December 1, 1767

1767 December 1 (Tuesday).  Richard Temple dresses Flax a.m. but breaks off because of unfit Weather.  P.M. Mrs. P________ and I attend the Burying of Mr. Solomon Bakers youngest Daughter.  At Eve came my son William with his Wife and Child from Ashby.  Informs me of the Sudden Deaths of Rev. Mr. Winchester of Ashburnham, and Rev. Mr. Whitemore of Suncook.  That the last dyed in the Pulpit.  May it please God to quicken me to be ever ready!  And repair the Breaches made on the Flocks and Familys!

December 3, 1767

1767 December 3 (Thursday).  Publick Thanksgiving.  Preached on Ps. 64.4.  After Sermon I gave Solemn Caution respecting the Behaviour at Table and in the Evening.  Especially Young Persons, etc.  My Daughter in Law is earnest to go as far as Medway this Evening but I disswaded — and my son was not well.  They therefore tarry.  N.B. I have received from Mr. Mein at Boston, Eight Magazines for Mr. Forbes: with a Letter for me concerning the Boston Chronicle That I am entered a subscription for it etc.

December 4, 1767

1767 December 4 (Friday).  John gets my Mare Shod at Mr. Beetons for Billy to go to Medfield and Boston.  The storm of snow prevented their Journeying in the morning as they designed, and got up a great while before Day.  But having dined, though it still snowed, both Billy and his Wife with the Child in her Arms, Set out, first for Medway — and then Purposing to go to her Fathers.  I keep one of his Horses whilst he is gone with mine.

December 6, 1767

1767 December 6 (Sunday).  Omitt Reading.  Preached on Ps. 34.8.  Took in the Whitneys and administered the Lords Supper.  Mrs. Maynard dined here.  P.M. Preached with proper Alterations etc. on Prov. 13.21.  At Eve was sent for by Mr. Solomon Baker to visit his surviving Daughter, Sarah (in her 8th year), who is thought to be nigh Death by the Throat Distemper.  I went — found her low indeed — prayed with them in their Distresses.  She was taken ill but a Day or two before, and now can hardly fetch a Breath.

December 7, 1767

1767 December 7 (Monday).  Lt. Baker brings the sad news that Sarah Baker dyed between 3 and 4 this Morning.  Mr. Stone and Smith made me a Visit and dine here.  They very much advise to our having a Council here to Vindicate my Character which they think grievously suffers in the world, by reason of the unjust Reproches which fall upon me.  They leave me towards Eve — Mr. Smith goes to Shrewsbury, and I ride as far as Mr. Nathan Maynards whose son Nathan is ill.  I prayed with him, and returned.  He is in his 17th Year.

December 8, 1767

1767 December 8 (Tuesday).  I visited Ann Maynard (Mr. Davids Daughter, in her 20th) sick of the Throat Distemper.  Dined there.  Prayed with them, as their Daughter was so bad as to be confined to her Bed, and has had strong Fever.  From thence I went to Mr. Solomon Bakers and prayed at the Funeral of his other little Daughter — a sore Breach!  After the burying Lt. J. Martyn here.  He presents me with an Hebrew Pamphlet.  Rev. Mr. Morse of Shrewsbury here.  Reckon with him for his Boarding and Doctering Suse.  Says 3 Dollars will suffice.  He also advises me to call a Council, whether the Church will or no — there being so great Clamour abroad, as he thinks necessitates it.

December 9, 1767

1767 December 9 (Wednesday).  Visit Mr. Kendal who languishes.  Deacon Forbes somewhat better.  I prayed there.  N.B. Mrs. Maynard had come to see us and dined here.  Billy and his wife and Child returned from MedfieldCapt. Benjamin Fay came at Evening and brought to me a Petition for a Church Meeting, signed by 21 Members, desiring the Church would reconsider their late Votes.

December 10, 1767

1767 December 10 (Thursday).  Before Day Billy etc. set out for Ashby.  Mrs. Mor[se?] sends for me to visit her Child that is Sick of the Throat Distemper.  Went — dined there — the Doctors, Wilson and Hawes there.  We prayed together, the Child being very ill.  The Father is gone to Marblehead.  No body moves for a Fast.  I therefore spent the chief part of the Day in Exercises of Humiliation and supplication since we are under such awful Tokens of the divine Displeasure, both by the Mortal sickness and the grievous Dissentions among us.  O that we might have some proper Awakening sense of our sins and of Gods holy Judgment!  At Eve John and Richard bring an Hive of Bees which Mr. Parker makes me a present of.

