January 1, 1775

1775 January 1 (Sunday).  I desire humbly to bless the Great almighty Author of my Being, and my most merciful Preserver, for His astonishing Goodness and Longsuffering towards me, that He has Sustained me through another year, and granted me to see the Light of this Morning — not only of New-Year’s Day, but a Sabbath-Day!  A Day of the son of man; and a Day of Grace!  I am wonderfully favoured with Health and Ease, and many Enjoyments pertaining both to the Life that now is and that which is to come.  But I am under the Sore Frown of Heaven by the Displeasure of very many of my dear People, for my refusing to intermeddle with their civil Transactions when they Signed a Covenant July 4th last.  The Lord Sanctifie this great Affliction, and grant me Wisdom to improve it!  Preached a.m. on Ps. 73.26.  Master Jenison dined here.  P.M. on 1 Thess. 5.19 to p. 9.  Which may God graciously accompany with His Blessing!  I stopped the Church after Exercises — to consult them upon When they would have a Church meeting to consider the Cases of Several Delinquents, viz. of Eunice Rice and Samuel Fay: also to hear a Paper which I have received from a Number of Brethren, and See what the Church would do upon it.  I acquainted them also that [illegible] the Church did not see cause to accept of the Confession which the said Eunice had made, and on the other hand she would not consent to what the Church had drawn up for her; and they had Sent a Committee to her, who reported that she would abide by what she had sent already, I had therefore collected out of hers Such parts as might perhaps give satisfaction, if the rest of it were omitted.  This I offered to read, that if they liked it, they might send it to her etc.  But Mr. Batherick Said he did not want to stay in the Cold to hear it.  Several Others the like.  However, there was a further Number of Others still (as Brother Daniel Forbes, Thomas Bond, and divers [with?] them, so that I conceived it to be a greater Number than the former) desiring that it might be read, I read it.  But nothing further was done about it.  I asked the Church what Day they inclined to have the Church meeting upon?  It was agreed that tomorrow come sennight Should be the Day, and at one o’Clock precisely.  But no provision was made for notifying those Delinquents.  May God be pleased to prepare me for His Will!

January 2, 1775

1775 January 2 (Monday).  Am chiefly reading Dr. I. Mathers seasonable Testimony, of the Authority of Synods or Councils etc.[1] and other such Tracts on Church Government, the Power of Elders, and Privilege of Brethren etc.  I saw Mr. Ebenezer Chamblerlin junior who I have heard was dissatifyed with me; and endeavoured to remove his Disgust — but I found he harped (as others do) on my disobliging the Town, by denying to join with them in their Covenant, on July 4.  This I find has grievously disaffected them.  May God be pleased to direct me to some Expedient for Reconciliation!  We had uncommon Trouble to day in breaking a way to the Ministerial Lot.  Breck was much fatigued, and went but once with the Team.  Asa Ware stayed to cut.

[1]Increase Mather, A Seasonable Testimony to Good Order in the Churches of the Faithful (Boston, 1720).  Evans 2149.

January 3, 1775

1775 January 3 (Tuesday).  Attended the Funeral of Eleazer Beeman, Son of Mr. Abraham Beeman, who dyed on the last Sabbath morning; nigh 18 years of Age: of a Consumption.[1]  At Eve came Mr. Grosvenor from Grafton, and Mr. Joseph Harrington with him.  The latter invites me to the Marriage of his Sister Lydia, proposed to be at his House tomorrow, at 1 P.M.  The latter lodges here.

[1]Eleazer Beeman, son of Abraham and Miriam, b. Mar. 11, 1757; d. Jan. 1, 1775.  Westborough Vital Records, 15, 228.

January 4, 1775

1775 January 4 (Wednesday).  Breck goes to Boston in my Sleigh.  I wrote to Mr. Moore, and sent it to the white Horse Boston.  Mr. Grosvenor carrys me in his sleigh to Mr. Joseph Harringtons.  A Company came there with a Bridegroom and Bride: Daniel Chamberlain and Lydia Harrington.  I marryed them.  We dined and supped there.  I rode home in one of the Sleighs, which conducted the New Marryed to Mr. Chamberlain’s.  Neighbours bring 4 Load of Wood.  Mr. Phinehas Hardy and son, Thomas Twitchel, Jonathan Grout, Benajah Brigham.

January 8, 1775

1775 January 8 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Ps. 73.26.  P.M. on 1 Thess. 5.19 to page 20, inclusive.  Dr. Jenison of Mendon and Miss Suse Brigham dined here.  The Doctor here after Meeting and Supped and lodged here.  Deacon Samuel Miles of Shrewsbury here; but goes away at Eve.  May God bless what has been delivered for my Saving Benefit, and of all that heard it!

