1766 August 1 (Friday). C. and J. about the Rye and Wheat — they get in [blank] Shock of Rye and [blank] Shock of Wheat. They work till past 10 in the Night and Mr. Nurse and Nathan Kenny help them. Mr. Benjamin Hills being in a languishing Condition and lodging at Mr. Wheelocks, I went up to see him and Speak with him, upon his low state etc. He is going another Journey, and his Wife with him. I visit at Neighbour Zebulun Rice’s. N.B. Earnest Talk upon the Andrews Controversie. Visit Capt. Woods Wife. Mr. Snow here and tells me his sons Child is Dead, and Burial tomorrow. N.B. I sent by him a Letter to Mr. Andrews which I wrote 2 or 3 Days agoe. N.B. Mr. Stone here in his Return from Stafford.
1766 August 2 (Saturday). A.M. I rode to the South East Corner — in special to visit Mr. Belknap and his Wife upon her Recovery — and prayed giving Thanks for Gods great Goodness in healing her. Called at Seth Woods’s. Dined at Mr. Chamberlains, who goes with me to Mr. Snows. Attended the Funeral of the Child and prayed. Mr. Snow tells me the Andrews did not receive my Letter very kindly. N.B. Mr. Timothy Warrin rides with me going to the Burying — the Conversation is Andrews. N.B. Dr. Willson takes Sarah. Caleb worked a good part of the Day at Mr. Nurse’s. John at the Bushes. N.B. I apprized Neighbour Newton that a part of the Meadow which his unkel David Maynard was going to sell him, was ministerial. His Chief Answer was, that it had been possessed a long Time undisturbed. I rode to Grafton and lodged at Mr. Hutchinsons.
1766 August 3 (Sunday). Mr. Hutchinson went to Westborough this morning, though against my Disposition — but he will do after his own manner. He preached on Gen. 3.29.23 and on Ch. 28.12. He also baptized Aaron, son of Isaac Miller. I preached for him on Heb. 4.2 a. and p.m. to the End of p. 20. Returned at Eve and met him, who had been discoursing with Ensign Fay.
1766 August 4 (Monday). Caleb mows at the further part of the Newton Meadow. I rode over to Edmund Rice to see whether he would sell his Right in Middle Meadow. But he utterly declined it. P.M. I visited and prayed with old Capt. Forbush. He appeared to have some Concern about Death, but he is wofully deficient respecting the Things of Religion.
1766 August 5 (Tuesday). Mrs. Johnson had my Mare for Thomas Arnold to carry Bread to Worcester. The Eclipse observed: but with with no advantage to view it with Instruments. Mrs. Johnson, and her sister Hannah who very kindly have helped us this forenoon because of Sarahs Illness, dined with us. Caleb a Load of Hay. I preached at Capt. Woods on 1 John. 3.14, first Clause, to p. 10. N.B. Mrs. Wood very low and dangerously ill. After Exercise I desired the Brethren would tarry a little that I might speak with them. (For Mr. Zebulun Rice had apprized me that some of them had agreed together to enquire into the Case of Mrs. Andrews, at this time: and I conceived from the Drift of his Discourse t’other Day, that they were such as were uneasy with me about it.) Though they seemed to be drawing off, yet a Number returned to me and I thereupon addressed my self to them attempting some Narrative of the Affair, that they might understand the first Beginning of Mrs. Andrews’s Disquietment and might See how little Reason she had to be offended with me. But they soon grew unwilling to hear. Upon their manifesting Such a Frame, and I fearing what Advantage might be taken at what I said, Upon my mentioning her name, I turned my Self about to See who they all were, I observed to them that I Should be carefull to minute down who I spoke to and what I said, as had been my manner to do in this matter, that I might be able to defend my self, when Occasion Should arise to require it. I took notice they were Eleven of them (Capt. Wood, Mr. Charles Rice, Deacon Tainter, Capt. B. Fay, Capt. Jonas Brigham, Messrs. Cushing, Whitney, Zebulun Rice, B. Tainter, John Wood, and Mr. Jonah Warrin). Capt. Brigham said, he observed a great deal of my Discourse brought in the Man, whereas we had nothing to do with the man — it was only with the woman: and he wanted to have nothing said but about