1776 January 1 (Monday). Since it has pleased God in His great Goodness to protract the Day of His Patience to this time, to my just Astonishment, it must be my earnest Care and diligent Enquiry, What I Shall render to the Lord for all His Benefits which He has conferred upon me, by Which Means I Shall glorifie Him most, and how I shall best improve the Opportunitys I yet through the divine Indulgence enjoy; So as to answer His kind Design therein? I therefore Spent this New-Years Day in Thanksgiving praise, Supplications, Reviews, Remorse and Humiliations together with humbly Renewing my federal Engagements and Resolutions to be the Lords: And O that God would please to pardon, quicken and assist me; the rather because my further Space is Shorter and shorter; is altogether uncertain, and I know not what a Day, what an Hour may bring forth. Might I therefore be effectually impressed with it, that I get and keep ready for my Departure!
As to the Changes, the Transactions, the Accidents, and Events of this ensuing Year, which we have now begun, whether I Shall live to see them or no, they are like to be to an high Degree important. They are in the Hands of the Omnipotent Supreme, who is to be owned and acknowledged the universal Monarch, most wise and righteous, good and faithful. May I have the Grace to [trust?] the inestimable Cause depending, with Him; and would [re?]pose all that relates to Me and Mine, in His Care, His Power, His Tenderness and Unchangeableness. All will [is]sue in His Glory. In Him All is safe and secure forever!
1776 January 2 (Tuesday). I visited in the Street — one Mr. Hemingway a Fisherman from Boston, ill with pleurisy. Mrs. Keene — her Husband and a great Number of Soldiers are returned home. Went to Capt. Bakers and Saw the great Market there for Oxen, Hogs etc. I dined there with a Number of their Butchers etc. N.B. Mr. Josh. Johnson brings me a Copy of the Result of the Council of 11 Churches at Bolton June 11, 1771. Mrs. P________ rode with Breck in the Sleigh. He rode to Worcester, she went to Mr. Seth Rice’s and dined there. But her chief Design was to visit her Cousen Davis, who is weak and low. N.B. Coming out of Mr. Davis’s Door her feet slipped, She fell and Sprained her left Wrist.
1776 January 3 (Wednesday). Mr. Joseph McCulloch, being returned from the Army (as the rest of the soldiers of the former enlistment are), was here and helped in Killing Some of our Pork, viz. a Sow weighing (at Evening) 210, and a Pig of 120. My Son Breck was with him in doing it. P.M. I visited old Mr. Whitney, who continues paralytic. He could not speak at all — his Mouth is drawn on one side: but seems to have the use of his Reason. His Wife is much indisposed also. By Desire I prayed with them in their Affliction. At Eve Hannah goes to watch with her Cousen Davis. Mr. Cullock comes and cutts out and Salts up our Pork: and Mr. Elisha Forbes with a variety of worthy presents to Me, Cheese, Beef etc.
1776 January 4 (Thursday). Neighbour N. Chamberlain goes to the Lot, with my Team, my Oxen and two Horses (Brecks and Samuels), but the going is so difficult, that he brings only one Load of Wood.
1776 January 5 (Friday). [1776 January 5 (Friday). [No entry.]No entry.]
1776 January 6 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1776 January 7 (Sunday). Blessed be God we have the Favour to enjoy another Lords Day — that we may begin the Year of Sabbaths! God only knows whether we Shall have this privalege continued through it. I preached on Rom. 3.28, carrying on the Course of Sermon of Last sabbath and Sabbath before. Now on Faith. P.M. I delivered with alterations and Additions My two sermons on Eccl. 7.1 and in the Close offered pathetic Exhortations considering the important Changes and Events of this ensuing Year. May God succeed them especially to my own Soul! Mrs. Rombly, and Miss Suse Brigham dined. Mr. May at Coffee with us at Eve. He prayed and lodges here, as does Suse.
1776 January 8 (Monday). Breck goes to Providence. Mr. May to his school. But Suse tarrys with us. I visited and prayed with Mr. [torn] Hawes. Also Mr. Artemas Bruce’s little Daughter and prayed there. I visited at Mr. Abraham Beemans. Did not dine. Went to Ensign Snows. Ensign and his Wife being gone from home I acquainted Mrs. Breed that I was in need of Eating; upon which she readily dressed some Food. At length the good Folks returned and entertained me with Gladness. In returning home I called to see and Caution George Andrews: and at Mr. Timothy Warrins, his son Timothy being ill at the Camp. N.B. My son William wrote me by one Osmer and inclosed part of his Brother Forbes’s Letter from Gloucester of his Wifes Illness, and fear of her Cancer’s rising again. At eve wrote to Mr. Forbes.
1776 January 9 (Tuesday). Too rough Weather for me to go abroad. We had bad news concerning the younger Timothy Warrin, that it was feared the moving him to Watertown proved too much for so sick a man; and that he was near his End. John Fay dines here. Suse Brigham is here still.
