Mr. Eleazer Williams brought a Load of Wood. Mr. Joseph Bowman here, chooses to Suspend his Affair of making Profession of Religion etc. He informs that Mrs. Chaddock (late a member of this Church dwelling in Hopkinton) dyed this morning. May God Sanctifie it to the bereaved Family! And to us all! I Sent by my Son Thomas to Mr. Ephraim How of Marlborough. At Eve Messrs. Whitney and Daniel Forb. here.
1756 January 14 (Wednesday). I was much worse: My Hip was seized with Rheumatism: this nails me to the Bed, to a great Degree. A very rainy Day, yet they bury Mrs. Chaddock. Hear that Deacon William Ward of Southborough is Dead. This is much to be lamented, especially for his aged Fathers sake. A Number of Neighbours were here in the Eve after the foresaid Burial. I was somewhat free in speaking to them of Eternal Things. May God Himself impress all our souls!
Dea. William Ward d. Jan. 12, 1756; Southborough Vital Records, 185.
1756 January 15 (Thursday). A bright and moderate Day. Through Divine Favour I am Somewhat better as to my Rheumatic Disorder. I had put on a Blister, which working well, gave me much Relief. To Gods Name be Glory! As to my sore Leg, I found it Necessary to consult Some Surgeon upon it; and therefore Sent for Dr. Brigham: but he could not come to Day. P.M. Mrs. Ruhamah Newton (Deacons widow) visited me. N.B. Mr. Chamberlins Family greatly distressed, all of them Sick but the man himself. May the Omnipresent, Allsufficient God visit them!
1756 January 16 (Friday). Dr. Brigham visits me — finds, by probing a little, that my Leg is Somewhat hollow. He carrys on a pulticing with pond Lilly roots and Flax-seed; anointing it with Ointment of Marsh mallows — the pledget is of Basilicon. He tells me that Mr. Frink will keep sabbath this way and not return home: I therefore write to him and committ it to the Doctors Care.
1756 January 17 (Saturday). Had an ill night of the last. Had little sleep; and very little Comfort or Refreshment when I did sleep. I was feverish, very faint and weak, as well as my Leg troublesome: my Hip also, although I hope the Rheumatism is stopped, yet continues very sore. Upon the Whole, am in deep Affliction — Yet may the Lord look upon me and graciously afford me some Relief! N.B. I Sent Thomas (on a Horse of one of the Nurse’s) with another Letter to Mr. Frink to get him to preach; he found him at Mr. Lorings (where he also dined) but neither of them could be perswaded to come and preach for me. Mr. Frink was hurt with his Fall from his Horse; and must be at Sudbury again on Monday, which in so extreme bad Travelling he could not return to if he came up: Mr. Loring was too old, and it was stormy, snowed and rained — so Thomas returned unsuccessfull. Dr. Brigham here and dressed my Leg. He thinks it in a good way, and that he shall cure it in a little Time; but I find it very smartfull, and difficult to endure. The Doctor also shav’d me, though I some what feared the Consequence being so weak and feverish. Poor Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlins Family in great Distress — all sick but himself.
1756 January 18 (Sunday). There was a Meeting at the Meeting House, of a few people only. I being still under the holy Frown of Gods providence by Lameness, Mr. Whitney prayed. Lt. Tainter read — and concluded, a.m. P.M. Lieutenant prayed and read. What they read was Mr. Cotton’s sermon. N.B. I sat at Table at Dinner. Mr. Solomon Woods wife dined with us. But O how gloomy these Sabbaths are! May God grant me a proper Sense hereof! My Daughter Lucy not well and stays at home with me.
1756 January 19 (Monday). Dr. Brigham dressed my Wound, and he thinks it in the way of Healing. Mr. Martyn visited and dined with me. We have the sorrowful News of the Death of Miss Anna Chamberlin. At Eve four of the Committee of the Precinct were here to see me, and know whether I would have any thing inserted in their Notification for a Precinct Meeting. My Wood was mentioned; but all was referred to them to do as they Should please. N.B. I walked more on my Leg to Day, than any time Yet.
1756 January 20 (Tuesday). A Very fine Day, but I am yet Confined to my Chamber. Several Friends visited me. Mr. Smith of Marlborough, Dr. Willson from Hopkinton and after the Funeral of Miss Anna Chamberlin, Mr. Stone, who informs me that Mr. Chamberlin did not come to the Grave, because it was concluded that Nathaniel was dying. The Lord in his infinite Compassion visit them in their Miserable State! N.B. Received a second Letter from Mr. Charles Richardson about Grain, whereas I have sent a Letter of my mind to him some time since.
1756 January 21 (Wednesday). A rainy Day. Mr. Forbush came hither. He came from Brookfield Yesterday, and lodged last Night at my Sons. N.B. He and Mr. John Mead dined here. My Leg I hope grows better, and I conceive I grow somewhat Stronger. To God be the Glory! O that I might live to the Lord! who has often appeared for my Help. Mr. Forb. to his Fathers.
