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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Diary of Rev. T. J. Tenney, 1840

Source: Charles Foster Whitman, A history of Norway, Maine: from the earliest settlement to the close of the year 1922 [] (Lewiston, Me.: Lewiston Journal Printshop and Bindery, 1924).
[p. 311]
Diary of Rev. T. J. Tenney
Rev. Timothy J. Tenney, whose biographical sketch appears in the chapter on churches and clergymen, was pastor of the Universalist Society in Norway for six years. He had literary tastes and attainments and kept a diary. It is thought that extracts from it during the time he resided in Norway will be of special interest to a large number of many of the old families, with which he was connected, and of sufficient general interest to warrant its publication in this part of the history.

[p. 312]
Jan. 1—Rode to Hiram to deliver a temperance lecture. In the evening had a small meeting—cold house and but little light. After lecture returned to Br. Paine's in Brownfield.

Jan. 2—Visited I. B. P. G. (his future wife). Glad to find her well or almost well. If I am interested for any one it is for her. May the wisdom of God save her for a long and happy life—for many innumerable blessings to her and those around her.

Jan. 3—Returned to Fryeburg (where he was then located).

Jan. 5—Preached from Isa. 55:1, 2, and Heb. 9:27. Cold and small meeting.

Jan. 8—Rode to Waterford. In the evening Brs. Burr of Portland and Thompson of Westbrook arrived to attend the discussion. Had a conference with Mr. Hotchkiss who was attended by Messrs. Brown and Sawyer.

Jan. 9—About 10 o'clock started for the Wesleyan Chapel, (was this in Norway?) in company of a number of clergymen. Discussion commenced after a brief address to the throne of grace by Mr. Brown, a Methodist, and continued till 1 o'clock P.M. At 1:30 it was resumed and continued to 4:30. Br. Thompson closed with prayer. This is the first public controversy I have been engaged in and it may be the last, but I do not find anything to regret, after a careful review of the controversy, and never felt more at ease or had a better command of myself than in the very heat of the discussion. I do not know what others may think of it, but I am fully persuaded, that the doctrine of endless punishment must have abler defenders than Mr. H. (Hotchkiss) or fall forever.

Jan. 12—Preached in Portland from I Tim. 5:8, Matt. 6:9, and in the evening from I Sam's 18:1. Br. Burr preached for me in Lovell.

Jan. 13—Visited Br. Thompson in W.

Jan. 22—Took Izah and rode to Sebago to see Rebecca. From S. to Hiram to visit Br. Spring. Today is my birthday, and I never spent it more pleasantly. Thirty-three, and all these years have passed in a single life. I would not have thought it when I was 16. For good reasons I have lived as I have.—This is my confidence but next April a dear object I shall hope will be mine forever.

Jan. 23—Very stormy but rode to D. covered with snow and yet there was not enough of it to cool the warmth of reciprocal affection.

Jan. 26—And I am yet in D. Did not preach but heard a sermon read by Dr. Sawyer.

Jan. 27—Rode home. On my way visited the school in Dist. No. 1.

Jan. 29—In my study, 30, 31.

Feb. 1—Reading and writing. Have been reading two works,—one from the pen of Byron and the other of Mrs. Hemans. That of Byron is very like him—masculine and in many places not very chaste, but hers if I mistake not, comes from a heart that has had its portion of sorrow.

Feb. 2—Preached from Rev. 21:4 and Rom. 6:1, 2. In the Spirit.

Feb. 3—Visited the school in the Pike neighborhood.

[p. 313]
Feb. 5, 6, 7, 8—In my study reading and writing. (There are many such entries in the Diary.)

Feb. 9—Preached in L. from Cor. 2:9, and Matt. 13:37-43. In the evening rode to Sweden.

Feb. 12—Arrived in Norway.

Feb. 16—Preached in Norway. (Br. R. preached for me in Fryeburg), from Rom. 6:1, 2, and I Sam'l 18:1. In the evening rode to Bridgton, where I heard Mr. Hotchkiss on Conditional Salvation, to whose discourse I am to reply on the eve of the 23rd.

Feb. 19—Rode to Br. Poor's in B.

Feb. 20—Continued on to the Corner, (where Miss G. was)—found all well.

Feb. 22—Rode home, found all well.

