August 1, 1773

1773 August 1 (Sunday).  Read Amos 2d.  Preached a. and p.m. on Eph. 5.2.  P.M. read Rev. 7.  N.B. Benjamin Tainter junior was seized with a Fit, to the great Disturbance of many of the Congregation, it being in the Time of divine service.  A.M. and p.m. was a heavy Rain, accompanyed with Thunder and Lightning.  Blessed be God for His great Goodness, both in the refreshing Rain, and the compassionate Preservation from Dammage by the Thunder.  Mrs. Kelly is recovering, but my Daughter Baldwin is in a weak, low and distressed Condition.  Frequently vomiting.  Dr. Hawes visits her and administers to her Such Physick as may clear her Stomack.

August 3, 1773

1773 August 3 (Tuesday).  Mr. Stone calls in his way to Northbridge where his son Thomas lives.  He brings me two more of Mr. Lorings Diarys: in all now (as I think) 24.  Messrs. Frost and Fish and Delegates are going to the Council at Bolton, but they did not call at my House.  By Invitation I dined at Mr. Springs, on Pickerell.  N.B. My son Breck went to Providence, takes with him my Horse for Sale.  He Sends a Team also.  P.M. Preached at the Widow Grows on 1 Cor. 15.67.  Mr. Bradshaw from Grafton here and is going to Mistick.

August 4, 1773

1773 August 4 (Wednesday).  My Horse being gone, had Neighbour Newtons to go to Lecture at Shrewsbury.  Dined at Mr. Sumners.  Mr. Gleason and his Wife there — and Mr. Whitney of Northborough.  Mr. Gleason preached on 1 Cor. 11.29.  I returned at Evening.  Our Hearts tremble for the Ark of the Lord — for the dark Aspects at Bolton!  O that God would graciously appear and turn the Hearts of the Partys to Himself and one another!  That He would be pleased to guide and direct both the Councils, which I suppose are now engaged in Controversie, and that the issue may be holy Peace!  John is not well, yet goes about.

August 5, 1773

1773 August 5 (Thursday).  My Son Cushing came to See us.  He was at the Bolton Council yesterday, when they had a public Conference, but he fears to little Effect.  Mr. Fish was Moderator of the Council to install Mr. Walley.  Dr. Chauncey led in the Council for Mr. Goss.  Mr. Cushing has but little Patience when he relates the Speeches and Conduct of Mr. Fish.  So unreasonable and precipitant!  Mr. C. lodges with us.  Breck returned with my Horse.

August 6, 1773

1773 August 6 (Friday).  My Daughter is Somewhat better yesterday and to Day.  Mr. Cushing acquaints me that he had paid my Rate and Charges at Ashby and took a Receipt of it from the Collector, old Tenor 38/9.  This I paid him and besides this I lent him 3 Dollars but gave him two Bushels of Indian Corn which he has received from me Some time agoe.  Mr. Simon Tainter here; he has been to Bolton Council and Seems much Dissatisfyed with the people who So refuse Mr. Goss’s proposals.  Mr. Zebulun Rice’s Wife, of Brookfield dined here, as did our Cousen Anna Davis, who brought her Confession and Relation.

August 7, 1773

1773 August 7 (Saturday).  My Son John has been in relaxation this week.  Is not altogether well.  Sometimes worked a while in the Garden.  Sometimes Assisted Jonathan and took Care as he thought needful, of my Affairs, and Set his own to rights, and looked after his own Things, to repair etc. and get himself ready for his own Business.  Elias begins again to look into his Books — and recover Something of his Lessons.  Rev. Frost and Dr. Jenison breakfast here in their Return from the Bolton Council: Inform that it is dissolved without doing any thing about installing Mr. Walley, and without any Result.  The other Council also, called by Mr. Goss and his Adherents, are, they Suppose, gone off.  But tis feared the Contest still unhappily remaining.  May the Lord Himself who has the Hearts of all men in His Hand, graciously interpose for His own Cause,  So sorrowfully bleeding there; and grant some happy Issue!

August 8, 1773

1773 August 8 (Sunday).  Read Amos 3.  Preached on Eph. 5.2, first Clause, “and walk in Love.”  This was improved with view to Bolton’s unhappy Situation.  Mr. Leland and his Wife dined here.  P.M. Read Rev. 8.  I had attended Several Exercises in the Course of the Week so that I could not prepare another Sermon.  I preached on Isa. 6.9 and 10, a very awakening Subject!  May a divine Blessing accompany what was delivered, to my own Soul and the Souls of all the Hearers!  My Daughter Baldwin went to meeting p.m.  To god be Glory!  At Eve I read (by my Self) Mr. Rowland of Providence’s Convention Sermon,[1] in part.  In the Family repeated the Afternoon Sermon on Isa. 6.9.10.

[1]David Sherman Rowland, Catholicism: or, Christian Charity.  Illustrated and Improved in a Discourse, Delivered before the Congregational Ministers of the Colony of Rhode-Island, in New-England, at their Convention in Bristol, May 20, 1772 (Providence, 1772).  Evans 12,546.

