1780 December 1 (Friday). Rob. Wightman is so successful in his getting out and cleaning the Rye that in these few Days he has thrashed and winnowed (as he has counted) 40 Bushels besides that he plowed for me half a Day, which he gave in; and he carrys away 4 Bushels for his wages. I was called away to see Betty Barker, as being near her End. I went — found her very bad, of bilious Fever. She was too delirious to converse much. I prayed with her, and a number more. Called to see Mrs. Nottingham, who seems to be in more hopeful state.
1780 December 2 (Saturday). I find it a very difficult thing to write Sermons now in my old Age from what I did formerly; and cannot through Dimness and Trembling, make Despatch as then. As my outward Man decays, I ought to labour to have my inner man to be renewed Day by Day. Mr. Jonas Bond and his Wife returned home, but I saw them not.
1780 December 3 (Sunday). A very cold stormy tedious Day; and it was doubtful whether we could attend the Solemnities proposed: yet the Snow which fell was not very deep. I attempted, and God was pleased to carry me through. A.M. on Mal. 1.13 “And they brought that which was torn” etc. Administered the Lord’s Supper to the few which came. Mrs. Maynard dined with us. P.M. on Rev. 3.2.1. May God graciously forgive, accept and bless! At eve, Brigham, Flavell on Rev. 3.20, Sermon 9, former part.
1780 December 4 (Monday). A great Disappointment arose by means of nine young Cattle of Squire’s which broke in upon and destroyed a great part of my Straw which was designed for several uses: Harrington lays up a part of it on the Hovel and Cart Shed — but, the Cattle very troublesome, and a sad interruption to me after they had been driven away, [sic]
1780 December 5 (Tuesday). Mr. Corn. Waters and Miss Sarah Shepherd going from Newtown to Sutton call and dine here. Mr. Corn. Biglow came for his Rye, to pay him for his reaping. He requires 4 Bushels and half, but releases a peck.
1780 December 6 (Wednesday). Deacon Haws brings me from Mr. Cranch another volume (the 5th) of Biog. Dict. Letters F and G.
1780 December 7 (Thursday). Thanksgiving. Preached on Jer. 3.23 last clause, which may God graciously prosper! Betsey Barker is dead. Mr. Elisha Livermore was marry’d to Miss Lucy Maynard.
1780 December 8 (Friday). A cold and Hoarseness increased to such a Degree upon me that (it being also a Wet Day) I did not go to the Burial of Betsey Barker, who dy’d on Wednesday morning, and Mr. Barker sent for me to-day: but I had no audible Voice. May God graciously teach and comfort them and the surviving Children!
1780 December 9 (Saturday). In compliance with Mr. Corn. Waters Request, I being somewhat better and recovering my voice in some measure, I rode to Southborough and Mr. Stone to Framingham. I went also to the Widow Wood’s, on an affair of my Wife’s to bespeak some weaving. Lodged at Mr. Stone’s.
1780 December 10 (Sunday). A wet Day but (through divine Goodness) I felt so well that I went to Meeting and preached (at Southborough) a. and p.m. on Ps. 124 Several verses, using with some variations, part of the Introduction to the late Thanksgiving Sermon. May God grant Success! Mr. Stone returned at eve. It was too rainy for me, and they urging, I stayed there.
1780 December 11 (Monday). In my way home called at Mr. Gale’s. Got home safe. D.G. Understand that Mr. Grosvenor preached for me: and on Rev. 3.2. Capt. Wood dined here. I visited at Mr. Barker’s, under their Bereavement, and went to Squire Baker’s.
1780 December 12 (Tuesday). Mr. Brigham goes to Boston. Wrote by him to Mr. Thos Adams. Ben Wood at his Father’s Desire, goes to Worcester to attend at Court, as a Witness.
1780 December 13 (Wednesday). My Hovel, overloaded with straw, in the late Storm of Rain, broke down: Mr. Lamson and Stephen Maynard kindly came and repaired it. They dined here. I read in Biog. Dict. Vol. 5, F [and] G.
1780 December 14 (Thursday). Mr. Brigham returned in the Night from Boston and he
1780 December 15 (Friday). delivers me a letter from Mr. Quincy of the 6th. Rev. Mr. Israel Evans, a Chaplain to General Poor’s Brigade, recommended to me by Mr. Grosvenor, came and lodged here. He relates how General Washington was in Arnold’s plot, was designed to be Surprised and taken, at Col. Beverly Robertson’s House in Philip’s Manor, over against West Point.