Feb. 24—Attended the funeral of a little child of Br. Elliot Smith. Text, Mark 10:14, "Suffer little children to come unto Me," etc.

Feb. 26—Reading Bancroft's History of the United States. He is one of the best historians I have ever read.

Feb. 28—At home, sweet home.

Feb. 29—Attended general muster and rode to Fryeburg with Br. T. J. Whitehead.

Mar. 1—Preached in Bridgton from Matt. 6:9, and 5:44. Br. Bartlett preached for me in Fryeburg.

Mar. 3—Rode to Brownfield in company with Izah, who is to spend a few days at Bro. Paine's.

Mar. 5—P.M. walked to Shane Hill.

Mar. 8—Preached in Lovell my farewell sermon there—the last of 3 years, from Gen. 1:3 and Ps. 138:2. Today, too, I am published to Miss Izah B. P. Gibson. God make her and my life a happy one.

Mar. 9—Walked home.

Mar. 11—Walked down to the P. O. expecting to get a letter from Norway and one from Denmark, but alas! alas! I found none. Izah, what has become of you? It is like passing from a warm bath into an ice house, so great is my disappointment.

Mar. 13—Visited in South Chatham and Stow. The day has been spent without any uncommon occurrence.

Mar. 15—Preached my farewell sermon—the last of three and a half years.

Mar. 30—Walked to Denmark, and a muddy and rainy walk it was, too, but one who finds such no worse, for so good an object, needs not to be bowed down with sorrow.

Apr. 3—Gave a lecture in D.

Apr. 5—This is the first Sunday I have lost for want of an appointment for a number of years. I have spent the day reading Miller on the end of the world.

Apr. 7—From Harrison at Br. Smith's walked to Norway.

Apr. 8—Rode to Denmark. On the way took in Sam'l F. Gibson.

Apr. 9—Married today by Br. Rand at 9 A.M., and at 11 A.M., left for my boarding place, accompanied by the groomsman and bridesmaid as far as Brownfield.

[p. 314]
Apr. 10—Preached from Acts 22:10 and James 1:27. In the eve. rode over to D. after my wife.

Apr. 11—Returned to N., bringing Izah and Rebecca.

Apr. 12—Preached from James 1:27 and Rom. 8:21 to quite a large audience. Returned to Fryeburg in the evening.

Apr. 14—Attended the funeral of Br. Nathan P. Pierce in Hiram. Nathan was a good man.

Apr. 16—Rode to Norway. Had a call to preach there. Shall accept it.

Apr. 17—Returned home.

Apr. 18—Spent the day with Izah. Some over a week since marriage. Not long enough to determine that I am a good husband.

Apr. 19—Preached in F. from John 14:15, and Rev. 15:1. Large attendance and good attention.

Apr. 22—Reading papers and chatting with Izah.

Apr. 25—Rode to Norway. Called at Br. Blake's, dined at Br. Hapgood's on trout. Spent the night at Br. Tucker's.

Apr. 26—Preached in N. for my first Sabbath of a year's engagement. Texts Matt. 26:24, and Matt. 5:44. Full meeting and good attention.

Apr. 27—Rode to D. to get a peep at Izah and the next day went to F. to settle my affairs with the society.

June 28—Preached at N. Paris from Rev. 15:1 and 2 Peter 1:5, 6, 7.

July 3—Walked to Br. S. Cobb's. Here we met with an old lady almost 90. She is strong in the faith. All of her family gone, but a day is coming when she will join them and they will be stronger reunited—branch to branch and limb to limb.

July 4—Sixty-four years since the Declaration of Independence of the U. S. Thirteen little states July 4, 1776. Now there are twice that number and their inhabitants are a hundred to one. May we never forget to praise God for his wonderful goodness.

July 5—Preached at N. Norway from 2 Peter, 1:5, 6, 7 and Rev. 15:1. We had a full meeting and good attention. In the eve. rode home.

July 10-—Rode to D. with Izah.

July 12—Preached in D. from 1 Tim. 5:8 and Luke 2:14. Good attention.

July 19—Preached in F. from Matt. 3:2, and Rev. 15:1. Br. French preached for me in N.

July 25—Have been reading the play called Timon. It was not without reason that the principal personage became a man-hater if we admit, it is ever right to curse man for his inhumanity.