August 9, 1773

1773 August 9 (Monday).  In the morning Mr. Seth Morse brings the remainder of the Money which as Treasurer he owes me, and desires to borrow it for a while which I consent to.  Mr. Joseph Harrington talks with me plainly about the late Bolton proceedings, the Conventions etc.: that he is in Difficulty concerning them.  He will take a Time to come to me (he had now his Team) and Seems disturbed.  My Son John is at work for Breck, making an Housing for him.  P.M. came Mrs. Townsend to be examined; and I desire to acknowledge the great Goodness of God to her.  May it please God to carry on and perfect the work of His Grace in her.  There came also two poor Beggars, viz. William Robinson of Inverness in Scotland, who had been maimed (as he says) by a Fall from a Yard Arm at New Haven.  His Wife was also with him.  Lord have Compassion on Such Miserable Creatures!  May I be truely thankful for what I am favoured with and enabled faithfully to improve the divine Favours to me and mine!

August 15, 1773

1773 August 15 (Sunday).  Read Amos 4.  Preached on Eph. 5.2, which may God bless!  Old Mrs. [Mary?] Steward dined here.  P.M. Read Rev. 9.  Delivered another Exercise on Isa. 6.9.10, and O that God would Please to grant Grace to Search our own state, and that we may be exceeding Cautious!  Repeated it at Evening.  My Daughter did not go to Meeting — nor Mrs. Kelly yet.

August 16, 1773

1773 August 16 (Monday).  My Daughter B. is so much better and so desirous to return to her Husband and Family that I provide Mr. Thomas Bonds Horse, and her mother prepares to accompany her in her Chaise to Brookfield.  Previous to her going I delivered her 60£ old Tenor with which she Says She is fully Satisfyed as to all Demands and Expectations on Account of the Champney Money.  They Sat out in the p.m. to go as far as Alexanders.  At Eve came my Grand Daughter Molly Forbes, accompanyed by Ripley of College.  They lodge here.

August 17, 1773

1773 August 17 (Tuesday).  They Set out for Boston.  I rode (though not well) to Ministers Meeting at Marlborough.  Dine at Mr. Smiths.  Our Association was only of the following, viz. Mr. Stone, Mr. Smith, Mr. Goss, Mr. Bridge and Mr. Whitney, besides me.  Our Chief Business (besides praying together) was Bolton Affair.  Mr. Goss read the Result of the late Council at his House.  The Association voted to desire me as Moderator to write to Rev. Adams of Roxbury, the Scribe, to forward its being printed.[1]  This I did accordingly whilst I was there.  N.B. I received of Mr. Goss and paid for three more (having had of Mr. Whitney three already) of Mr. Adams of Lunenbourg’s Answer to the Neighbour.[2]  In returning home, visited Mrs. Brigham (widow of the late Capt. Ephraim).  Arrived safely.  D.G.

[1]The Result of an Ecclesiastical Council, Convened at Bolton, August 3, 1773, at the Desire of the Pastor and Church of Christ in that Town (Boston, 1773).  Evans 12,686.

[2]Zabdiel Adams (1739-1801), An Answer to a Pamphlet Lately Published, (Under the Signature of a Neighbour), Intitled, “A Treatise on Church Government.” Wherein the Errors of This Anonymous Author’s Narrative of the Troubles and Transactions in the Church at Bolton Are Corrected (Boston, 1773).  Evans 12,6

August 22, 1773

1773 August 22 (Sunday).  Read Amos 5 to 14 and delivered an Exercise upon it.  P.M. Read Rev. 10.  Preached again from Isa. 6.9.10, using further my old preparations on those words.  May it please God to awaken us all hereby!  Isaac Davis and his wife Offered their Humilliations and Relations.  Were restored to Charity and added to the Church.  Mr. Barrett of Hopkinton and his Wife were with us and dined here.  Mr. Fitch preaches at Mendon, Chestnut Hill.

August 23, 1773

1773 August 23 (Monday).  The Town Met to See whether it will be agreeable to them to build a Steeple and have a Bell.  Several persons have Subscribed an hundred pound apiece old Tenor.  One (Mr. Seth Morse) 150.  Lieut. Baker 50 Dollars.  Capt. Maynard 100£.  But it did not obtain.  A great Majority against it.  My Daughter Hannah very poorly.  Dr. Hawes with her.  Mrs. Bass’s Maid (one Betty Thomas) came to help Sophy.  Read in Mr. Lorings Diary etc.

