December 4, 1781

1781 December 4 (Tuesday).  Benjamin Bowman came to live here to take Care of my Cattle, chop Wood, make the Fires, etc., and to learn to write, Cypher.  P.M. I preached at Mr. Gale’s on Phil. 1.21 to p. 15.  Very few there.  Only Mr. Daniel Stockwell and about half a dozen Women, besides those who belonged to the House, and Mr. Brigham with my Daughter from my own House.

December 7, 1781

1781 December 7 (Friday).  Breck goes to Bellingham; his Business with Seth Arnold.  Mr. Daniel Chamberlain here and requests (as Mr. Gale lately did) Some Account of the different Denominations and Sects among Christians: He informs me of a Society which is Lately set up, in this Town, for Conference, etc.  Mr. John Fay here and is sorry his Brother Ben. and T. Whitney are Still at Such Variance.

December 13, 1781

1781 December 13 (Thursday).  General Thanksgiving on account of the Favours of the Year: but especially the Victory over Earl Cornwallis in Virginia.  And a Contribution followed for the poor sufferers at South Carolina and Georgia.  I preached on Isa. 25.1.9, improving in part No. CCXCVIII with proper alterations and large additions.  At the Entertainment My Son Breck and Family, also Three from Col. Brighams Family also here.  At Eve I repeated, and we sung part of Ps. 145.

December 31, 1781

1781 December 31 (Monday).  It was so wet and uncomfortable Weather that neither of the Gentlemen leave us.  Mr. Fish hath my Study to prepare for tomorrow.  Town Meeting again about Treasurer Newton.  Lt. Isaac Parker here, and wants to buy my Horse but he bids too little — but little more than half of what he cost me.  I arrive at the Close of Another Year, through the infinite Goodness and Patience of G[blot] to whose worthy Name be all Glory, Honour and Praise!  Yet I find a great Difference in my Self between Now and twelve Months past.  I can’t write as heretofore: and a very great Cause of it (besides the Tremulousness of my Nerves) is, the Impair of my Sight.  My Left Eye, ever Since my Remembrance, has been weaker than my Right: and at Times there Seems to be Some Cloud before it.  But before my Right, there has been a black Cloud upon the very Sight, at but a few Inches Distance, about 3 or 4 inches Diameter, but more further off.  The Obscurity upon whatever Object is so great that I can’t See a Mans Face, nor read very largest printed Capitals; neither am I helped by any Spectacles.  Yet round about the Object Things appear as they used to, and as they do to the other Eye when seen in general. May God graciously be pleased to Sanctifie to me this ominous Dispensation!  Prevent the Increase of the Evil, Support what is felt, and quicken me to the due improvement of the Faculty remaining: and (Oh if it might please the Great Supreme!) remove so grievous a Calamity, when His holy End is Answered!