her. One and another seemed to be impatient at my saying any thing about the society which she came from; as if they for their parts, Should not make a Difficulty upon that score. Capt. Brigham (upon my having said that this Church never would have Communion with Separates) asked me whether we did not hold Communion with such now? For did we not with Stephen Fay and his Wife? I answered that we did not, for if they were faulty, they who were Members ought to search it out, and deal with them. It did not lie upon me; as he seemed to Cast it upon me, that I was to blame. I observed that it could not be expected that the Pastor Should become Complainant, witness, Judge and Executioner. Mr. Whitney made uncomfortable Return to this, applying it to what I had done with Mrs. A. I earnestly asked the Brethren what I could possibly do more for her Recovery? I had already taken the utmost Pains and all was ill taken and in Vain. Capt. Brigham (who spake chiefly) said he did not see that my going to visit at their (Andrews’s) House, would do any good. And (as Mr. Cushing testifies) he Said, “he believed that if I had not visited there so much, it would have been as well.” Thus I must be blamed on both Hands; for others are ready to complain that I let them alone so much, and don’t go there to try what might be done. Briefly, all were in an hurry to be gone, so that we broke off, and this Opportunity went over: I fear is lost. Sad News of Mr. John Garfields being hurt by a Cart, which going over him broke one of his Thighs and one of his Arms.
1766 August 6 (Wednesday). Caleb and John get in the last Load of Meadow Hay. I am persuing and Correcting Mr. Frosts Sermons, which are to go to the press; and finish them. Caleb mows green Oats etc.
1766 August 7 (Thursday). I rode with Sarah to Dr. Wilsons, further to consult him upon her Case. We dined there. N.B. Mrs. Wilsons Brother Capt. Overing, there. He relates some of his late sufferings by shipwreck at the east End of Cuba. We returned in Safety and Comfort. Blessed be God! Mr. Cushing here when we came home. Mrs. Wood grows worse. Caleb and John get in a Load of Stover cut within the Island Field — some Grass, Some Weeds, Some Oates cut before ripe.
1766 August 8 (Friday). Caleb and John mowe Bushes. At Eve was call’d to go immediately up to Mrs. Wood. It was feared she was struck with Death. She seemed sensible — conversed a little — prayed with her. She says that about 23 years ago She met with something peculiar etc.
1766 August 9 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1766 August 10 (Sunday). Read Isa. 31. Read p.m. Joh. 4 to v. 27. Preached on the former part of the Chapter especially on v. 10. At Eve visit Mrs. Woods again and pray with her. Asked her how Death and Eternal Things looked to her? She answered, “Comfortable, I think” etc. etc. I replyed “What a Favour if upon good Grounds! I would therefore have her, by all means, look to these.”
1766 August 11 (Monday). At Neighbour Nurse’s Importunity Caleb and John goe to help him in his haying and Harvest. Mr. Moore having come from No. 1 last week, to North Shrewsbury and preached for Mr. Morse yesterday, came here to Breakfast this morning. Master Cushing also brought his sister Bridget, who is out of Health. After Dinner they all (and take Sarah with them) mount. Mr. Moore has my Mare, and Mr. Wheelocks Chaise (leaves his own Horse to be sent to him, when at Boston) and promises to be very careful of my poor Daughter — who is so exceeding tender. They hope to get to Mr. Bridge’s at Sudbury, and then to Boston tomorrow. The Town met upon adjournment to See whether they would give Instructions to their Representative respecting the provinces paying the Damages sustained by those last year, who were supposed to stand by the Law, and by authority. At Eve Visit and pray with Mrs. Wood. Am Surprized to see her smoaking.
1766 August 12 (Tuesday). Mrs. Parkman visits Mrs. Wood, though through much Difficulty by Reason of her own Lameness. Mrs. Wood is still alive, and sits up in the Bed, and Smoaks. I read part of old Mr. Joseph Simonds Departed Souls Case and Cure.
