November 1, 1774

1774 November 1 (Tuesday).  Preached at Mr. Jonathan Grouts on Eph. VI.13-18.  Which many the divine Blessing accompany, and enable us to take to us that whole Armour of God!  There were but few that attended: especially but very few men. Only four: and but 3 of them that were Members and Supporters of these Meetings, besides the man of the House — viz. Capt. B. Fay, and Messrs. Nathaniel Whitney and B. Tainter.  A great Discouragement! N.B. I had visited Joseph Grout junior in his Languishment — with [whom] I conversed and prayed: and there I dined.

November 3, 1774

1774 November 3 (Thursday).  Mr. Green D[itt]o and goes away at night.  Asks 40/ old tenor. Elias is greatly afflicted for his Cossitt Sheep, which is missing.  He rides after Some Droves of sheep, fearing they have taken in his sheep.  Proceeds as far as Natick — and returns uncertain. At Eve came Messrs. Thomas Bond and Levi Warrin to acquaint me with their suspicions that Moses Sever, who moved with his Family this Morning to Westminster, had stole and killed and carryed off the Cossitt.  Mr. B. Tainter came also to enquire and confirm. Sent for Lt. Baker — who came — and agreed to pursue Sever.  

November 4, 1774

1774 November 4 (Friday).  Early in the Morning Lt. Baker and my Son Breck Sat out.  I catechized at the Meeting House — about 50 Boys.  P.M. catechized at my House — had nigh 30 Girls.  May it be to good Effect! P.M. Breck etc. returned, and gave me Account of their overtaking the man Suspected of taking away Elias’s sheep.  He confessed it, and to make Satisfaction he has Sent me a Note of Hand which Lt. Baker had given him of £ lawful Money, that So much might be taken out of it as be proper Amends for the Sheep and the Charges.  Mr. Forbes and sister Lydia Champney came at Eve. One from Cape Ann, the other from Cambridge, and lodge here. Wrote to Mrs. P________ by Richard Barns junior. Town meet about their Military Affairs.

November 5, 1774

1774 November 5 (Saturday).  Mr. Forbes and sister Champney to Brookfield.  P.M. Dr. Barton and his wife (Mr. Moore’s sister)[1] call here as they go to Vassalborough.  At Eve I agree with Asa Ware to live with me Still.  He thinks he made up the time of the first Agreement, the 17th of October.  So that he now begins again on Oct. 18 and is to continue to serve me — Six Months: for which I am to give him fifty pounds old tenor So that for the whole year (if we live to finish it) he is to have £130 old tenor.  Asa goes to Wrentham, designing to return in the forepart of next Week.

[1] Dorothy, daughter of Elijah and Dorothy Moore, born Apr. 12, 1747; mar. Stephen Barton, May 28, 1765; Oxford Vital Records, 81, 209.

November 7, 1774

1774 November 7 (Monday).  An Important Day!  The Day that concludes the 50th Year Since the gathering the Church and Since my ordination.  I desire to be duely affected with it. May the God of infinite Mercy pardon my many Offences, and blot out all my Transgressions!  The Town met and, for what Reasons, they have not signifyed to me, they have not only not granted me my Wood, but they would grant me no support (as they are wont to call it).  They have reduced me to the naked sallery of 55£ Lawful Money.  At Eve Messrs. Daniel Forbes, Joseph Harrington and Eli Whitney were here and, afterwards Capt. B. Fay; and (the three former also) much on Several Things which they think the Church ought to take Cognizance of, which I was, my self, desirous they Should consider; namely the Case of Mrs. Eunice Rice, and Mr. Samuel Fays long Absence from public worship, and from Special Ordinances.  But they added that there was a young woman from Bolton, now married and come among us, and it would be needful to see whether she might have communion among us.  I was sorry to have these Things to interrupt my Mind this Evening — but I, nevertheless, consented that if they prepared for it, there might be a Meeting of the Church for these purposes: and I told them I was willing to gratfie them in any thing wherein I reasonably might.  Capt. Fay informed me that the People desired we might assemble on Lords Days at 10 of the Clock in the fore noon for public worship.