December 13, 1767

1767 December 13 (Sunday).  I prayed first a.m., and last p.m.  Omitted public Reading.  Mr. Cushing preached a.m. on 2 Cor. 9.15, p.m. on Joh. 9.4.  May God be pleased to add His special Blessing!  Stopped the Church at Eve and read the Petition of 21 Members for a Church Meeting to reconsider the Votes of the Church concerning Mrs. Andrews and appoint next Wednesday, 1 o’Clock p.m.  Mr. Cushing, at night, returns to Shrewsbury because of his School.

December 14, 1767

1767 December 14 (Monday).  My Mind is not a little exercised upon the afflictive Providences of God upon us in the unhappy Divisions; and the Throat Distemper.  But ‘tis hoped Mr. Seth Morse’s Child is better.  ‘Tis so bad Weather that I can’t well visit as I designed.  At Eve came Mr. More in the Snow storm.  He informs that his royal Highness the Duke of York, [marginal notation: Prince Edward Augustus was born March 25. 1739.] the Kings eldest Brother, dyed lately in Italy.  We may “not put our Trust in Princes etc. in whom there is no Help — His Breath goeth forth etc. in that very Day his Thoughts Perish.”  He was upon his Tour etc.

December 15, 1767

1767 December 15 (Tuesday).  Exceeding high Gusts before Day.  Reading London Magazine and universal Magazine brought from Mr. Woodward of Weston by Mr. Moore.  Wrote a Letter to my young Kinsman Bradshaw at College.  Many Serious Reflections upon the Troubles in Town: and am endeavouring to prepare for the meeting tomorrow — in special if the Church Shall not only reconsider the Votes that have been already passed about Mrs. A.  But if they Shall vote to receive her to Communion without Proper Limitations, I am determined to propose the Calling a Council, to look into the Case, examine the Churches Proceedings and my own Conduct therein, and give us their Judgment and Advice thereupon.

December 16, 1767

1767 December 16 (Wednesday).  Mr. Moore with us still.  Mr. Cushing came from Shrewsbury (where he keeps school) in order to his attending upon the Church Meeting.  They both dine with us.  The Church met according to Appointment.  After Prayer the Petition for the Meeting being read — and the Report of the Committee — the voting of which and the previous vote of the Church to appoint that Committee being debated upon, it was objected by Mr. Cushing and Squire Whipple, that inasmuch as that Vote (of the Report) contained a Grant to Mrs. A. it could not be re-considered without her Consent, or except there was proof that she refused to accept of it.  This last was made Clear.  I was my self a Witness of it, and several others (Deacon Bond I think was one) said the like.  After it was long talked upon, and repeated urging that it might be put to Vote, and that both those votes referred to Should be reconsidered and disannulled; when it was also promised that the Church should have the Copys of both of them returned to the Church — it was tryed and it passed unanimously (I believe, universally) in the Affirmative.  After which I very Seriously addressed the Church, to the following Purpose, viz. That notwithstanding I had endeavoured to conduct in Integrity and Uprightness among them yet I had good Reason to fear I have been grossly Mis-represented in divers Neighbouring Towns, I now did desire that if any of them had any Exception, or any Complaint to make as if I had been unfaithfull, or had Mis-represented Things at any Time to them, in my conducting these Affairs which we had been upon, or in whatsoever matter relative thereto, I now desired, and did Challenge, any one upon it, that it might be made known, that if it could be made to appear, I might suitably humble my self and make satisfaction for it, and was ready to do it?  Or if it was otherwise, I might be properly Vindicated; and that they might be, as requisite, the Guardians of my Character.  To this No Reply was made; although the Demand was repeated; Except what Capt. Jonas Brigham observed, viz. that he thought my signing with others against the 2d Church and Minister in Sutton, was not, he thought, according to Platform.  To which I answered immediately that my so subscribing was to Advice which was given in Defence of the Platform against a New Form of Discipline, where they had there set up; but which they had since, themselves, renounced; and had submitted to the Cambridge Platform.  We then prayed, and the meeting concluded with the Blessing.  After the Blessing, Mr. Daniel Forbes, intimated that he should be glad of Liberty, upon proper Opportunity for it, to have some Private Conversation with me, with some others, which I freely consented to.  Thus this Meeting went over.  Mr. Cushing came home with me; but returned this Eve to Shrewsbury.  Richard Temple worked for me in swingling Flax.  John assisted in Breaking.  Mr. Moore lodges here.

December 17, 1767

1767 December 17 (Thursday).  Mr. Moore dines and takes Leave, for Cambridge.  I visit Mr. Phinehas Hardy — and his Mother and prayed with them.  Visit also Ensign Jeduthun Fay and his Wife, whose Father Shattuck lately dyed.  He was upward of 80 and had been for 15 Years in a weak and languishing Condition.  N.B. I saw, at Lt. Bakers, to Day, two Andover Men whose names were Holts, who were ready to Affirm that the Ministers and Churches there would not hold Communion with Mr. Cleaveland of Chebacco, nor with his people.

