November 1, 1779

1779 November 1 (Monday).  May God grant the Grace, that as Time is swiftly Spending, I may do with my might what my Hands find to do!  I am much concerned about my preparations for the Day of Solemn Humiliation before us, It being unusual, and called in the Proclamation, neither Fast nor Thanksgiving.  I have also much interruption by the Company which still continue with us: yet they are dear to me.

November 3, 1779

1779 November 3 (Wednesday).  It being bright, though cold, my Cousin Bryant and her children leave us to return to Stoneham.  N.B. I gave her 14 Dollars for making and mending 3 pair of Shooes by her Son Elias Bryant and to Tim, Leather for a pair of Shooes.  Mr. Parkman Bradshaw came from Brookfield, and is going to Stoughtonham and thence to Cambridge.  He dines here — Seems to be a solid, pious young man, and a Lover of Learning.  I engage him to befriend my dear son, that he may continue at College, though it must be with no small Difficulty, as my Circumstances now are.  But I pray my Confidence may be in God alone, who has ever provided for me, and helped me hitherto!

November 4, 1779

1779 November 4 (Thursday).  A Day of Humiliation and Prayer with Thanksgiving.  I named for my Text a. and p.m. Ps. 51.17.  Made a large Introduction, explaining the Proclamation, and then used some former Preparations on that, mentioned passage, with various alterations and additions.  I had expected Mr. Crosby to help me, but he came not till near the Close of the Exercises.  He was with us at eve and then went to his Brother Samuel’s.  Three Brethren of the Church, viz. Messrs. Batheric, Gale and Dr. Hawes came here and desired me to give notice to the other Brethren of the Church, after the Exercises of next Sabbath, to tarry and confer a little further upon the Adams affair.

November 9, 1779

1779 November 9 (Tuesday).  Mr. Levi Warren here to kill a Cow for me, and informs me that the Said Brethren were together and that Mr. Adams was with them.  That they were together till midnight, and then adjourned to next Sennight.  The Cow turns out well.  Mr. Warrin dines here, and gives his work.  P.M. Mrs. Bowker and her sister Bowman of Oxford make us a visit.

November 14, 1779

1779 November 14 (Sunday).  Through the great Goodness of God I am allowed to begin another year of Sabbaths, and would gratefully praise His Glorious Name!  I preached a.m. on Deut. 32.46-47, which may God graciously impress us with!  Mr. S. Barrett and his Daughter Nancy with us and dined here.  P.M. delivered the Remainder of sermon on Prov. 1.28 as being seasonable Warning after the late Execution.[1]  O that my own Soul might be deeply impressed!  Propounded Isaac and Margery Parker to join with the Church.

[1]Prov. 1.28: “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.”

November 19, 1779

1779 November 19 (Friday).  Deacon Doliber calls here in his way home — gives me account of the Grants of their Society at Marblehead to their Minister for the year.  P.M. Elias returns home from Cambridge, but has not seen the President, though I wrote him by Elias.

Letters from Ashburnham informing that Mrs. Cushing was delivered of a Son on Wednesday Oct. 27, and it is called Doddridge.

November 21, 1779

1779 November 21 (Sunday).  On Zech. v. 9-11.  And finished my exercises on that chapter.  P.M. preached my sermon on Isa. 63.9-15.  I propounded Rebecca Nurse to join in full Communion with the Church.  Sometimes we have no Singing in the Family on so much as Sabbath Evenings.  But we had this evening.  Josiah Brigham is wont to lodge here and assisted in the Singing.

November 22, 1779

1779 November 22 (Monday).  Master Elijah goes to Ashburnham, expecting Sophy to return.  I wrote by him.  I visited Mr. Jonathan Tainter’s sick Child and prayed therewith.  I rode up then to Mr. Eli  Whitney’s and dined there, and visited Mr. Benj. Wood and his Family (no Kindred between Deacon and him).  Some words pass about his son Reuben’s living with me.  Went in also to Mr. Ebenezer Miller’s.  N.B. At Squire Baker’s was assured that Mr. D. Adams did verily sign what was last published in the Spy: retracting what was published before.  Ephraim Parker comes up this evening to reckon with me for his nine months Work for me: first for six months, and for them asks my biggest Oxen, for which I am told I may have £500, and for the other three months as the price is stated.  But he would have me ask Advice of my Neighbors.

