Monday, December 27 1756

In the morning gave two women and 2 children with a pass 12d. Gave John Streeter the post 12d to his box. Gave Thomas Hemsley 6d to his box. Gave Robert Hook 3d to his box. About 12 o’clock I went down to Laughton to attend the funeral of Thomas Jones where there were, I believe, more than 80 people; his age 67 years. We had an indifferently good sermon, but I think very indifferently delivered to the audience. The text 14th verse, 39th Psalm: “For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”

I came back about 5:40 when I went into John Jones’s, the parish being met there at a public vestry to choose surveyors. The two surveyors chosen for the year ensuing are: Mr Will Piper and Mr Joseph Durrant. The electioners, Richard Hope and John Vine Jr. The company were Mr Jeremiah French, Messrs Joseph and Thomas Fuller, William Piper, Peter Adams, Joseph Burgess, John Potter, Edmund Elphick, Francis Turner, John Watford, John Cayley, Robert Hook and myself. I spent nothing. I came home about 7:40.

I gave Elizabeth Akehurst 6d to her box; do. Thomas [son of Francis] Turner 6d to his box. Read 1 of Tillotson’s sermons. Dined today on a piece of a shin of veal stewed. Just almost as we were going to bed, in came Thomas Fuller, Mr Will Piper and John Cayley, and as Mr Will Piper and T. Fuller are such (what shall I say?) spongers–no, only old Piper—that they must stay and smoke one pipe, they stayed smoking and drinking until they two were very drunk. At last, poor fools, they must quarrel, and for no other reason that I can judge but because Thomas Fuller told that which in my opinion was really true; viz., Master Piper, being lavish of his professions of kindness, and how much he loved his dear neighbor, which at last occasioned Thomas Fuller to tell him that he could never recollect any favor or kindness he ever showed him. But he did remember that once, on some emergent occasion, he wanted to borrow about £4 of him for a few days, but the poor old man would not let him have it, though he [Fuller] was well assured he and the money by him and could have spared it. He told him of many such-like mean actions, which made the poor old man at last so angry that he cried and bellowed about like a great calf. But, however, they all went away about 2 o’clock.

Now let me shift the scene and meditate on the vice of drinking to see how despicable it makes [“me” scratched out] a person look in the eyes of one that is sober. How often does it set the best friends at variance, and even incapacitates a man from acting in any respect like an human being because it totally deprives him of reason. As he is not capable of acting with reason, it is much to be doubted he will be guilty of that which is most vile and sinful. Oh, may the God of all mercy give me his grace always to detest and abhor this vice, and that the obnoxiousness of it may thoroughly work such an impression on my mind that I may never more be guilty of it, and that the many dangers which I have so often been exposed to when I have, as it were, rushed impetuous and headlong into destruction (by drunkenness), from which I have sometimes almost miraculously escaped by the undoubted providence of a all-wise Being! I say, that this may more thoroughly have its due effect upon my mind, let me never forget the goodness of God to his sinful creature, but may I meditate on it day and night that by so doing I may confirm my intentions of never living myself the least liberty of doing anything that small any ways tend to that heinous and ever-to-de-abhorred vice…

Bought a cheese of Mr Piper and gave Dame Burrage 3/5 on the parish account. Paid Dame Trill 3/- in full for keeping Ann Braizer, due today.

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