December 20, 1767

1767 December 20 (Sunday).  Preached at Southborough on Ps. 1.6 a. and p.m.  Mr. Stone here a. and p.m. on Mat. 23.37.  We both returned to our respective homes at Eve, though it was very Cold, and I feared I Should even suffer the sad Effects of the Frost before I could reach my House.  May God be praised for His great Goodness in Supporting Me!  And O that the divine Blessing may accompany each of our Labours this Day, to His Glory and the highest Good of the Souls of Men.  N.B. saw at Mr. Stones Mr. Jos. Emmersons Account of his late excellent Father,[1] of Malden, and can’t but esteem it highly, So far as I could read of it.

[1] Joseph Emerson (1724-1775), An Extract from a Late Sermon om the Death of the Reverend Mr. Joseph Emerson… (Boston, 1767).  EVANS 10,608.

December 21, 1767

1767 December 21 (Monday).  The Town Met, and one Article was to consider a Paper which the Select Men have received from the Select Men of the Town of Boston, with their late Votes respecting the necessity of preventing the unnecessary Importations from Great Britain, and recommending our own Manufactures, Oeconomy, Industry and Frugality etc.  As it was very Cold many of the Inhabitants came in here, and Shewing me what their Business was, the select men, Town Clerk, Constable and others requested me to draw up what was proper for them to Vote in Complyance with what they had received.  This therefore I did and when they repaired to the Meeting House, they readily and unanimously approved of [as?] I Suppose voted to be sent to Boston.  I am entertained with Several Things in my Reading, viz. famous Mr. Rutherfords Letters — London Magazine.

December 22, 1767

1767 December 22 (Tuesday).  Send a Kegg by Mr. Morse to Boston for Molasses.  Nathan Kenny here informs me of his taking administration of his Fathers Estate, and has commenced a Law-suit against his uncle’s Widow, and wants assistance especially in drawing an Account etc.  This I gratifye him in — but for Advice etc., refer him to Squire Whipple.  My reading similar to Yesterday, besides my Ordinary Customs.

December 24, 1767

1767 December 24 (Thursday).  Neighbour John Wood and Thomas Arnold came and killed an Hog for me — that which I bought December 2 last Year of Mr. John Brigham.  Rev. Mr. Putnam calls at the Door and gives me a Letter from Mr. Moore at Cambridge dated the 21 and 23 in which he informs me of a sad Riot at College one Night last week, by 3 Scholers and 4 young fellows from Boston etc. etc.  Tis matter of great Grief — May God grant ‘em Repentance and Forgiveness, through the great Redeemer!  Towards Eve I rode to Mr. Benjamin How who is building the Chimneys at the Work House, to get him to rebuild my sleigh.  Call at Dr. Hawes — where Mr. Stockwell is at Work as a shooe-Maker.  At Eve Mr. Wood is so kind as to come again and cut out my Pork.  It weighs but one pound short of 15 score.  Mr. Thomas Whitney brings from Samuel a Loaf of Sugar.  I suppose it comes from Capt. Bradford.  Weighs 8 1/2 lb.  Mr. Daniel Forbes here and wants to talk with me — but I find that the Chief is to bear a message to me, which was, “to know whether a Number of Brethren (such as the Brighams, Capt. Fay, Gale etc.) might not come here next Monday night to see whether something can’t be done about those Churches down yonder that don’t do their Duty to Mr. Cleavelands Church.”  Thus infatuated are my dear Brethren about this affair!  And seem as earnest, after all the Tryals we have made so fruitless and vain, yet to go on as if we were now but newly begun.  I told him they might come, but it might be better to think of a Council.

December 25, 1767

1767 December 25 (Friday).  Mr. Isaac Morse of the Gore (by Worcester) brought me divers Letters — one from Samuel exculpating himself in part and in part relating and owning somewhat that occurred of late at Cambridge, but seems very sorrowful etc.  May God forgive him and guard him for the future!  He brings me Dr. Chauncys Remarks on the Bishops of Landaff and Gloucester.  Also the Volume of Magazines for the Year 1765 bound by Mr. McAlpine.

December 28, 1767

1767 December 28 (Monday).  Capt. Jamison here p.m. and drinks Labrador Tea with us.  At Eve expected Mr. Daniel Forbes and Several others, but they came not:  neither did any Word come to me from him why he did not come, till it was well nigh ten o’Clock, and my Brethren that I had asked to come, and had come (viz. Mr. Edwards Whipple and Lt. Baker) had left me.  But when I had come up and was going to sup and to Bed, came Cornet Brigham to bear me this Message, that though they had not come to night, yet that they designed to come tomorrow night.  I was troubled at their having thus dealt with me — but submitted.  But presently, late as it was, came in Capt. Brigham and Mr. Gale; Mr. Andrews also was with them.  May god be gracious to me, and enable me to conduct with Meekness and Wisdom through all!