July 26—Preached from Matt. 3:2, and Heb. 5:9. I know not what may have been the impression of the congregation with regard to the forenoon discourse, but I have not been so much in the spirit for some time past.

Aug. 2—Preached from Job. 28:28 and Rom. 10:8.

Aug. 7—Walked to D.

[p. 315]
Aug. 8—Spent the day in resting and in forming a society. The meeting for this purpose a most pleasant one. All but one or two came forward and put their names to the constitution.

Aug. 12—A.M. went a fishing. P.M. made a few calls. Evening heard Br. Thayer at our house.

Aug. 13—A.M. went a gunning. P.M. rainy.

Aug. 16—Preached at N. Norway from Matt. 6:9-13 and Ezekiel 18:20. In eve. at Br. Sam'l Cobb's from Titus 2:11, 12.

Aug. 20—Visited Col. Millett and Br. Bartlet in company with wife and Mary Ann B. Was very well entertained.

Aug. 22—Rode to D. with Br. John Tucker.

Aug. 23—Preached in D. from Prov. 22:2 and Eze. 18:20.

Aug. 27—Called on the brethren at the Cape (South Paris). Fortunately met with some men from Weare, N. H., from whom I learned that my father was well.

Aug. 28—Dug potatoes of my own cultivation.

Aug. 30—Preached from I Sam'l 17:47, and Matt. 16:26.

Sept. 2—Visited Br. Howe of Sumner and Br. Washburn of Paris. Obtained a Sunday's preaching at P. for Br. Cobb.

Sept. 3—P.M. Heard Br. Cobb at our church and in the course of his remarks he gave us the origin of the word tantalus.

Sept. 6—Preached from Matt. 1:21 and Ps. 19:7, 8, 9. Small meeting.

Sept. 18—Preached from Dan. 10:21 and Prov. 22:6. In the evening lectured in Cape Village to a full house.

Oct. 2—Rode home.

Oct. 4—Preached on Paris Hill from II Sam'l, 18:5 and Isa. 45:23, 24. Br. Bartlett preached for me in Denmark. The attendance on the hill was as good as I expected.

Oct. 22—P.M. attended a political meeting on Paris Hill. The court house was full.

Oct. 23—P.M. attended a political meeting at the Cape. Yesterday I heard a democrat and today a whig. Hon. F. O. J. Smith was the speaker today. His speech was full of misrepresentations.

Oct. 25—My afternoon discourse was for the young ladies, and I am happy to record that there were many of them to hear it.

Oct. 30—Rode to D. with Izah to visit her old home, sweet home again.

Nov. 2—Rode home and voted for the democratic electors.

Nov. 8—P.M. church occupied for funeral services of old Mr. David Woodman, father-in-law of Br. Bartlett and Mrs. Shackley. The congregation was very large.

Nov. 16—Came home from D. On the way called at Br. Smith's in Harrison. His wife sick with a fever, and low in spirits, and fears she won't get well. I gave her what comfort I could and urged her to keep herself as cheerful as possible, concluded my call with reading and prayer.

Nov. 23—Preached in D. from Cor. 2:9, and Matt. 26:24—full meeting and good attention. In the eve. lectured at Bridgton, according to appointment.

[p. 316]
Nov. 26—Thanksgiving. Preached from the 100th Ps. Very few hearers. Took supper with the family of Br. Benj. Tucker.

Nov. 30—Voted at special election for Hon. Mr. Littlefield of Bridgton for M. C. The elections this year have gone against us. Hard cider, log cabins and "Tip" songs have done for the whigs what good sound argument could never have accomplished. The ignorance of the rabble has been the defeat of republicanism.

Dec. 7, 8—Spent in writing for the Magazine and Palladium.

Dec. 13—Preached from Rom. 1:16 and Dan. 12:1, 2. Cold and rainy day—about 40 hearers. Good attention. Though this turn out in such a village as ours, might seem very small, there is some comfort in the fact that at the other houses, they had no preaching for lack of hearers.

Dec. 14—Helped my poor Izah in some of her household work. I'm afraid I didn't help much for the want of experience.

Dec. 16—Playing truant. Don't be alarmed, for ministers sometimes play the truant. In the eve, I heard a very instructive lecture on phrenology, by a Mr. Bryant.

Dec. 17—Father Gibson and Edwin left us this morning for home.

Dec. 18—Reading about the French Revolution. Very much interested in the book.


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