1766 December 1 (Monday). Deacon Tainter and Capt. Wood killed a young Ox for me. Weighed 21 Score. Mr. Jonathan Rogers of Ware River here, upon his Father Lulls Affair. He seems to want I should return him the 35 acre Lot; but upon my opening the Affair, he seems contented without expecting any more from me than what I have done. He dines here. I wrote in Mr. Lulls behalf, to Major Joseph Hawley Representative for Northampton, to forward a Compensation for his Loss by the Hampshire Line. Hannah Roberts at work making Sarahs and Suse’s Gowns. Mr. Hall of Sutton calls. Town Meet by adjournment upon the Affair of my Wood. They agree with Mr. Tainter for 50 lb. old Tenor. Messrs. James Maynard and Benjamin How, about the Shop for sabbath noons. Mr. Seth Morse brings me a Quarter of Beef of 94 lbs. at 15d Old Tenor.
1766 December 2 (Tuesday). Buy a store shoat of Mr. John Brigham and Mr. [blank] Stimpson Drovers — weighed 70 lbs. at 16d old Tenor. Deacon Tainter cutts and salts my Beef. He dines here. P.M. preach at Deacon Bonds (but he goes to Boston, to court, met him as we go to meeting) on Mat. 25.l0, last Clause from p. 69 to 81, omitting p. 74, part of p. 75 and p. 78. May it prove a thorough awakening to us! At Eve Mr. Steward and Master Cushing. Hannah Roberts here at work ut supra.
1766 December 3 (Wednesday). Sarah rode with me to Shrewsbury. Messrs. Steward and Cushing also went. Dined at Mr. Sumners: And Mr. Maccarty with us. I preached the Lecture on Mat. 26.48. A Cold Day and therefore I was short. The Grace of God be afforded that we may profit! Mr. Maccarty and I visited at Capt. Allens in the Eve; but we lodged at Mr. Sumners. Sarah at Mrs. Cushings. Caleb came again and p.m. went to work. It was thrashing.
1766 December 4 (Thursday). We returned home. I catechized a. and p.m. at the Meeting House. 57 Boys, and 34 Girls, though the Weather was cold. I earnestly wish the divine Concurrence, and efficacious Blessing. Hannah Roberts is carried home. Mr. [S?] Forbes brought my Watch from Boston.
1766 December 5 (Friday). I employed Neighbour Zebulun Rice, who assisted by Caleb, sets up two Posts south West and North West of the Well and nail up Boards, to make an high Fence to break off the Cold Winds from us, especially in drawing Water. Mr. Temple here, talks of buying my Single Ox, and my Calf.
1766 December 6 (Saturday). I rode to Upton. Met Mr. Fish at Mr. Childs. He [illegible] only to his Father Forbes’s. I lodged at Mr. Fish’s.
1766 December 7 (Sunday). I preached a.m. on Joh. 14.6, latter part. P.M. on Dan. 5.25. At Eve in returning called at Ensign Warrins and at Mr. Elijahs, where I supped. Arrived at home through much Difficulty, late and cold. Mr. Fish, Mr. Moore and Mr. Cushing lodged here. Mr. Moore came designing to preach for me, but finding Mr. Fish, went to Southborough. Mr. Fessenden also came, but went to Northborough. Mr. Fish preached on Ps. 130.7 and on Hos. 2.14.
1766 December 8 (Monday). Mr. Moore dined with us. Mr. Fish dines at Mr. Zebulun Rice’s, and preached a p.m. at Mr. William Nurse’s, on Joh. 11.40. We had some Discourse after the Exercise with Mrs. Smith in her gloominess. Thence I went to see aged Mrs. Byles and prayed with her.
1766 December 9 (Tuesday). John goes to Oxford for Caleb, and he works for it in Clearing in my Chauncy Swamp. Mr. Temple here, and takes my Calf to keep through the Winter at 6 Coppers per week.
