247 Judah Monis to the President and Fellows

    Cambridge, May 22th AD 1722

    To the Reverend President and the Other Reverend Members of the Corporation of Harvard College

    Reverend Gentlemen

    I have been informed of the Honour you have put upon me, in chusing me to be a Teacher of the Hebrew Language in your College. The respect you have shown to me in this choice, I heartily and Thankfully acknowledge, and I hope you will interpret these Lines as Testimonies of my Gratitude. Tho’ I Believe I Could betake my selfe to such secular Business as by the ordinary blessing of Providence would promote my worldly interest and estate more than what I can expect by instructing Youth in the Hebrew; Yet I find my selfe steadily inclined and willing to spend my time (if Providence favour the Design) in Giving the best instructions I can in the aforesaid Language, To all such member of the College as shall be desirous to Learn of me. I Think the more acquainted the Ministers of the Gospel are with the Hebrew Tongue, and so with the old Testament, the Better able they will be to understand the New Testament and so to preach our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ who was spoken of by all the old Testament Prophets. But however necessary I may apprehend the knowledge of the Hebrew Language to be, and however willing and disposed I may be to teach it; yet Reverend Gentlemen I hope you will give me Leave to say, that the Salary you have voted as an incouragement or Reward for my Labour, is not sufficient to support me. It is not sufficient to support me in my single state, much Less if I should enter into a maried state (which I have some hope of doing.) If I should speedily enter on the service you have chosen me to, necessary furniture for a Chamber in College can’t cost me much less than thirty five Pounds. But if I had such furniture by me already (which certainly I have not) yet the salary you have voted would not suffice to support me thro’ the year. I hope Gentlemen you will candidly interpret this representation of my case, and if you continue to desire my being an instructor in the Hebrew in your College, I hope you will please to think of some methods wherby a proper support and maintainance may be afforded to me, and I shall count my selfe greatly oblig’d if you will Let me know your minds in this matter as soon as you conveniently can.

    I am Reverend Gentlemen,

    with great gratitude and respect

    one of your humble servants

    Judah Monis

    College Papers, i. 64 (No. 138). Quoted in Sibley, Sketches (Shipton), vii. 642; his salary was increased from £50 to £70 a year.