London August 31, 1721
Mr. President Leverit
Mr. Benjamin Colman
and the other Gentlemen of the Corporation.
I have received your letters of May 5 and June 26 recommending 3 students to my nomination, and a Scheme to set forth the work of a Professor of Divinity, as also the character of a Gentleman proposed for that Service, for all which I give thanks.
I have alreddy written letters which answer in part, and what concerns the Corporation in them, I doubt not will be communicated—one to Mr. Colman dated 8 August—one to Mr. Tresurer White, I think dated 15 August—in some of which I have consented those Students you propose be entred on my Donation, and repeated my thoughts and purpose to have Ten Students at £10 per Annum at my charge, if so many offer, qualified according to my Institutions and one Professor of Divinity, wholly at my charge, whose work shal be onely to traine up and fitt men for the Pulpit, in all useful knolege of divine and sacred Truths, leaving the teaching of the other Sciences to Other Professors or Tutors. I take the whole charge on my self, though more than first projected being convinced by the reasons you have sugested, and unwilling to straiten your College Revenues.
I crave your excuse if I defer a little the nomination of the Professor, by reason my adventures are not yet entred into cash, out of the Produce whereof, these donations must be paid; and till I have your answer to the altrations I make in the Scheme you sent, and some farther account of the Gentleman as to his Comunion, my present guard, as example for future is, against an Episcopalian so called.
I observe by the clause of your charter sent me your Corporation is limited to £500 per annum. How much you have alredy in donations I know not but would supose it to be about that summe; if so, then when you are invested fully with my donations, which must be neere or about £200 per Annum intrest money, I aprehend you will need some new Powers, which caused my former hint or Query about it unto you.
I send you herewith my orders and Institutions dated August 19, 1721 all written with my own hand. Therefore pray cancell the Rules sent you the beginning of this yeare and let this paper be preserved with you unles I see fitt to alter and amend in my Life. There is some small alterations made to your Scheme for a Divinity Professor, by some judicious Learned Divines whom I have consulted and desired them to subjoine their reasons for so doing, which out of a great respect to your Corporation they have done and signed them with their names, which paper I here also send unto you. And when you have considred of, I presume will be approved by you, as well as my plan or Forme of what he shall promise at his Inauguration.
If there be any thing to be altred, by addition or blotting out or putting into a better forme, when you have duely considred of the matters, I shall be glad to be informed, and if you could send me over a Coppy of the whole fairly writt with such needful amendments as your prudence shall think fitt then I may sign and seale it before proper Wittnesses and return it unto you.
I was thinking to have added but was reddy to presume or take it for granted that my Students before nomination should be fitted for the University by a proper skill in grammar Learning, and I ask your advice if needful to be added.
And also another thing, relating to the 2d election for two years more, I have restrained it to my Students. I Query if it might not be proper to leave it more at large, in the power of the Corporation, if they find any others fitting objects, as by some providence may be reduced, and need farther helps for their staying 2 years longer then first designed.
I keep coppies by me of these papers, so that if your altrations you may make, shal be but few, I may on your notice easily transcribe them anew, without trobling of you to write over the whole, recomending my self herein to your Wisdom for assistance that the Students upon my foundation for whom these Lectures are designed be obliged to attend them. I designed to have had my good freind Mr. I. Watts hand to these papers—he lived about nine years in my family on his setting out in the Ministry but he is gone to Bath the day before the paper was finisht.
If you shall now approve of these Rules and orders, be it with some small alterations, complying there with as much as circumstances will beare and the Gentleman consent to them, I shall be then ready as I hope on your Recomendation to Approve of the Nomination.
And whereas I limit his election for Five Years, with your advice and not for Life yet he behaving himself well hinders not his being chosen again, at the end of that Term and if I should be continued in life to heare of it, I shall be more pleased with such his reelection then with the First. I choose to note this here, and now, to prevent any discoragement that might arise in the Gentlemans mind, who is to be chosen. I am concerned in two Corporations in London, where we chuse sundry Officers annually but have not remarked any to have been dismist, but by Death.
Having thus largely explained my self, I Pray God to give you Wisdom and Prudence in setling and finishing this affaire, which has so much exercised my thoughts these two years past, that I might see it done—leaving the ishue and success unto the Lord—with tenders of my sincere Respects and Affection.
Your humble Servant and
I have Received yesterday by Capt. Barlow a letter dated June 23 signed Josiah Willard Sec. returning thanks for my bounty to your College in the name of your General Court, which I desire to accept in all humility of mind, and thanks to God that my offring is acceptable to them. May our Common Lord accept it and Succeed my design and their Wishes. Pray let my most humble Servis be presented to all them on a proper occasion, who have done me this great Honour. Thomas Hollis
Hollis-Leverett mss, Houghton Library. See No. 223 for earlier Orders, with later additions, and No. 236 for the Rules and Form sent at this time.