1776 January 10 (Wednesday). We hear that Mr. Timothy Warrin junior dyed last Night at Watertown. It was by a putrid, pleuretic Fever. A sorrowful Death, considering some particular Circumstances of it! May the Lord hereby awaken Survivors! Suse leaves us. She goes to her Aunt Brighams.
1776 January 11 (Thursday). I rode up to Mrs. Mehitable Brighams, and with me my Daughter Hannah; Sophy riding in another Chaise with Mr. May. Mr. Thomas Rice Willard came with another Chaise for Hannah, but not in season. It was to the Wedding of Mr. John Fay and Miss Mehitabel Brigham junior which was Solemnized, and we supped and sang there. After my Return home solemnized the marriage of Mr. Thomas Andrews and Miss Hannah Forbush. Masters May and Willard brought home my Daughters and Miss Suse Brigham. Mr. May and Suse lodged here. Mr. Timothy Warrin came here while I was absent, lamenting his son Timothy’s unhappy Death.
1776 January 12 (Friday). Straitened for Wood. Nath. Chamberlain went with my Oxen, my son Samuels Horse, and Benjamin Clark to the Ministerial Lot and brought some wood (not a full Load) for present supply.
1776 January 13 (Saturday). My own Cart being Mended by Mr. Nurse, Chamberlain with Ben went with the same Cattle as yesterday and brought one Load. Mrs. P______ and I rode in Mr. Newtons Chaise to the Funeral of Mr. Timothy Warrin junior. His Father mourns deeply the Loss of this his principal Son. I pray God to sanctifie this Bereavement to all survivors, especially near Relatives.
1776 January 14 (Sunday). Went on with my Subject upon Faith from Rom. 3.28. Mr. Benjamin Warrin and his Wife came at Noon with their Confession. P.M. I preached a sermon partly with reference to the season, and partly with view to the late Death of the younger Timothy Warrin which I beg of God to bless to us. Mr. May after Meeting — at Coffee, at Supper, and prays. He lodges here. Many Westborough Soldiers are returned.
1776 January 15 (Monday). I rode in the Chaise to visit old Mrs. Sarah Forbush and prayed with her. Went to Mr. Abraham Bonds; but he was not at home. Visit Mr. Barns and his son Francis. Mr. Andrews here to acquaint me with the Death of the Indian Esther David or Bimeleck on Saturday night last, and to desire me to attend the Burial tomorrow. At Eve Sophy has a Letter from her Sister Cushing of the 11th, informing that Mr. Clark of Ashburnham desires that his son Benjamin may return home when his time is out.
1776 January 16 (Tuesday). Wrote to Mr. Cushing. Mr. Grosvenor, Mr. Jos. Hall and his Sister Miss Debby, in a sleigh going to Watertown. One Mr. Jason Livermore of Leicester was going down the Road in a Sleigh. Mrs. Wood desired him to call here and take me in, to go as far as Mr. Andrews’s with me; where we stoped and dined. After Dinner he carryed Mrs. Andrews and me to the House of the Widow Gale, where the Corps was brought. About half a Score Indians were met together and some Number of the English Neighbours. I discoursed with what plainness I could, and with what pathos. I prayed — and went into Mr. Gale’s to see his Father and Mother. Prayed also with them. Began to read an Out-of-the-Way Piece entitled The Restoration of all Things, or a Vindication of the Goodness and Grace of God to be manifested at last in the Recovery of his whole Creation out of the Fall.
Jeremiah White (1629-1707), The Restoraiton of All Things (London, 1712).
1776 January 17 (Wednesday). Write by Thomas Burdett to Mr. Levi Wilder to bring me from Mr. Sprague at Lancaster, Blackstone. Nat Chamberlain and Williams brought 1 Load each — dined here. Storm p.m. so that they cant go with Teams in the Afternoon.
1776 January 18 (Thursday). Have bought a Deer skin at the Shop, at 16/ Lawful Money, and Miss Nabby Woods comes at Even to make a pair of Breeches of it for Elias. N.B. Mr. Grosvenor and Miss Debby Hall, one of her Brothers also, called here. Mr. Grosvenor renews his Desire to Change next Lords Day. Sorrowful News from Quebeck — General Montgomery Slain.
1776 January 19 (Friday). Miss Nabby works here. She dines. Chamberlin goes three times with the Team to the Lot. Williams Chops and has his Dinner Sent him. Mr. Leonard came in his way to the Camp, and dines and lodges. But Billy comes from Concord — with The Heavy News, and Letter from my dear son Forbes! Of my most dear Child Mary’s Departure on the 16th at Eve, between 9 and 10 o’Clock! O Lord, Help!
