234 Thomas Hollis to Benjamin Colman

    London, August 8, 1721

    Mr. Benjamin Colman

    Dear Sir

    I have received your letter dated April 5 on the 5 of June and your letters and scheme, signed by you and Mr. President dated May 5 on the 5 July, the night after I had put mine for Mr. Tresurer into the bag, and now again 3 letters from you together by Capt. Letherid August 2 dated June 6—19—26, the last signed by you and Mr. John Leverett.

    I am thankful to heare of the safe arival of my adventures by Tomlinson Osborn and Letherid, hoping the payments of their produce will be made to your Tresurer in due time. There are two more parsels of goods about £150. Star, contracted for and under way in two ships, if it please God they arive safe. Your Tresurer may be able to compute how much more I must send next yeare to compleate my devoted Trust.

    I am told Governor Yale is dead intestate,1 and all his great Promises of settlements for Yale College dead with him, which I am sorry to heare.

    My purpose continues to have ten Students on my foundation and no fewer nor les then ten pounds per annum apeice, if so many are to be found qualified as my institutions direct, and the Professor of Divinity wholly at my charge, that is to say to be paid out of the produce of my Gift for the use of your College.

    Colonel Taylor2 assures me there are good Mortgages to be had for any sums we have occasion for to lett out at six per Cent per annum, and when duely Registered are as secure as free hold estates. If your Tresurer find it so, then it will answer my design, what I purpose to allott for this Servise, though the Professor should have eighty pounds per annum as you think [it] a fitting sallary for that work. When I proposed forty pounds, [I] was thinking it might be performed by one that preached on the Lords day, and that my Gift then of £40 would have done.

    I am willing to allow the Professor the whole sallary as shal be agreed, and thereby not straiten the College incomes, and incorage some other publick spirits to proceed and assist you in obtaining other Professors in the liberal Sciences, which would be of use among you, as it is practised in Universitys abroad.

    Colonel Taylor has been moving me to let one or two years income goe in building a wall and gates to joyne your two Wings and inclose your College Yard, but I am not willing to be diverted in my design, which is of another nature—and leave him and such like Gentlemen to finish what their Eyes see is wanting for ornament to such an useful Pile of building. I am moved by Mr. J. Nesbit the Minister, who married Dr. Chancey’s daughter, to consider his nepheu of Boston now a Student in your College and poor for one exhibition. I tell him I must see with the Corporations eyes. If they judg him a fitt object, according to the rules laid down in my scheme and shal recomend him I shal be wel pleased, and here in shew kindnes to the memory of one whom I knew and vallued.

    In your letter May 5 you nominate to me a 5th Student viz. John Owen for 2 or 3 years from the first of July 1721. The character you give of him and the reasons are satisfying to me therefore I aprove of your nomination. Let him be entred in the register according to this my order.

    In your letter dated June 26 you nominate to me two more Students that I understand are past their first degree, to be continued for 2 yeares more in the College till they take a 2d degree.

    Hull Abbot

    Seth Switzer

    and I doe aprove of them from 1 July 1721 and desire they may be entred accordingly in the Register.

    But pray pardon me if I repeat my caution no Dunces nor Rakes to be continued on my foundation. When a youth has been 3 or 4 years in the house and taken his degree, I desire a new election and recomendation of him, if the Corporation judg him fitt to be continued in the house till he take his second degree, which second election will be more pleasing to me to heare then the first, in asmuch as it will prove he has been diligent and is sober else I am perswaded you will not repeat your Recomendation. And this now will be putting Rules in practice for successors direction and I beseech you to incorage Baptist Students, equally with Pedobaptists. I am perswaded it will promote true Religion, and tend to the peace of the Churches of both denominations, while I live, and them that follow.

    What I write herein pray comunicate to Mr. President Leveret, and give my humble servis to him and to all the Fellowes of the College who are concerned kindly in this affaire. I am mightily pleased with the character you give of the Gentleman, whom you have proposed for to be my first Professor, and have him under my Consideration, but I am thinking, whether I am yet Ripe for a nomination, my Adventures not being yet entred into your Tresurers Cash and after that they are must be placed out to Improvement, to produce the designed maintenance for one and the other purpose. So that if I proceed presently to nominate as your letter urges me to doe, He must be straitned, or he must break in upon the Principle, neither of which is agreable to me at this writing. I also desire to know if this Gentleman be in actual Comunion with some Christian Church—as I formerly hinted—and with whom? In reference to your Scheme for the Professors work, on due Consideration I think it requires some amendments. I give thanks to Mr. Wadsworth for his paper, and to Mr. President and you for yours. It is a foundation to work upon, and I have consulted several worthy Pastors of Churches here, who have studied abroad as at Edenburg—Utrecht—Leyden—and are acquainted with the Professors of Divinity works there, and these Gentlemen expres a great respect to and concern for your University, and would willingly lend any advice they can for your advantage.

    I have desired them to make some little altrations in your scheme, and some remarks as their reasons for so doing which when finished I shall send unto you, for your more mature Consideration beleiving you and they have nothing in Viewe herein but fathering of the Glory of God, promoting good Literature and the true knolege of Theology well understanding of the Sacred Scriptures. May the Lord the Spirit of Truth say Amen.

    My Love to you and all our Freinds.

    Your Loving Friend

    Thomas Hollis

    [Endorsed:] No. 7 received Oct. 28 1721.

    Hollis Letters and Papers, p. 20. A slight tear obscures two words which are easily supplied. The students mentioned have been identified in notes to earlier Hollis letters. Parts are quoted in Quincy, History, i. 533–534 (App. XLV).