106 Draft of President Mather’s Reply

    [September 2 1695]

    By way of Reply to the vote of the Corporation Meeting at Cambridge August 5 1695.

    1. 1. I do most affectionatly Thank my Reverend and dear Brethren of the Corporation for their respects both now and at all Times Manifested.1
    2. 2. Had the Representatives of the province, but so much as thanked me for my past cares and endeavors to promote the wellfare of the Colledge with a signification of their desiring my continuance in that service untill I could see my way clear to remove my station to Cambridge, or untill the Corporation should see cause to think of some other sutable person to preside there, I should not have refused (tho I had not received the least pennyfarthing for all my paines) to have hazarded the impairing my health and shortning my life with Labours to serve the publick interest in that Society.
    3. 3. Considering that the Representatives have not done this in any of their votes (which I have seen) but have by several unkind votes reflected on me, and that from Time to Time yea from year to year. And this not ignorantly, but after that the Corporation who know the state of the Colledge, and are best able to judge what may be most conducing to the wellfare thereof, had in a Remonstrance sett before them the true state of it. And considering, that in their vote of June 15 1695, they have desired the Corporation to choose another President in my stead, unless I will comply with proposals dishonourable to the presidentship, and injurious to my Family, and unto which the Church whereto I stand related will not consent.2 And considering, that in their vote of August 16 they insinuate that my being concerned as hitherto will occasion the Colledge and the Churches to suffer, notwithstanding they were informed that the Corporation had but a few dayes before signified that which is of another tenor.3 This ingratitude, these unkindnesses have made such an impression on my spirit, as that I am by no arguments to be induced to remove my habitation to Cambridge, nor to be any longer concerned as president of the Colledge: but I do hereby absolutely discharge my selfe from all Relation to that Society. If any ill consequence to the publick should happen hereupon, the guilt of it, will not ly upon the Corporation, nor upon mee but wholly and solely on the province-Representative.4 But it is my prayer to God that He will graciously please to send them a president more capable of doing them good then I have bin.

    College Papers, i. 19 (No. 43). This is in Mather’s handwriting. There is also a fair copy in another hand (College Papers, Supplement, i. 13, No. 27) at the bottom of which Mather wrote: “Presented to the Corporation at Cambridge Sept. 2 1695. But they did [. . .] desire me not to [. . .]”. Differences in the two versions are noted in the following footnotes.