1778 December 1 (Tuesday). Breck sets up an Iron Stove in his shop. I preached at Lieut. Levi Warren’s, a third Exercise on Rev. 2.10. May God be graciously pleased to add His own efficacious Blessing! N.B. Mr. Daniel Hardy was at Mr. Warren’s before the Exercise began and manifested his Disgust at my sermon on the late Thanksgiving. He found fault with my saying so much about Singing the praises of God. I replied that it was the very Business of the Day — the present Truth — that if he was dissatisfied with it, he had need ask himself whether it was not because he himself was out of Tune. After the Exercises, Mr. Badcock and his Scholars sang a number of good Tunes, in Parts. We had also a plentiful Table Spread and agreeable Entertainment.
1778 December 2 (Wednesday). Elias sat out early to return to Cambridge and Timothy with him to bring back the mare which he was to ride upon as far as Framingham. Timothy returns about 2 o’clock, and brings Patty Forbush, one of Mr. Ebenezer Forbush’s Daughters to spin here. Mr. Daniel Forbes came kindly to inform Mrs. P_____ of a Medicine, which he would send her some of, to cure her Indispositions.
1778 December 3 (Thursday). Sophy carrys yarn to Miss Molly Harrington, to be wove for a great coat for Elias. P.M. Mrs. Green and her Sister, the Widow Whipple made us a kind Visit. The latter being about to leave us and live at Prince-town.
1778 December 4 (Friday). At eve came Mr. Elisha Forbes and his Wife to Visit us, and brought an extraordinary present. 31 pounds of Meat, Beef and Pork and a Cheese of 12 lbs., and supped with us. Mr. Forbes also offered that if I would take one of the Boston newspaper, he would pay for a year. May God reward his Benevolence and Generosity!
1778 December 5 (Saturday). Mr. Nathaniel Sherman in his journey home, to Mt. Carmel in New Haven called and broke fast here. I wrote by him to the Widow Pierpoint for my Notes on Job. 19.25 etc. Rev. Buckminster of Rutland hindered by weather from proceeding on his journey home. Stopt and tarrys here with us. Send his horse to Deacon Wood’s. Mr. Charles Newton begins to bring wood from Ministerial Lot, viz. 5 feet.
1778 December 6 (Sunday). I administer the Lord’s Supper: but Mr. Buckminster preached a.m. on Job 5.4. P.M. on Mat. 16.26. Mrs. Mainard and Miss Patty Fisk dined here.
May it please God to accept our Offerings and bless His Word and Ordinances to us! Deac. Wood came after meeting.
1778 December 7 (Monday). Mr. Buckminster went up to the Deacon’s to Breakfast, before he left us. I rejoice in God’s great Gifts to him. May it be continued!
1778 December 8 (Tuesday). I wrote Sundry Letters, particularly to my Grandson Isaac Baldwin at Dummer School in Byfield, and to Rev. Mr. Levi Frisbie minister at Ipswich.
1778 December 9 (Wednesday). Though exceeding cold and windy, Breck sat out for Boston. Mr. Chas. Newton brought wood, 5 feet and dined here. P.M. he brought 6 feet. Master Fisk and his sister Patty, Mrs. Fisher, Miss Nabby Martyn visit here. Fisk is going to keep school in the South part of the Town. I finished Drexelius.
1778 December 10 (Thursday). Newton brings a load a.m. 6 feet (he says). P.M. his man another load 6 ft. Yet it proves very stormy.
I would bless God for my many Comforts. Concerned for Breck who is I suppose at Boston, and has sent a load of corn.
1778 December 11 (Friday). The earth covered with snow. Windy and cold. But we have supplys. D.G. Sad news from Otter Creek and Cherry Valley.
1778 December 12 (Saturday). Breck returns from Boston, to our Joy safe, though through much Hardship. Says a Murder was committed the night before last at Charlestown Neck, of a countryman found next morning, two clubbs lying by him. N.B. No Murder but a man perished in the storm. [This evidently written later.]
1778 December 13 (Sunday). Breck is out of Wood. Suse herself and the child, her sister Mindwell and Billy Spring came up here to be with us over the Sabbath. I preached a.m. what I had prepared further on 1 Cor. 15, now on the 2 middle clause, “if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you.” It was a storm of Rain and difficult getting to Meeting.
Breck, his Family and Brother Josiah dined here. P.M. delivered with variations and large additions my Sermon on Ps. 147.19-20. May a merciful God forgive my Defects and bless what was agreeable to his Will! N.B. Squire Baker was very kind in coming with his Sleigh, and carrying me and Sophy to meeting, bring us back, both a. and p.m.
1778 December 14 (Monday). Breck had wood brought him. Suse etc. returned home. I finished Mr. Locke on Toleration. At eve Mr. Elisha Forbes here.
1778 December 15 (Tuesday). Timothy goes to Mrs. Temple at Upton for Cloth, but in vain.
I am entertained with Dr. Fuller’s England’s Worthys.