November 9, 1774

1774 November 9 (Wednesday).  John at Eve came from Lancaster.  Alex Oliver from Brookfield.  Mr. Charles Lawrence from Ashbuy, came to buy my Lot of Land adjoining to his.  I sold it to him for 145£ old Tenor. He paid me 10 Dollars — and we signed an agreement about the rest, and that I would give a Deed when the rest should be paid.  He tarryed with Breck, over night.  Mr. Cushing and Mrs. Parkman came this Evening from Ashburnham.  My Daughter Cushing was delivered last Friday, and through the Great Goodness of God has a third son.  They have called him Henry.  To God most High be all Glory and Honour!


November 10, 1774

1774 November 10 (Thursday).  I have the Comfort of a Number of my Children and others with me, this Morning.  But Mr. Moore and Cousen Oliver went to Boston.  John and Sophy to Lancaster.  Mr. Lawrence early to Ashby.  Mr. Cushing after Dinner to Shrewsbury.  Mr. Fisher and his Journeyman, mend the floor before the Kitchin Hearth and putt up Mantel shelf etc.  I am continually hindred and prevented in my Studys — to my Great Grief.

November 11, 1774

1774 November 11 (Friday).  Mr. Mellen of Chauxit here — informs me that a major part of the Brethren of his Church had voted his Dismission: and that he and the Brethren that abide with him have Sent out for a Council, of 11 Churches, to meet at his House next Tuesday, viz. the Church under the pastoral Care of Rev. Rogers of Littleton, Stone of Southborough, Webster of Salisbury, Tucker of Newbury, Whitney of Northborough, Bridge of Sudbury, Cummins of Billerica, Howard of Boston, Stone of Reading, Johnson of Harvard, Payson of Fitchbourg.  He told me they did not Send for our Church because there was So much Connexion between many of our Church and the people of Bolton.  P.M. Mr. Belknap came to See me.  Sorrowful Avocations increase! Two Companys train at the Meeting House: which though I did not go out, yet occasion interruptions.

November 12, 1774

1774 November 12 (Saturday).  Am under heavyest Troubles that I have (I think) at any Time been in, by reason of the unfitness of my Frame and unpreparedness for this Season’s arriving.  I have so much desired to keep the Jubilee with Jubilation.  But I am under the holy Frown of Heaven by the Disquietness of my People with me.  This presses me sore, and deprives me of sleep. With the Various Interruptions of the Week, and the perplexities of my mind, I am but too brokenly and imperfectly prepared for the Services of the Sabbath.  May God graciously appear for me and help me!

November 13, 1774

1774 November 13 (Sunday).  God is gracious and compassionate, and allows me to see another sabbath.  It begins the Sabbath of a New Year with us and a New Jubilee.  The Lord be magnifyed! I am Somewhat Supported, and assisted, or I could do nothing.  I went to Meeting Early — there was but one man (Mr. Thomas Frost) and 2 Boys there, yet it was past 10.  I break off the public Reading; for I understand that one thing mentioned at the late Town Meeting as disquieting to some is my public Reading the Scriptures; though I have generally offered Something by way of Exposition — [or?] to open what was difficult therein.  Preached a. and p.m. on the Acceptable year of the Lord, Isa. 61.2, with Such applications as were proper to the present Occasion.  Master Jenison and Holland at dinner with us.  P.M. preached on Ps. 23.6.  May God help me to repair to Him, for this Grace that may qualify me for these invaluable Favours, and that I may have the Comfort of this Faith and Confidence in God!  May I also resolve in the Strength of God that I will continue in His Service as long as I exist, and never desert His Sanctuary! Received a letter from Mr. Sumner requesting my help at a Fast.

November 16, 1774

1774 November 16 (Wednesday).  Though it was rainy yet Breck (who had been to Lancaster to wait on his sister Sophy there to work for John) returned from thence; and tells me that the Council which Mr. Mellen had called, could not get together yesterday, and embody, so soon, but that the Congregation of Chauxitt were together at their Meeting before them and Voted Mr. Mellen’s Dismission.

November 17, 1774

1774 November 17 (Thursday).  I attended the Fast at Shrewsbury, South parish, on account of the Public Calamities.  Mr. Sumner prayed, and Mr. Maccarty preached a.m. on Hos. 11.8.9.  P.M. Mr. Maccarty prayed before my Sermon and I after.  My Discourse was on Isaiah 63.9.10.  May the Lord be graciously pleased to own and bless us!  Hear the Prayers, accept the Humilliations, prosper the word delivered, and Smell a sweet Savour of Rest — that our Distresses may be removed!  Returned home at Eve, and called at Mr. Ben Hows, and other Neighbours as I could.