1766 August 13 (Wednesday). This morning sent Mr. Moore’s Horse to Boston by Isaac Stone of Shrewsbury, who is going down to Cambridge to live at College. Towards Eve Visit Mrs. Wood. While I was there, am sent for to go to Mr. Hezekiah How, who is thought to be near his End. Mr. Jacob Rice came to see us, and I rode his Horse to Mr. How’s, whom I find very low. Prayed with him. Returned before midnight.
1766 August 14 (Thursday). Mr. Jacob Rice having lodged here, is with us. Dines here. P.M. leaves us. I am upon my preparations.
1766 August 15 (Friday). P.M. Mr. Francis Whipple here, in penitence, and desiring to offer his Humilliation and to join with the Church, is examined.
1766 August 16 (Saturday). Mr. Cushing returns from Boston with his Sister Bridget — but see nothing of Mr. Moore, or my Daughters: Though I have somewhat depended upon his so seasonably arriving that he, or Mr. Bowman of Oxford would assist me in preaching tomorrow. One Mr. Morris, a poor Lame man, of Uxbridge, dined here.
1766 August 17 (Sunday). Neither Mr. Moore nor Mr. Bowman have come to my help. Know not what has befell my Daughters. Leave them under the Care of divine Providence. Read a.m. Isa. 32. Preached a.m. on John 4.23.24 etc. Mr. Cushing and sister dine with us. P.M. read latter part of Joh. 4, but preached what I could deliver of an old Discourse on Joh. 4.23.24 because of the Chapter which was read. Was obliged to omitt several parts of it and to make various alterations. But may God be Pleased to render these feeble Endeavours effectual to our saving Good! N.B. Mr. How that was so bad is better. O that God would grant him His Almighty Grace, to awaken and convert him! Mr. Cushing here after meeting and prayed at Evening but returned to his Lodging.
1766 August 18 (Monday). Was at Capt. Fays to get Linseed Oyl. Visit Mrs. Wood and pray with her. P.M. to Mr. Tainters in order to get him to hasten the Crossing the Ground which he plowed last Year. Mr. Moore returned with my Daughters Sarah and Suse from Boston, but last from Medfield, where they kept Sabbath. The Girls had lodged three Nights at Squire Adams’s. They are, I hope, benefitted both of them in their Health, by their Ride, but especially as they had Opportunity when at Boston, to go out upon the Water with a Number that went to the Light House. N.B. The Company were our own Relations — Brother P________ and his son Nat and Wife and son, Mrs. Winter, Mr. Oliver, Mrs. Bradford, Mr. Loyd and wife, my Samuel. N.B. Brother Samuel was gone to Scarborough. N.B. Mr. Cushing came and took his sister, and carryed her home.
1766 August 19 (Tuesday). Rode to Ministers Meeting at Northborough. Mr. Barret being absent, I was desired to deliver a Concio which though unexpected I did from Tit. 3.4 to 8, especially the last of these verses. Lodged at Mr. Martyns with Mr. Loring.
1766 August 20 (Wednesday). Mr. Moore (who has been at our House, till now) came from thence, with Mr. Cushing, to ministers meeting. Mr. Goss preached the Lecture on Luk. 14.24. P.M. Mr. Moore goes to Oxford. At parting I gave him Some Special and particular Advice respecting his studying and preaching.
1766 August 21 (Thursday). Got Mr. Bakers Chair for my Wife and Sarah to ride to Dr. Wilson, on the Account of Sarah’s Breast. At Eve Mrs. P. returns — informs that Sarahs Breast has broke, and the Doctor has lanced it also. She is left to board at Capt. Clarks. N.B. Mr. Job Lane (who has been preaching at Sheepscot and has a Call from thence) dined here, and by him I Sent to Mr. Pierpont at New Haven. Mr. Hezekiah Bellows of Oxford and Mr. King of Sutton dine also. Painted the Front Pediment Pillars, Casing etc. of the Great Door and the N.W. Door.