1778 December 16 (Wednesday). It being moderate air, I rode in the Sleigh — to see old Mrs. Baker, who has been sick. I dined there and thence I proceeded to visit Mr. Joseph Grout and family, being out of health; but Mrs. Grout herself is sick of a Fever. Their son Joseph this day returned home from Warfare, but Mr. Grout is greatly concerned about his son William at Fishskill [sic], and Benjamin is gone a great while after him, and hear nothing. I prayed with them. Called at Lieut. Jonathan Grout’s, who is come home, from the Service. Newton’s man, Thos. Harrington, 2 Load. 6 feet each.
1778 December 17 (Thursday). Sent 9 yards of cloth to Deacon Brown’s to be dressed for a great coat for Elias. At eve there were two marriages, viz: Mr. David Goodell to Miss Eliz. Brigham (Cousin Maynard’s Daughter), 8 Dollars, and Mr. William Acock to Mrs. Mary Lewis, 3 Dollars.
1778 December 18 (Friday). [No entry.]
1778 December 19 (Saturday). Breck has a fine fat Turkey roasted here.
1778 December 20 (Sunday). Preach a.m. on 1 Cor. 15.2, last clause, which may God succeed!
Mr. David Goodell the Bridegroom and his Bride together with her mother Maynard dined here, as did Master Elijah Brigham. P.M. The Bridegroom preached on 1 Cor. 6.19-20, and I hope to the Glory of God. He went from the Meeting House, with his new Spouse, to Capt. Maynard’s.
1778 December 21 (Monday). Messrs. Nathan Maynard Junior and Caleb Harrington killed a large sow for me. I lent Maynard sixty-six dollars. Mrs. P. kills 5 Geese, and 6 dunghill Fowls for market with the Pork. For it appears necessary to make some money of what we raise that we may be able to purchase what is wanting in other respects.
1778 December 22 (Tuesday). Exceeding tedious time for Cold Snow blowing etc. Patty Forbush came here to Spin. My days are a Shadow.
1778 December 23 (Wednesday). Mr. Joseph Harrington goes with his Team for Marblehead, and takes my Pork, Geese and Fowls, to the care of Mr. Elisha Forbes for Marketing. Am engaged in Sermonizing somewhat, but oh! my leanness. Breck trades with two swine drovers, and buys two shoats for me, at between 17 and 18 pence the pound.
Hear the sorrowful news of aged, pious Master Minot’s death. The Righteous are taken away from the Evil to come, but we that remain lose much in losing their Prayers. The Lord sanctifie this Death to the surviving widow and Son; and to me under the Loss of such a worthy Friend!
Isaiah 57.1: “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.”
1778 December 24 (Thursday). Breck and his dine here on a roast Turkey of his providing. Elias came home on foot from Cambridge. He came from there yesterday, and with him Young Nathan Fisk, a Freshman. They dined here. It is so very cold, Fisk lodges with Elias at Breck’s.
1778 December 25 (Friday). It remains exceeding cold. They breakfast here. I write by Fisk to Mr. Benjamin Bradshaw, who I hear is worse. Fisk sets out for Brookfield. Mr. Nathan Maynard brings a piece of Camblet, 14 yards from Mr. Benjamin Howell of Worcester, for which Mr. Maynard delivered to him from me 20 dollars. Mr. Hannaniah Parker, late Constable, is here and pays me what Money was behind in the Wood rate, which was about £6.12. For which I gave him a receipt in full; only it is to be remembered that Messrs. Joseph Grout, Jos. Green and Benjamin Brigham have not brought theirs. At night Patty Forbush goes home.
1778 December 26 (Saturday). An extraordinary tedious Time. Cold, blowing, snowing. How invaluable the Mercies I enjoy. I am through great goodness, in health, Habitation, Cloths, Food, Fewel: my son and Timothy etc. tend the Fires, the Cattle, get Wood and Water etc. But how many are at this time exposed to terrible Hardships, both by land and Sea! May God extend pity to the miserable poor — to Sailors, to Soldiers, to Teamers abroad and their destitute Families at home!
1778 December 27 (Sunday). Cloudy and cold, but sun broke out, but still very cold. Very few came to Meeting. On consideration of severe storms and intense cold, I repeated with some additions Sermon on Ps. 148.7-8. P.M. preached what I had prepared on Mark 9.24. Read the proclamation for Continental Thanksgiving, which I received but this day at noon.
1778 December 28 (Monday). Mr. Elisha Forbes pays me for my Pork and 6 Geese £38.18.
1778 December 29 (Tuesday). [No entry.]
1778 December 30 (Wednesday). CONTINENTAL THANKSGIVING. Preach on Isa. 1.11. Breck etc. dined.
1778 December 31 (Thursday). Elias rides to Cambridge. Mr. John Fay dines here and kills two Hogs for me. Mr. Harr. helping. Cousen Maynard made us a Visit. Master Fisk also. Drank tea and the last tarrys in the evening. My dear daughter Cushing came in a Sleigh with Mr. Nehemiah Maynard.