November 23, 1779

1779 November 23 (Tuesday).  I walked to Mr. Ebenezer Forbush, to talk with him, and he not being at home spent some time with his Father and Mother.  In returning I made an Opportunity with Mr. Elijah Hardy, who tells me that he gave his Young Man for six months, not £250, and Mr. Benj. Fay not more.  I next talked with Mr. Barnabas Newton, who will take it into Thought.  At eve, speak with Caleb Harrington.  But Parker is gone over to his Brother Elisha’s.

November 27, 1779

1779 November 27 (Saturday).  Elisha Parker came when I was about paying Ephraim, but a Controversie arose concerning What was the Usual Custom at this time of the great Alteration of Money within these few weeks.  Ephraim would take no less than £60 for the Two Months.  I was not willing to give any more than 55.  But I was obliged to borrow the money of my son Breck, and they all went to the Shop, where Breck gave Ephraim the whole Sum he required, viz. £60, and so he went to his brother Elisha’s with the Cattle on the Cart to carry his Chest and things there, promising to come and make up the Time, viz. 5 Days that yet remains next week and onward.

November 29, 1779

1779 November 29 (Monday).  Mr. Dan. Matthis of New Braintry was here to consult me about their Troubles with Mr. Foster’s Doctrines, but I could not tarry long with him, because I was preparing a line to send to the Town (of Westborough) who this Day have a Meeting to Consider my Sallery.  They met.  Mr. Gale was Moderator.  I humbly waited upon God most high in the first place and then sent my Paper, entertaining myself with Judge Hale’s Meditation on Contentation.[1]  My mind was wrought into a placid Frame; in some Measure resigned to the Disposals of Providence.  At Eve, by Lieut. Grout I understood that the Town has voted to make up my Sallery £1300, and 40 Cord of Wood.  For which G.D.

[1]See “Of Contentation: And the Motives to It, both Moral and Divine,” in Contemplations, Moral and Divine.  In Two Volumes.  To Which Is Prefixed, an Account of His Life and Death.  By the Right Reerend Dr. Gilbert Burnet, Lord Bishop of Sarum (Glasgow, 1763), 1:323-40.

November 30, 1779

1779 November 30 (Tuesday).  Read Judge Hale of a good Method to entertain unstable and troublesome Times — and of Redeeming Time.[1]  In the Evening unbent a while with reading Mr. de Lange’s Journal at Peking.


[1]See “A Good Method to Entertain Unstable and Troublesome Times” and “Of the Redemption of Time. How, and Why It Is to Be Redeemed,” in Contemplations, Moral and Divine.  In Two Volumes.  To Which Is Prefixed, an Account of His Life and Death.  By the Right Reerend Dr. Gilbert Burnet, Lord Bishop of Sarum (Glasgow, 1763), 1:3366-71, 373-84.

November 30, 1779

1779 November 30 (Tuesday).  [Note: The published version of the diary has two entries for November 30.]  Miss Rebecca Nurse here and gave me her Relation.  By reason of a debate about those votes aforesaid by a Friend that came in, Sent to Col. Wheelock, the Town Clerk, for the Transactions of the Town yesterday, relative to me: who wrote that They voted and granted to make up the Rev. Mr. Parkman’s Stated yearly Sallery for the year ensuing £1300.  Voted to get the Rev. Mr. Parkman 40 Cord of Wood the year ensuing.  Signed Moses Wheelock, Town Clerk.  My Kinsman Parkman Bradshaw came from Cambridge by the way of his Father’s, and lodges here.  I wrote to my old and esteemed Friend, Mr. Quincy, having much Solace in this Correspondence.


Thus ends the short month of November — An Emblem of this short Life!  On Retrospect, how very little has been done of the Grand Business, with all the Advantages in my Hands!  but how many my Deficiencies, how many and grievous my Miscarriages!  May the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse from all my Guilt and Errors!