1776 January 20 (Saturday). Mr. Leonard leaves us. Billy returns home — takes Samuels Horse with him. Mr. May finished his school yesterday. I rode to Grafton and lodged there, as Mr. Grosvenor did here.
1776 January 21 (Sunday). I preached at Grafton on Judg. 10.6.7.9.10, and 16 a. and p.m. And returned at Eve: as did Mr. Grosvenor. We met at Mr. Joseph Grouts, he and 4 Children Sick. Mr. Grosvenor prayed with them.
1776 January 22 (Monday). Wrote to My son Forbes. Breck returns from Connecticut.
1776 January 23 (Tuesday). Was called to Mr. Joseph Grout’s, the Family being greatly distressed. It was feared Joseph (junior) and Seth were in danger of approaching Death. I prayed with them. Mr. Jonathan Grout waited on me, forth and back. At Eve I went to Mrs. P________ at Mr. Spring’s. N.B. Joseph Culloch who lives there is most probably in a very miserable plight, at this very juncture: but I was not so apprehensive of it while I saw him, as to say any thing to him or those who were with him. Yet I can’t but deplore so horrible Dishonour and Offence to the glorious God and the Guilt and Danger of the poor Man! May the Lord Omnipotent awaken, and Snatch him, and other such Wretched Creatures, from Destruction!
1776 January 24 (Wednesday). Elias tends the Barn etc. Ben Clark being gone with Nath. Chamberlin to sled Wood. Sent my Letter to Mr. Forbes by Mr. Elisha Forbes. My son Samuel rode to the hither Parish of Wrentham and returned at Eve, before dark. N.B. I walked to Mr. Springs where Culloch lives, and Seriously, affectingly admonished and warned him for his Conduct last night, for which he thanked me. O that God would set it home upon his soul and that it might make a lasting, effectual Impression! Widow Abigail Martyn buryed at Northborough.
1776 January 25 (Thursday). Capt. Jonas Brigham came in the Morning — sat, and talked sociably. Reckoned with Breck and paid his Account as per Book.
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And Paid him for sundrys that were not set down. I still owe him 10/3d.2.9 or £220.127.116.11 old Tenor. Letter by Rufus Rose from My Kinsman Loyd at Granville, concerning his Wife’s Illness.
1776 January 26 (Friday). Jej: and Prec. — and wrote to Mr. Loyd per Rufus Rose.
1776 January 27 (Saturday). Mr. Bowen here, going to preach at Chauxit. He asks Advice, which I cannot give. Refer him to Mr. Stone who was at the Council there, and has the Result (which I have not). As was Mr. Whitney, and has it also (I suppose) and therefore he goes there. At Eve I went to Mr. Nathaniel Whitneys, who was dying. He departed while I sat there. I prayed with the living — and then returned.
1776 January 28 (Sunday). Preached a. and p.m. on 1 Chron. 29.15. Mrs. Ayres (old Mrs. Dunlops Daughter) dined here. N.B. I could not finish the preparations which I designed; and therefore with new Introduction concerning the Occasion, namely my late Bereavement (the Death of my eldest Child) and several other Deaths of late (particularly what occurred last Night), I delivered the abovesaid sermons; which may the Lord sanctify to us all! Especially those of us more immediately concerned. Capt. Maynard (with previous leave) Speaks to the Assembly to meet tomorrow for Recruiting.
! Chron. 29.15: “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.”
1776 January 29 (Monday). I rode in my sleigh to Mr. Daniel Warrins to see his poor, low Brother in Law, Daniel, who consumes away. I discoursed and prayed with him. He desires a sermon may be preached to him; his Mother also, long confined from public worship, desires the Same. N.B. Mr. Timothy Warrin is Sunk extremely and mourns bitterly for the Loss of his Son. All that is left is empty. At Night I wrote to Mr. Moore, to be sent by my Son Samuel.
1776 January 30 (Tuesday). Wrote to Mrs. Moore. My son Samuel, his Wife and Child, with Elias also, go in the Sleigh to Concord; Samuel designing to take his own Mare at Concord and proceed to Plymouth, Rochester, Dartmouth etc. Deacon Miles in a delirious Frame, came to see me. Mr. Timothy Warrin came with a Sleigh and carryed Mrs. P________ and Me to the Funeral of old Mr. Nathaniel Whitney, who expired when within about seven Days of Eighty Years of Age. May God be graciously pleased to Sanctify this Death of one of the most Antient Members of the Church, to all of us who Survive! At Eve came Master Samuel Jenison from Mendon, and lodges here.
1776 January 31 (Wednesday). Mr. Jenison dines with us, as does Mr. Grosvenor and his Sister Chloe, also her Friend Miss Gratia [Payton?]. Nath. Chamberlain having ‘listed to go into the Army, I am now at a loose End respecting Wood. Another Month Gone! May I be duely affected!