November 18, 1774

1774 November 18 (Friday).  Old Mr. Nathaniel Whitney dined with me.  Our Conversation soon turned upon Bolton, and my (as he called it) withdrawing Communion with them.  Mr. Elisha Goddard of Sutton, come from Boston, says that yesterday a Vessel from England brought News that there was a new Parliament.  At Eve Deacon Wood here, and informs me that Mr. Whitney had been with him, asking him whether he would not go to Capt. Benjamin Fays this Eve, for there was to be a meeting there this Evening (though the Captain is Sick) to draw up and Sign Articles for a Church meeting; But Deacon chose to come to me.  N.B. Mr. Whitney gave me no account of this meeting.  I was much obliged to the Deacon for this Kindness and Friendliness.  At Eve also came my Kinsman Mr. Alexander Oliver from Boston, who acquaints me that my Grand Daughter Coffin of Gloucester is Safely delivered; and Mother and Child in an hopeful way.  To God most high be Glory and Praise. This is the first Great Grand Child I have been blessed with.  May it be a great Blessing to its Age!

November 19, 1774

1774 November 19 (Saturday).  My Kinsman Oliver returned to Brookfield.  Sophy came home from Lancaster.  Mr. Joseph White came with her and dined here.  The News from thence is, that Mr. Harrington is in great Perplexity from the apprehensions that Some of the Members of Chauxit will offer them Selves to partake with them tomorrow at the Communion, when if they be not admitted a number will be offended, and if they are, Some will be like to withdraw.  May the Lord Himself interpose! A 2d Letter from [Samuel?] Swift Esq.

November 21, 1774

1774 November 21 (Monday).  Alex came early from home, to bring money he borrowed of Breck.  Informs me that he has settled his agreement and Engagements to Southgate.  Mr. Benjamin How came and plastered above my Mantle Iron etc.  P.M. I rode to See a number of Afflicted Families, viz. Capt. B. Fay, confined by sickness; Ensign Fay and his wife who have lately been bereaved of their Brother Mr. Josiah Shattuck — Joseph Grout in his Languishment and prayed there.  Returning home, called at Capt. Jonathan Fays to see Master Jenison.  At Eve my son Baldwin came and lodged here.

November 26, 1774

1774 November 26 (Saturday).  Lt. Baker was here with an Account from Mr. Asa Hill.  He takes Opportunity to talk of the people’s Conduct towards me, and he professes his Sorrow for it, etc.  We discourse also of Church Government, of the Conventions Observations etc. At Eve Breck returns from Boston.  He brings me a Volume of Ordination sermons bound by Mr. A. Barclay, at 15/ old tenor.

November 27, 1774

1774 November 27 (Sunday).  Went to meeting Somewhat after 10.  Very few were there, only one man (I think) Mr. Phinehas Hardy, in the Seats below, and a Small Number besides.  Preached on Ps. 110.3. P.M. From Jer. 46.10, former part, but went on with sermon on Isa. 61.2, page 37, 38, 39, and p. 91, 92 of sermon on Luk. 13.25 and onward.  On God alone the Success depends. May my own soul be profited and all the Audience!  Suse Brigham at Dinner and tarrys over Night.

November 28, 1774

1774 November 28 (Monday).  She works here for the Girls.  Read in Mr. Philips of Andover’s excellent Discourses on Joh. 5.40 and on Joh. 6.44.  N.B. Mr. Daniel Warrin and Mr. Ben How here to set to rights a Misunderstanding of words, said by Mr. Warrin to have been spoke by me about the year 1753 or 4.  And I hope we got it over. P.M. Training of the Company of Minute Men, and Capt. Morse’s Company.

November 29, 1774

1774 November 29 (Tuesday).  Ezra Bellows came to request me to marry him to Ruth Harrington.  I made a Visit to Miss Sarah Gale who languishes under an Astmatick Cough and other Disorders.  Instructed and prayed with her. Dined at Mr. Gales.  Dr. Ball also there.  Heard that Lieut. Bruce was near his End.  Turned my Course from going either to Marlborough or Southborough as I designed and went to Lt. Bruce’s.  He was low, but calm — said but little, but answered as if he was in Hope concerning his state. Prayed with him, and took final Leave.  At home, Capt. Ezra Wood of [Upton?] here.