1766 December 10 (Wednesday). John not being yet returned from Oxford, I borrowed Capt. Woods Horse and carryed my Wife to Squire Whipples (he having come to us on Monday Eve last, and invited us to his House, to come before 12). There we dined handsomely and Plentifully. Mr. Cushing who lodges there, and Dr. Crosby and his Wife also, with us. We had likewise the Pleasure of Mr. Stone of Southborough — for he and Mrs. Judith came to make us a Visit to Day; and my Daughter acquainting him where we were, he followed us, and came seasonably to dine there with us. We understand that the famous Bill for Compensation to the Sufferers, and of indemnifying the Offenders in the late Times, has passed in the House of Representatives though long has been the Struggle to obtain it. John returns at the Evening from Oxford with Calebs Cloths.
1766 December 11 (Thursday). Mr. Fessenden who is come from Boston, sollicits my going to his Ordination. I ask him to preach for me next Lords Day, and he complys.
1766 December 12 (Friday). Mr. Daniel Miller and his Nephew James Miller, came and clear in my Chauncy Swamp. Caleb and John are getting out Flax. I am hindered by various avocations — but am employed in Sermonizing. At Eve Mr. John Fessenden came to desire Baptism for his Child, and I examine him. Mr. Thomas Whitney here.
1766 December 13 (Saturday). Mr. Miller comes here before sunrise, and his Kinsman soon after, to Clear. Caleb works a.m. I borrowed 4 Dollars of Mrs. Johnson to pay him, and cleared with him, except 20/ old Tenor which he paid for me at Oxford, and which I owe him still. P.M. Caleb takes leave, and sets out for Framingham. Mr. Miller also breaks off before 3 p.m. and leaves us.
1766 December 14 (Sunday). By Reason of Mr. Fessendens complying, in Words, with my Desire that he would preach for me to Day, I did not finish the sermon I was composing, but depended upon him. I looked for him till I was obliged to put myself into some Capacity to preach my self. He came not — neither sent me any Message. I went to the Meeting House. I prayed — omitted Reading — I was obliged to repeat Sermon on Eccl. 8.13. At noon heard Mr. F. was sick. Mr. Cushing dined here. No word from Mr. F. I preached p.m. repeating sermon on Luk. 13.25 and read to v. 24. In the Evening read Mr. Bolton in my Family.
1766 December 15 (Monday). Went to Capt. Maynards to See what was the Matter with Mr. Fessenden and found him under a bad Cold — but he said he was not aware that his not preaching for me would be so great a Disappointment to me — and he was silent as to any Reason but [illegible] for his not sending me word of his not Coming. At Eve Mr. Daniel Forbes paid £20 upon his Note of Hand to Me.
1766 December 16 (Tuesday). I attended the Burial of Mr. Simeon Bellows’ Infant. Mr. Fessenden here. As he yesterday broached Some peculiar Notions about the Trinity, this Eve he goes on further therein. The Sum is, That there is no Trinity, but with respect to our Redemption. That there is no son of God before the New Testament. That there is not eternal Gen[eratio?]n. That Jesus is no otherwise the Son of God than as he was divinely conceived and born when he was so of the Virgin Mary. That the Father was the Author of the Old Creation, the Material Heavens and the Earth; the son whom he believes to be God, is Author of the New — that is, the Evangelic Oeconomy: And as for Joh. 1.1 and Col. 184.108.40.206 those Passages are to be taken Spiritually, and not literally. And whatever is said of him in the old Testament, it was Spoken Prophetically and would not take place till his Conception and Birth of Mary. As to the Appearances of old, to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, etc., they were Angels, Special and eminent, as the Angel of Gods Presence etc. I had Shewed him Turrettine etc. — but it was of no avail. He would adhere to the Bible, in interpreting which we made many Mysterys where there was none. He took leave, designing to go upon his Journey tomorrow: and I took leave, assuring him that I could not go to Walpole, and praying that God might be with him to give him Light and Grace, and prepare him for His service. John at Eve to Singing school kept by Mr. Thayer.
1766 December 17 (Wednesday). Deacon Tainter carrys to Boston Six large Fowls for us. Takes with him Caleb Winch’s Bundle. Memorandum: Sent 4 Dollars by Mr. Seth Morse to Cornet Brigham for Mrs. Beeman. John Goes to School from Day to Day.
