London Feb. 24, 1720/21
Mr. John Leverit President
Mr. Benj. Colman
Your letter to me dated July 22, 1720 which I answered I think about the 23 September aproving the Students you recomended, and made several farther Queries, to which I am waiting an answer. Towards the close of your letter, you propose to my consideration, that I should apropriate an Income to make an honorable stipend for a Professor of Divinity to read Lectures in the Hall to the Students. At first I was much surprized at the Motion, not doubting but your College of so long standing had been wel furnisht with Professors as wel as Tutors. And indeed it has caused many thoughts in my Mind, by the delay of an answer, which I Presume is not your fault, but by occasion of the ships missing her Passage. I have taken your motion into considration, thinking it a particular call of Providence to me to comply with it, hoping it may be of publick service, by the blessing of God, if a fitt Person be chosen, and it be put into a proper Method. Therefore I have inlarged my designed Bounty to your College, and send goods now by two Ships, alredy contracted for, and the Bills of Exchange goes with this ship payable to your Tresurer, if it please our good God to insure them safe to Boston.
I now send herewith my Orders and Institutions, relating to this bounty, as my present thoughts, to be farther altered, amended and confirmed, as you shal advise me, and if God spare my life, if not these Orders must be your Rule, and serve for a general Direction, in the Management of my Trust, which you have shown so great a redines to accept the burden of.
I am the quicker in doing of it now because of the season of the Yeare possibly I may have your more mature and judicios thoughts in Summer so as to have time to Reply, and finish over a new what may be wanting in this present direction, which said Orders must serve till a new one comes to your hands. If you will be so good as to consult with the rest of your Brethren the Fellowes of your College, and draw me out a coppy, how you would advise me to act herein, and send it me over, so soon as you can, for my consideration, and transcribing, I shall take it very kindely. My design is at present to make the following provision for
Ten students at Ten pounds per Annum each
Stypend for a Professor of Divinity
For the Tresurer keeping and passing an anual account
for some necessary expences on the Trust
now if you think what I here allott to the Professor and to the accomptant is too little, I shal be willing to take your opinions into a reconsideration.
I am also thinking if the nature of Purchases in your Country admit it to make a good purchase that might bring in five per cent income pretty surely paid—I had rather my moneys were so secured—then placed out at Interest at six per cent, of this I have writ to your Tresurer, and wait for your joint answer.
I presume that if you can make a Purchase your General Court would willingly come in to it, to make an Act—to confirm it as my Gift and Trust to your College for the uses I have exprest—or shal hereafter more fully expres, when I have your serious advice returned me—in the mean while I doubt not but Mr. Tresurer will place out the Money to Interest and keep it so for to raise the designed Income. Pray inform me why you did advise me to limit the time of my exhibitions to students, until they take their first degree, whether there be provision made alredy for such as continue longer their studyes, and so do not need it as before?
I also Query about this designed Professor—for lectures of Divinity publickly in the Hall, if my Stypend above mentioned shal be thought honorable—all the Students in the College wil have liberty to attend them Gratis. Whether the Students of my foundation may not be some how favored in one or other of their chargs more then the rest, as you shal consider and think fitt. I am thinking to insert; and pray your consideration, to limit that our designed Professor shal be alwayes One actually in Comunion with some Church, one of the three denominational Independent, Presbiterian, or Baptist and that there be a new election free—every three or five or seven years—or when there is a vacancy by Death or Remove if sooner—and this to be confirmed by act of the general Assembly. I am also thinking my Exhibitions should not be possitively limitted to four years. If any Religious man of very promising parts should be desiros to abide longer in the College and to pursue his Studys be it five, six, not ex[ce]eding seven years whether I should not leave it in the power of the Corporation to continue my exhibition to him, and that when he is called out to servise, and quits the College then for to cease paying him my Exhibition.
I have read the contents of this letter to my Cousin Neale1 and praied him to consider of it, and if he shal write to any of you on any perticulars in it, what thoughts he may sugest to you, the answer you shal give to him, he wil comunicate to me, for my thoughts wil not now cease working til this affaire be brought to a happy conclusion—and the sooner the better, if the Lord please. If the goods underway arive all safe, I design to forward to you as soon as I can the remainder to make up my proposed annual income, as mentioned above.
There goes now by these Ships Bills of Exchang for Mr. Boyles gift to your College inter aliis at 250 per cent which is a better return then you have formerly had, I was much displeased with Mr.—for setling the exchange so lowe, last time, making a private gaine, out of publick charity, which the more extensive the better. Pray accept my sinceer thanks for your reddines to further this good work, and excuse my weaknesses and troble I give you by my Questions, and may our blessed Lord Jesus accept it, and succeed it, and be with you all by the influences of his good Spirit, make you more fruitful in all your publick administrations, promoting Truth in Love—and your selvs feel the inward plesure of doing wel—so prays
Your Loving Freind and
very humble Servant
Hollis-Leverett ms, Houghton Library. There were two copies, this one by Capt. Lethered, the other by Capt. Osborne; a note, dated June 7, states “accipi and communicavi.”