January 9, 1775

1775 January 9 (Monday).  The Doctor leaves us.  Samuel goes to Brookfield.  P.M. was a remarkable Church-meeting; about not only Mrs. Eunice Rice and Brother Samuel Fay; but the paper which Eleven Brethren had signed, requesting the Church to bear solemn Testimony against the Convention of the Year before last, their Piece, of Observations etc. and the Associations Piece against Bolton etc.  N.B. Capt. Jonas Brigham moved that before we begin, the Church would choose a Moderator and Clerk.  The Pastor replyed that he was the Standing Moderator by Vertue of his Office, as Pastor and Elder: that in his Ordination he was constituted so; and took the Oversight of them in the Lord etc.  I had not much more Trouble about that matter.  Only I think that Joseph Harrington and Benjamin Tainter were for having a Moderator and Clerk chose.  But Squire Whipple manifested his Disquietment at Capt. Brighams Conduct, and conceived it to be too insulting to the Pastor etc.  Some others also of this mind.  It at length went over.  Adjourned to this Day Month, 1 P.M.  At Eve Mr. Gale came in.  Read him my Letter to Capt. Silas Bailey.  At Eve also Mr. Hutchinson returning from Carlyle.

January 10, 1775

1775 January 10 (Tuesday).  My Son Forbes and his Wife came from Cape Ann, but last from Mr. Brooks’s at Medford.  Their Daughter Coffin brought forth a Daughter (whom they have called Polly) on December 30 last.  To God her Deliverer be Glory and Praise!  May the Child be new-born and an Instrument of the divine Glory!  They lodge here.  My Daughters Trouble in her Breast somewhat mitigated, by Methods used by Friend Pope of Boston.  Thanks to the Supreme Healer!

January 11, 1775

1775 January 11 (Wednesday).  My son and Daughter set out for Brookfield, and Elias goes with them with an Horse to accompany them part of the way — as far as to Capt. Curtis’s at Worcester.  P.M. Mr. Stone of Southborough came with heavy Tidings of the Death of the venerable Father, Gardner, of Stow, yesterday morning about 3 o’Clock; and with a Message from the Widow and Children to Me requesting that I would attend the Funeral on Friday afternoon.  Help Lord!  the Godly cease!  The Prophets, do they live for ever?  O that God would prepare me, who must soon follow!  Mr. Stone dines with us.  P.M. leaves us.  At Eve Samuel returns from New Braintree.

January 12, 1775

1775 January 12 (Thursday).  Samuel setts off for Boston; and it soon rains.  I hear that probably my Son and Daughter Forbes got no further than Alexanders last night.  P.M. came Mr. David Spafford and paid me 10£ lawful Money.  I rode to MarlboroughReuben Bellows was kind enough to pilot me through the difficult Paths of Snow.  Brother Smith in a broken, Weak, distressed Condition.  I lodged there.

January 13, 1775

1775 January 13 (Friday).  A very cold morning.  Brother Stone came [to] Mr. Smiths, according to appointment, but he was so overcome with the Cold that for a while he refused to go any further.  After a little space We undertook the difficult Ride.  We called at Mr. Jonathan Lorings, whose son Israel was confined by means of the Fall of a Tree lately, upon him, and had broken one of his Arms.  We dined at the House of Mourning.  The Children were all there with their Consorts, except Dr. Samuel and his, and attended the Interrment, but the Old Gentlewoman was too infirm to go out.  It was my Part to pray, and to be the Eldest Bearer.  The rest were Rev. Messrs. Stone, Swift, Bridge of Sudbury, Johnson of Harvard, and Abraham Wood of [blank].  No Gloves, nor any other Token was given, agreeable to the advice of the Continental Congress’s Advice.  May it please God most deeply to impress us with His Almighty Grace, Support us under the heavy weight of this sorrow, Sustain His aged Handmaid especially and prepare us for our Departure!  Mr. Stone and I lodged there.

January 15, 1775

1775 January 15 (Sunday).  I preached at Stow, on Occasion of the Death of the late Rev. and aged Mr. John Gardner, from 2 Tim. IV.6.7.8.  Which O that God would please to succeed to the whole Audience, to the bereaved Flock and Family, but to the Ministers present, in peculiar — of them there were three, besides the speaker, viz. Rev. Messrs. Flagg of Chester, Fr. Gardner, and Newell.  At Eve I returned to Mrs. Gardners and lodged there.