1766 August 22 (Friday). Am much taken up with Domestic Affairs. Read Mr. Simonds excellent Treatise of the Deserted souls Case and Cure. Deacon Tainter here, and I deliver him Mr. Frosts Manuscript Sermons, which are designed for the Press.
1766 August 23 (Saturday). I sent yesterday by Capt. Wood to Capt. Tyler of Mendon or Upton to pay a Demand upon Mr. Benjamin Hills’s Books, of a Debt my son William is charged with, or otherwise he must be sued. Capt. Wood makes return this Day, that he payd it Yesterday at Worcester, and took a Receipt of Mr. David Hills, Brother of Said Benjamin. I visited and prayed with Mrs. Wood, who yet remains, but is become blind.
1766 August 24 (Sunday). Read Isa. 33. Mr. Bowman of Oxford preached for me a. and p.m. on Joh. 6.44, former part. He, his spouse, Mr. Cushing and Mrs. Maynard dined here. Read Joh. 5, former part. At Eve stopped the Church and proposed Mrs. Thankful Rice (wife of Ensign Josiah) and Mrs. Bowmans, to be dismissed — which was complyed with. N.B. Letter from William of his Designs etc. etc.
1766 August 25 (Monday). Lt. Baker with 2 yoke of Oxen, Mr. Tainter with one Yoke, Mr. Joseph Grout with one Yoke, Mr. Pratts, Mr. Nurse’s and my own with Capt. Maynards plough, crossed my new Field in Part. I visit Mr. Hezekiah Pratt who is ill of the bilious Cholic. P.M. Mr. Bowman and wife and son, Their mother and Sister Baker, made us a Visit. We hear that Solomon Prentice of Grafton, a Youth, fell with one Foot into the boiling Kittle of Potash.
1766 August 26 (Tuesday). The like Team except Mr. Grouts (who gave me his work yesterday), Joseph Bond came in his stead — crossed again in the same Field, but did not finish it. Lt. Baker gave his own and his Cattle’s work. I visited at William Woods, his young Child being Sick. I prayed with them. Mrs. Johnson went to Hopkinton for Sarah, and does not return as we expected, which puts us into some Trouble. Her sister being left alone also.
1766 August 27 (Wednesday). Mr. Sumner has writ for me to go to their Association to Day; but Sarah’s not Coming gives me many fears: However, depending upon Gods good providence I went. Mr. Cushing my Company up. Mr. Conklin prayed before sermon. Mr. Curtis preached. His Text was Gal. 2.22, latter part, “for if Righteousness come by the Law then is Christ dead in Vain.” Dined at Mr. Sumners. Mr. Bowman and his Wife, Messrs. Stewart, Cushing and Edward Goddard junior there. Returned at Eve and found Sarah was come home safely. D.G. N.B. Master Cushing delivered me 4 Dollars from Mr. Tainter.
1766 August 28 (Thursday). Visit Mrs. Wood again and pray with her: dealt somewhat plainly with her, fearing She is deceiving her self, in her Hope. On my preparations. Sarah but weak and poorly. Suse is in Family Business again.
1766 August 29 (Friday). See of Caleb in the Almanack. Dr. Crosby here p.m. We look into the Acts of the Synod of Dort, for some Time.
1766 August 30 (Saturday). John goes to Marlborough with a Bag of Wool for Billy — to be left at Merchant Barns’s for Conveyance, and a Letter to Mr. John Dexter, praying him to look again for Mr. Smiths Book Mason of self-Knowledge — but returns this word, that he can’t find it.
1766 August 31 (Sunday). Read Isa. 34. Preached a. and p.m. on 2 Thess. 3.1. Mrs. Maynard and old Mrs. Morse dined here. P.M. read Joh. 5, latter part. May God grant we may truely profit by this Days Exercises! At Eve my Wife and I, after our Family Services, walked up to see Mrs. Wood who seems to be drawing near her End. Prayed with her. To my Question Whether She understood so as to join with us? She answers with a broken almost unintelligible yes. Her Case very remarkable in this, that she seems not to apprehend that Death is approaching.