1780 December 16 (Saturday). Mr. Evans left us to go to Concord. N.B. He presented me his Sermon delivered at Easton Oct. 17, 1779 to the Officers and Soldiers of the Western Army, after their Return from an Expedition against the five Nations of hostile Indians, published at the particular Request of the General (Sullivan) and the Field Officers of the Army, printed at Philadelphia.
1780 December 17 (Sunday). A.M. on Rev. 1.3. Mrs. Maynard dined. P.M. on 1 Cor. 10.4. Mr. Silas Brigham dismissed. Mr. Brigham read Mr. Flavell at Even.
1780 December 18 (Monday). I attended the Funeral of old Mr. Isaac Woods. P.M. was a Town Meeting to raise Men for the Continental Army — to provide Beef for the Army etc.
1780 December 19 (Tuesday). Mr. Beeton has made a Crane for our West Room Chimney, which I have put up. Breck and Suse and little Hannah are gone, though it is a lowery Day, to Col. Brigham’s. Breck designing to go to Boston. Constable Maynard now first paid me any pen[n]y of the Grant made last July, paid £701.16,
1780 December 20 (Wednesday). Took a walk among my Neighbors to reckon with them, that I might pay them for their Work for me, last Season, this being the first time that I have had any Money to do it. I went to Mr. Kenny’s, dined at Mr. N. Maynard’s, was at Mr. Thad. Warrin’s. Visit Mrs. Nottingham, who is yet ill and prayed with her. Two Letters from Camp from Ebenezer and from Col. Baldwin of Nov. 14, with General Orders.
1780 December 21 (Thursday). Mr. George Morey of Norton preaches here and dines with us. He informs me that there is a fast at Marlborough, in order to their Calling a Minister. Mr. Ebenezer Grosvenor being there at present.
1780 December 22 (Friday). Mr. Daniel Miller of Fitz-William dined here. Mr. Brigham returned from Boston, and says Mr. Ripley recovers. Town Meeting by Adjournment to endeavor to raise Recruits for the Continental Army; also Quota of Beef and to purchase Corn for the payment of 3 months’ men. At eve Mr. Fisk who keeps the East School, here. Capt. Edmund Brigham here, on his Humiliation.
1780 December 23 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1780 December 24 (Sunday). Dark weather again. A.M. Mal. 1.13, last part and 14, former part. Mrs. Maynard dined with us. P.M. on 1 Cor. 10.4, “And that Rock was Christ.” Mr. Brigham at eve still read in Flavell on Rev. 3.20. I read after Exercise, Pierce’s Vindic. of Dissent.
1780 December 25 (Monday). In morning Family Exercise read Luke 1.25 to the End and Ch. 2, divers parts, which peculiarly respect the Nativity of our B. L. and give Thanks therefor. Breck and his Family dined with us. O that we might uprightly and most gratefully join with all true Christians, and with all our Souls magnifie the Lord, rejoicing forever in God our Saviour!
1780 December 26 (Tuesday). Winter cold, Sharp, Frost: difficult stirring, it is so rough. Icy, with the Snow that has covered the Ground; but we are favoured with Health, Food, Raiment, Fuel and Habitation, etc. D.G. Read Biogr. Dict. F.
1780 December 27 (Wednesday). Am forced to keep House by reason of the Sharp Air. Mr. Brigham brought Mrs. Jotham Bush to dine with us. I read, as yesterday, Biogr. Dictionary, now part of G.
1780 December 28 (Thursday). Several Neighbours came and killed my largest Hog. There were Messrs. Thad Warrin, Sol Batherick and Caleb Harrington. They would not stay to dine with us. The Hog weighed 316 pounds. At eve, Master Fisk here. N.B. Breck brings in a Letter from Ebenezer at Fishkill.
1780 December 29 (Friday). [No entry.]
1780 December 30 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1780 December 31 (Sunday). I preached a.m. on Mal. 1.14 the latter part, and p.m. on Eccl. 12.13. It is deeply to be regretted that those great and Serious Subjects have so slender Effect upon our Minds, Since they do so nearly, so inf’ly [infinitely? ] concern us! I have great Reason to be astonished at myself, that I am so far below what I ought to be! I beseech God most graciously to awaken me to a proportionable Exertion! At eve Mr. Brigham read Mr. Flavell on Rev. 3.20. O that I might have a Frame of Spirit suited to the Close of the Year, and that I might have a lively Apprehension of the Close of Life, that I may be found ready for it.