December 29, 1767

1767 December 29 (Tuesday).  Mr. Edward Goddard begins to keep School.  Lodged at Mr. Andrews’s.  Though it was Cold I sat out to make some needful Visits.  Visit Lt. Thomas Forbush, who expressed his Desire that there might be no more Meetings upon Mrs. A’s Affair.  Call’d at Mr. Bathericks, but he not being at home, told his Wife of the designed Meeting tonight etc.  Visit Mr. Parker and wife under their sore Bereavement.  Called at Mr. Beetons, but did not light.  Dined at Capt. Maynards — but he was gone to Boston.  P.M. Called at Mr. David Maynards to see whether he designed to come to night; and found he was determined to.  Visit Mr. Solomon Baker in his sorrows.  Was at Squire Whipple’s, and his Brother Edwards’s.  Called at Lieutenant Bakers and Deacon Woods.  At Eve came Mr. Daniel Forb., Capt. B. Fay, Capt. Brigham and Mr. Gale.  And 7 Brethren that I had desired — viz. the Squire and Deacon, Messrs. Maynard, Whipple, Batherick, Joseph Baker, and John Wood.  The Conversation was chiefly about Mr. Cleaveland and his people.  They in Vindication.  I with the other Brethren on the Contrary, and shewing from his Book that some Number of Churches in that Neighbourhood disowned them — that therefore We at this Distance may with great Reason suspect they are not right; and since we have also had the Testimony of so many Ministers from those parts, against them, may with good Ground, wave admitting any Member of theirs, here, to Communion with us.  Capt. Brigham mentioned my having beat up a Challenge at the Close of the last Church Meeting.  I answered I did not know what he meant by beating up a Challenge — but this I did then, and would now make this offer, that if any of them, or any body else, had any Thing to lay to my Charge, I was ready to answer it; and I did repeatedly challenge, and demand it.  But there was no thing alleged, nor pretended to be mentioned, there upon, that I remember; although there was much Debate of innumerable Things relative to the Platform and Members breaking Order etc.  However, the Evening was Spent without shewing what was their particular aim in having this Conference — but it seemed to be in general to Manifest uneasiness at what had been done; and their Desire that the Church would still do something or other.  Thus they broke up, and Seven went off — but Capt. Brigham and Mr. Gale tarried for a Copy of the Vote at the late Church Meeting, to reconsider etc., which they wanted in order to their getting those Copys which Mr. A. has.  With these Brethren tarried also Mr. Daniel Forb. and Mr. Batherick.  This tarrying gave new Opportunity for them to break forth anew, and insisted upon my consenting to another Church Meeting and to put the Vote whether the Woman Shall have leave to Come or no.  I expostulated.  It did but enrage.  I told ‘em at length that I would consider of it.  Thus we finished this troublesome Conversation.  But O that God would pardon us for His Name’s Sake!

December 30, 1767

1767 December 30 (Wednesday).  Mr. Tainter comes with his Wife in a Sleigh and two Horses, and having dined with us, we rode to Mr. Stone’s at Southborough.  Mr. Stone was gone, with Mr. Smith, to Mr. Morse’s, there being at this Time a Council there upon the Case of old Mrs. Bush.  At length Mr. Stone returned, and I had some Opportunity to confer with him upon my own Troubles.  In returning home, it being Cold and Mr. Hemingway (the Carpenter) with us, they drove in to Mr. Andrews’s and after, that we all went in to Mr. Timothy Warrins to See old Mrs. Tainter.  In coming home the Cold was very tedious; but, through divine Goodness, we arrived in safety.

December 31, 1767

1767 December 31 (Thursday).  Exceeding Cold.  Spent the Day as I could in abstinence and Devotional Exercises; in Reflections on the Year past; in Humiliations and reading such passages of the Sacred Scriptures as were proper, and Mr. How on Phil. 1.23 and also Dr. Jer. Taylors Contemplations.  May the Lord Pity, Pardon and Accept through the alone Mediator, Jesus Christ!  At night came Mr. Daniel Nurse with News Papers etc. from Boston; but the Cold so severe he is almost froze.  But now thus closes up this Year also!  O that I might be found ready for that all-important Day, and that most weighty Moment, when this frail Life shall Close!  And then, instead of these Revolutions, instead of a New Year’s succeeding; Eternity, boundless Eternity, Shall succeed!