1766 December 18 (Thursday). Burnets Theory entertains me more than at first.
1766 December 19 (Friday). In the Severe storm of this Time We have Health, Shelter, Fuel and many Comforts. Blessed be God for them! May the Lord extend Compassion to all that are suffering! Especially if any at Sea. Am Sermonizing. The little House stands, but the Weather-Fane blown down.
1766 December 20 (Saturday). A very difficult Day to stir in. The snow deep, blown about and drifted; the air cutting. John Arnold, from Mrs. Johnsons, comes at my Desire, p.m. to help my son John in cutting Wood for the Sabbath. But I had got my sermons ready before Sunsetting, some Time. May God impress deeply my own soul, with what I have prepared for others!
1766 December 21 (Sunday). Omitt the public Reading. Preached a. and p.m. on Prov. 17.25. Mr. Cushing and Miss Betty Got dined here. O that these Exercises may be to the Saving Good of the Hearers! But especially to my own and my Familys everlasting Benefit!
1766 December 22 (Monday). Mr. Samuel Forbush here enquiring into my Bounds at the Cook-Island, especially next to Mr. Daniel Hardys Meadow. Many Neighbours breaking Roads through the snow, with Cattle and Sleds. Rutherfords Letters.
1766 December 23 (Tuesday). Deacon Tainter returns from Boston — brings the Sad News of Elder Halseys and Mr. Nat. Procters sudden Deaths. May I be ever ready!
1766 December 24 (Wednesday). Mr. Thomas Temple here for a Bundel of Mr. Frosts Sermons, left for him by Deacon Tainter. I deliver them. The Bundle contained 20. He dined here. At Eve came Mr. James Maynard junior (of Shrewsbury). Wants to borrow of me the Alcoran — but I had it not.
1766 December 25 (Thursday). Went up into the Street on various Occasions. Reckoned with Mr. Silas Hill. Was at Mr. Zebulun Rice’s, his son Adam being there from Stafford. Thomas Arnold carrys to Mrs. Barrett of Hopkinton Vol. 1 and brings Chrysal Vol. 2 which I even hate to read, as they contain Such Depths of Satan; and fill me with deep sorrow for the monstrous Degeneracy of the Age. I am about my preparations. John at School from Day to Day.
1766 December 26 (Friday). Mr. Tainter and his Son dine here. Engaged in my Preparation.
1766 December 27 (Saturday). Capt. Benjamin Fay brought a Piece of Cloth for my Son William of about 10 Yards from Mr. William Brown of Framingham. Mr. John Prentice of Grafton here. Takes his Father’s Book (which I borrowed some time ago), Viz. the Volume of honorable Squire Boyle’s works which has the treatise of Seraphic Love.
1766 December 28 (Sunday). Omit the public Reading, it being exceeding Cold. Preached a. and p.m. on Rev. 1.6. — “Priests unto God and His Father.” Mrs. Betty Gott dined here. At Eve read in Mr. Bolton.
1766 December 29 (Monday). At Eve Mr. Jonathan Grout here and we reckon. I paid him by a Note to the Constable. Only 36/ old Tenor for Pasturing and feeding the Ox which we killed.
1766 December 30 (Tuesday). The storm confined and binds up the Hands of men. Difficult Watering our Cattle. They go to Capt. Woods Brook. But we have many Tokens of divine Goodness and The Cold does not prevent my studying.
1766 December 31 (Wednesday). The Year ends with extreme Cold weather. Such as is rarely felt. The Lord support us! For who can stand before His Cold! There are many Reasons for serious Reflections. Spent the Day chiefly by my Self. Great need to be humble and penitant for the many Defects and Miscarriages of the Year past. Implore remission through the Merits and Mediation of Jesus Christ. Would be seriously thoughtful of the Conclusion of my Life. Desire to mourn that I can fasten the Thought no more effectually upon my Mind and Heart. Lord make me know my End! And how very frail I am!