1756 January 22 (Thursday). A bright Day. Hear that Nathaniel Chamberlin is yet alive. Can’t but cordially Sympathize with that distressed Family. I went down below, and looked out of Doors, but am too feeble to venture out abroad. Though I feel so much better my self, yet my Wife grows Rheumatic and puts on Blisters. May the Lord fit us for his holy Will!
1756 January 23 (Friday). Another bright Day. Billy winnows up the remainder of our Small matter of Barley. It amounts to about 4 Bushels only. I dare not go out yet. My Wife somewhat better, yet much pained. Mr. Forb. dines here. Capt. Fay tells me he watched at Mr. Chamberlins, and that Nathaniel dyed last Night about 10 o’Clock. I forward Mr. Forb.’s going to See ‘em since I can’t my self. P.M. Mrs. Dolly Rice makes us a kind and generous Visit. She acquaints me further with her domestic Griefs arising from her Husbands Delirium. May God still support and direct her, and in His own time grant her Relief! My Daughter Lucy is much disordered with cutaneous Eruptions in her Face, and we conclude She has an Erysipelas, or St. Anthonys Fire.
1756 January 24 (Saturday). We hear of the Deaths of Several at Marlborough; viz. Mr. Joseph Morse, Lt. Jedidiah Brighams Wife — but in our own Town dye Mr. Elisha Ward, another son of Coll. William Ward. A Sorrowful Stroke! May we make proper Reflections upon it! Nathaniel Longley Chamberlin was buryed; and his Father still confined from this Funeral also, by reason of the low state of the Family. His Wife and daughter Mary very bad, and the youngest child taken ill and cleaves to her Father. A Mournful House! Mr. Stone of Southborough So indisposed he could not be there — hear that the Doctor (Willson) prayed at the Funeral. Mr. Forb. came here at Evening and lodged here.
1756 January 25 (Sunday). It was So cold and windy I did not venture out a.m. Mr. Forb. preached on Act. 8.23. P.M. I went to meeting and prayed. D.G. Mr. Forb. preached on Act. 9.6. And may the divine Blessing accompany the Word of His Grace! My wife and Daughter (Lucy) remain in great Affliction. Mr. Forb. lodged here.
1756 January 26 (Monday). Mr. Forb. came with hopes to have Lucy go to Brookfield. And for that End led down an Horse with side-saddle; but She is so ill that he takes leave without her. N.B. In the Morning we were very much straitned for Wood but p.m. came 4 Load. Mr. Elisha Ward buryed.
1756 January 27 (Tuesday). Almost daily hear from Mr. Chamberlins, of their Great Distress –the woman and her daughter Mary in a dangerous State, the rest ‘tis hoped are recovering. My Wife and Daughter much confined by their pains and Illness — and rather grow worse — especially Lucy’s Face; which is much broke out.
1756 January 28 (Wednesday). The Weather in the Morning was doubtful. My Son William Sat out with a Team made up of my Steers with my sons Cart, and Neighbour Barnabas Newtons oxen, to go to Sutton for Corn from Mr. Trasks. Mr. Jonathan Kenny induces him and is very fair in promising me to go with him and assist him and See him well back as far as Mr. Jennisons — but when Mr. Kenny had set out it began to rain — for which reason I Sent word that if it rained they Should not proceed, yet they proceeded notwithstanding the Rain. Mr. Grow came to work, closing my Kitchin. Lucy grows Worse. Mary Chamberlin (Aet. 18) dyed last Evening.
1756 January 29 (Thursday). Lucy very ill. We improve Dr. Chase for her. We hear Dr. Joshua Smith is buryed to Day. As is Mary Chamberlin; but because of the Weather I could not attend upon it. Governor Shirley goes from Coll. Williams (Marlborough) to Boston.
1756 January 30 (Friday). Lucy had a poor Night: but is Somewhat better to day. Her Face is exceedingly inflamed and covered over with scabbs. At Eve I was in much Trouble about Billy, it being very Dark and Sometimes rainy. At length he came, and Mr. Simon Tainter with him, having another Yoke of Oxen, to assist him. They brought 18 Bushels of Indian Meal, and two of Rye bolted. Mr. Tainter lodged here.
1756 January 31 (Saturday). An exceeding fine Day. I got an Horse at Mr. Nurse’s and visited the South East Corner, particularly Mr. Belknaps Wife. Dr. Willson and I dined there: Mr. Chamberlins Wife near her Departure, yet knows me. I took final Leave of her. All the Children Still confined — two of them in a relapse. I visited also Mary Bellows junior who is very low and in a dangerous State. I prayed with them at each House. A very sorrowful time! May the Lord in the middst of Wrath Remember Mercy!