August 25, 1773

1773 August 25 (Wednesday).  I have sent my Request to Mr. Fitch to preach my Lecture but he did not come.  I preached my Self.  My Text was Prov. 9.1-6.  After Lecture Mr. Peter Whitney and his wife called here in their way home from Southborough.  N.B. Their Brother Hammock late of Boston is dead and bury’d: also Mr. Jacob Biglows Wife, of Sudbury.  And I perceive by the Public Papers that my generous Friend Mr. Richard Surcomb is dead![1]  The Lord sanctifie this Dispensation to Me, that I may prepare for my own Departure!  The Lord extend also His Pity to the Desolate Widow, and to Mrs. Flagg the Daughter of the Deceased!  Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain and his Wife here with their Relations.  Hannah very poorly to Day: can’t keep off from the Bed.  Elias also not well.  Vendue of front Gallery Pews.

[1]“Last Saturday Night departed this Life, Mr. Richard Surcomb, Aged 57, a Noted Baker of this Town; his Funeral is to be on Tuesday 5 o’Clock, when his Friends and Acquaintances are desired to attend.”  Boston Gazette, Aug. 23, 1773, Issue 959, p. [3].  His widow Mary announced that she intended “leaving off the Baking Business very soon,” taking “this Opportunity of returning my hearty Thanks to those Gentlement and Ladies who had favoured me with their Custom since my late Husband’s decease.”  Boston Evening-Post, Feb. 28, 1774, Issue 2005, p. [3].  She also had “A very good Horse and handsome Chaise to sell.”  At the same time, William Flagg announced that “the Baking Business will be carried on as usual by the Subscriber, who is determined to give universal Satisfaction.”

August 27, 1773

1773 August 27 (Friday).  Elias as well as Hannah Still laid by.  Can’t but wish for Mrs. P______’s Return, but it rains hard a.m. and can’t wish her to be in it.  However I hope She got to Alexanders last night.  [illegible] Joshua Johnson of Bolton here, going to Mr. Fish, to Mr. Chaplain and to Mr. Stone of Douglass, to deliver each of them a Copy of the late Council at Bolton called by Rev. Goss and Adherents, that each of those Churches may know what they are going to do if they Send to and assist in the Installment of Mr. Walley at Bolton as things are now circumstanced among them.  N.B. I advise Mr. Johnson to wait upon the Pastors of the Churches that are or may be sent to, in the main place, and leave the Copys with them and as to engaging any private Brethren of those Churches therein, if the Pastors refuse to read them to their Churches, or to take them, I would leave him to his own Discretion, charging it upon him that Order be kept to strictly in Every Thing and wishing him divine Direction.  P.M. the storm cleared off, and at Eve came my Wife and Daughter in Law Kezia, with her little Alexander, but Mrs. P________________ was much indisposed, and has been ever since She has been gone.  My son Ebenezer came with her as far as Alexanders yesterday, and she lodged there.  N.B. A little before my wife and Daughter arrived, came Mr. Benjamin Webb; our Circumstances did not admitt of my inviting him to lodge here.  He therefore left me to go to Deacon Woods.

August 28, 1773

1773 August 28 (Saturday).  My Daughter in law pursued her Journey to Framingham.  My Family are much indisposed.  My Wife poorly; Hannah is ill; the Jaundice appears evidently; her stomach much disordered.  The Doctor has given her a Vomit, which works as expected.  Elias is exercised very much with Pain — is capable of very little.  Mr. Levi Wilder dines here.

August 29, 1773

1773 August 29 (Sunday).  Read Amos V from v. 14 to the End, And preached upon it; especially v. 25, 26.  Admitted Ebenezer Chamberlain and his Wife.  Administered the Lord’s Supper.  Mrs. Maynard dined here.  P.M. Read Ps. 81 and took v. 11 for the Text, delivering another of my Sermons on the awful Judgment of Mens Hearts hardening etc. from Isa. 5.9.10 from page 38 to p. 48.  O that there might arise powerful Effectual Conviction to Such as were heretofore hardened and secure!

August 30, 1773

1773 August 30 (Monday).  Visit Benjamin Tainter junior who is grievously exercised with Fits.  His Case is very Sad.  May the Lord shew Pity!  Prayed there.  Dined with them also.  Mrs. Rebecca Warrin came to See us.  She tells me her youngest sister Lydia, who marryed a Williams in Uxbridge, dyed lately, of the Meazles.  The Lord Sanctifie it to all Survivers!  Mrs. P________________ poorly.  Messrs. Barnabas Newton, Joseph Bond, with four Oxen apiece — joined to my Team, Jonathan with them — but Elias only a.m., break up at the Island.  Write to Mr. Moore.

August 31, 1773

1773 August 31 (Tuesday).  Mrs. P______n very poorly — lyes by.  Messrs. Fish, Chaplin and Stone of Douglass, and 10 Delegates, as I hear, from their 3 Churches, go to Bolton.  They do not call here.  P.M. Mr. Whitney endeavouring to take a Girl, calls here, acquaints us with the Dudleian Lecture to be tomorrow.  I am Sorry I can’t leave my Sick Family to attend it: That besides the Council at Bolton, one is to sit Thursday also at Chauxitt.  O how dark these times grow!  How ill-boding these Symptoms!  The Lord prepare us for His holy will!