Harvard College Records

    Part V

    Documents, 1722–1750

    251 Thomas Hollis to Benjamin Colman

    London June 8, 1722

    Mr. Benj. Colman

    Reverend Sir—

    On the 14 March I received two letters from you dated 20, 24 January with account of Mr. E. Wigglesworth recomendation to me from the bord of Overseers to be my first Professor and of Mr. Hutchinson being chosen Tresurer, and his acceptance of the Charge for which letters I return you my thanks. And as you hinted to me, so I have for-born answering till I saw the alt rations you would make in my Orders. By Capt. Osborne who came to London 17 May I have received your letter dated 12 February and the Vellym writing by Mr. Gilbert, also your packet for Mr. Neale, which I sent to his house imediatly. I wrote unto you a long letter, Feb. 2, by Capt. Tucker and a smal box of books I hope is come safe to your hand to which I refer. I wrote the 17 May to the Tresurer—by Capt. Norwood—and sent the letter to the Ship in the Downes, I hope will arive safe.

    I desire my thanks may be returned on a proper occasion to the Honorable and the Reverend bord of Overseers, for their kind message to me, and acceptance of my donations for the good of Harvard College, perticularly to his Exellency the Governor for his kind management in your debates on my orders, of which I had some account by another hand, and was thinking to have writ him a letter of thanks, but not being used to converse much with my Superiors, men in great places, I discoraged myself.

    Your present Tresurer promising me to take care of my Trust and to send me accounts so soon as he can I hope I shal not have occasion to be so troblesome to you for the future as I have been in some of my past letters during this depending affaire of the College, but I could not help it, and hope your goodnes wil excuse it, and the work beare a pleasure in the Review. My Ten Students being now ordred to be filled up, I would desire from the proper hand that keeps the Register, an account out of the book to see how they stand entred their Names—Ages—continuance and the dates when they goe off—or to be rechosen.

    And if it were not too much trouble for the Young Men, I would ask of each one to send me a short Epistle with account of their present studies—if any think it is most decent for them to write in Lattin, I add my request, they would write it over again in English, for it is now by disuse too troblesome to me to understand the beautys of Lattin, but whereas some of my Neihbors may haply have the curiosity, to dip into one or another, charge them to write true Lattin—that I may have a little pleasure with them by paper Commerce, whose future service I am indevoring to promote. Pray give my Christian salutations to Mr. Wadsworth for his care in wel ordring my Trust. Also my servis to Mr. Henry Gibbs1 with thanks for his little book. I think it agrees wel with Mr. Gilberts little essay on sin and guilt, Grace &c.&c., a treatise I greatly esteem—

    I have written to Mr. President and the Corporation my aproval of the persons recomended to fill up the number of my Students in a letter dated June 6 by Capt. Osborne. I have also aproved of the general choice of Mr. Wigglesworth for Professor of Divinity and desired he may be solemnly and honorably inducted into his office, and his Stipend of £80 per Annum to commence from your usual audit, 1722. I have read over your faire coppy of my orders as amended by your bord of Overseers and approve of them, depending on your judgment that for the present it is best, tho I am of opinion when the Professor has been two or three years in the Chaire, and has formed his systems, it will not then be difficult to him, to read Lectures twice a week, being onely Repetetur and some new ocasional thoughts. I have not yet signed it, waiting for the Tresurers regular accounts, or cheifly I am thinking to add some clause more binding, that my Heires or Successors may have power to see my Rules and orders fulfilled, according as I hinted to you last yeare in my letter. I have written a letter to Mr. Wigglesworth dated June 6, perhaps he may shew it unto you. I am sorry to heare of some mens spirits and grieved I have occasion to say so much of my own perticular perswasion about Baptism, a point I am far from imposing on any, nor for writing or discoursing about unles necessarily called unto it.

    I have received your letter dated March 12, with a perticular account of the uneasiness the Tutors in the College give the Corporation which I am sorry for, humility is a noble Christian Vertue, and seeks good, and injoys present Peace. It is no new thing for men of Diotophres temper to covet after more Rule and Power then belongs to their Station; tis Wisdom sometimes to part with some what of Right, to prevent greater Quarells. I hope God will direct you all to follow the things that make for Peace. In the close of your said letter you acquaint me with the publiek Baptism of Judah Monis,2 who was estemed here an ingenious and Learned man. I pray God grant his conversion may be sincere and in his owne time multiply their Numbers. I have not yet known one of many in my time among the Jews pretending to Christianity, but what after some time have grown formalists or proved Hipocrites. I dare not judg your Convert; I shal rejoyce he may by his after course evidence his sincerity. I am told he is an Italian Jew, and you can gues at their education. It was one Mr. Arias a modest and Learned Jew in London, known to Mr. J. Monis, of whom I inquired, being accidentally in his Company, the same hour I received your said letter, but when he heard he was turned Christian, he would say no more then I’ve Writ. May my sincere Love and affection be acceptable unto you

    Deare Sir

    Your affectionate Friend

    Thomas Hollis.


    I must pray you have regard to the Rules relating to my Trust which you have by you under my hand till such time as I return you the faire Coppy, signed in forme with your Amendments. I desire the Students letters may be sealed up in one packet and on the outside written for the Captain to deliver with his own hand to me, to prevent its going to our post office.

    P S

    June 3 1722

    Since I finisht the foregoing letter, I received yours dated May 1, with one inclosed for Mr. Evans, which I sent him presently. I am glad to find you received my letters by Capt. Tucker and that my little box of Books was acceptable to your Corporation. Mr. Evans lives neare me in Prescot street goodmans feilds. I am very sorry for the story you give me of your Deare Joye.3 I am not well enuf apprized of your Parishes and method of the Ministers maintenance among you, to give advice in so troblesom an affaire. You know in England we are under Bishops and Patrons who place over us Ministers at pleasure and inforce us to pay Tythes. But we who are Dissenters we chuse our own Minister and settle Churches and maintain them at our own charges Over and above our Tythes; if this case be so, I have the les to say. I suppose Mr. Callenders members, pay to the Ministry in the places where they live, besides what allowance they make to their Pastor, He not being on your national establishment. About a yeare since you gave a certificate to an Irish Minister, whom I releived—and advised—but I supose he did not follow it. I hope you will inform your self wel before you recomend a stranger to me again. What you write of Dr. Mathers advising to allow your new Convert some maintenance out of my devoted moneys, I have confidence in the present corporation they will not alter my intended purposes, (which are sacred to me) without my leave, while I live, whatever changes in my rules or orders may come into their heads to make when I am dead. I repeate agan that I am Yours &c.

    Thomas Hollis

    [Endorsed:] No. 11.

    Hollis Letters and Papers, p. 29.