January 16, 1775

1775 January 16 (Monday).  I returned home to Westborough, and in safety.  Blessed be God for Such Preservations and of my Family in my Absence!  And O that I might suitably improve this Longsuffering of God towards me.  All the venerable Persons who joined together in Association on June 5, 1725, are now dead, but I only, who was the youngest, weakest and unworthiest.  N.B. In my way home called at Mr. Lorings, who gave me 6 M.S. sermons of his Fathers; at Miss Betty Eagers, who is Sick; at Dr. Curtis’s, where I dined; at Mr. Smiths, who is not better, as I conceive; and fear he will not continue long.  I called also at Mr. Edmund Brighams.  Arriving at home I found Mr. Thomas Kendal here, who had been at Cagnawaga, and last from Dartmouth College.  He came.  Mrs. P_____ informs me that Mr. Jer. Barnard preached for me yesterday a.m. on Act. 16.30.31, P.M. on Joh. 14.23.  Mr. Barnard went to Bolton.  Mr. Kendal tarrys with me.

January 23, 1775

1775 January 23 (Monday).  Mr. Thomas Twitchel paid £26.8.7 old Tenor which was in full of what was due to me on his Rate — being in the whole £245.13.11 O.T.  Elias went with my Sleigh to Mr. Goddards at Shrewsbury and carryed 9 Bush. of Rye in part of pay for Boarding and teaching.  Breck etc. return at Night from Mill River, and Master Jenison and Fay lodge here.  My Daughter Hannah complains much of her Arm, hurt against a Tree which the sleigh ran near to, in their way to Mill-River last Saturday.

January 24, 1775

1775 January 24 (Tuesday).  Hannahs arm is much swelled and grows very troublesome.  I was at Deacon Woods: but he was not at home.  Mrs. Winchester was there.  I visited old Lieut. Forbush and dined there.  Mr. Ebenezers Wife is confined by an Asthma.  Visit also Old Mrs. Sarah Forbush under her Cancer.  Returning home found a Company of Framingham Folks; Mr. Gleason and his wife, and her Brother William Brown and his Sister Ruhy, with a Daughter of Major Farrars, who dined here.  They have been to Leicester; and inform me that Alexander has been ill of a bad Swelling in his Throat, which has taken him off from his Business for about a month.  At Eve came old Mr. David Maynard, and afterwards Deacon Wood.  They tell me they have been, and Mr. Tainter with them, to See Mr. Samuel Fay, who, they find, is very much disturbed with me, that I don’t make my son Breck pay him for his dead Mare, or turn him out of Doors if he will not.  Such was the unreasonableness of his Conversation with them and that he would not come to meeting till he had Satisfaction.

January 25, 1775

1775 January 25 (Wednesday).  John went away early in the Morning for Lancaster.  Hannah has a bad Arm.  Sent for Dr. Hawes; who came.  Breck Sends up Dr. Ball.  Both Doctors dine here.  I finish Lord Sommers’ Book of the Judgment of whole Kingdoms and Nations on the Power of Kings and Rights of Peoples.[1]

[1][John Somers, baron, 1651-1716], The Judgment of Whole Kingdoms (12th ed., Boston, 1773; Evans 13,632).  An eleventh edition appeared in Philadelphia, 1773 (Evans 13,023), and another twelfth edition in Newport, 1774 (Evans 13,631).

January 27, 1775

1775 January 27 (Friday).  Lt. Baker here.  I read him Mr. Wards Letter.  We have some Discourse together.  He professes to be my Friend: condemns his Brother Brighams Conduct etc.  Dr. Haws visits Hannah and dresses her Arm.  The appearance is a little better.  Ben. Clark is Sent over to Dr. Balls a Second time for more Unguent. Polychrist and to Mr. Bass’s etc. for sundrys.

January 28, 1775

1775 January 28 (Saturday).  Hear that the Small Pox has broke out at Hopkinton on Capt. Thomas Mellen’s Wife: also that it is in several places in Mendon.  May the Lord prepare us for His holy and Sovereign Pleasure concerning us!  Dr. Hawes came, but it was not till the Business of the Dressing etc., were over.  P.M. Master Waters here, at his going off from keep School in this Town.  Says he has reason to believe that Mr. Fish did not draw up the paper sent in to our Church and Signed by Eleven of our Brethren.

January 31, 1775

1775 January 31 (Tuesday).  I visited old Mrs. Bruce who is ill.  Conversed with her as one hopefully in Christ.  Prayed with her — but I refused to dine there.  I made what haste I could home; but arrived not, being on foot, till my Family had din’d.  Read Mr. Lathrop’s Thanksgiving Sermon,[1] as I have likewise Mr. Webster’s:[2]  both of them very Spirited; and, the former especialy, a very useful Discourse.  I wrote to him, upon it.

[1]Samuel Webster, The Misery and Duty (Boston, 1774).  Evans 13,758.  ???

[2]John Lathrop (1739-1816), A Discourse Preached December 15th 1774 (Boston, 1774).  Evans 13,370.  Possibly 13,371 or 12,829.