267 Thomas Hollis to John Leverett

    [London, January 18, 1722/3]

    Mr. John Leveritt, President

    Reverend Sir

    I have wrote unto you breifly with my Picture by Capt. Cary, which I have newly received tidings is wel arived by a letter from your Treasurer, which I am glad to heare. I now send you my orders and institutions about my devoted Trust in your College, to be hanged up in your hall or disposed of in your Chest as the Corporation pleases, fairely ingrossed signed, sealed and witnessed.

    The Parchment Role you sent me thereof was finely writ, but would not serve for two reasons, and therefore I have had it writ over again at London, and keep a duplicate thereof by me. One reason was, the ink was sunk so white it was scarce legible, the other was, because you had made alterations to my paper onely in that part which related to the Professor, which part I have copied verbatim, but I expected you would have amended the other part also. Not finding any, I reviewed it, and I think mended it in some things, expressing my meaning more strongly, though possibly not so wel, as if you had helped me, promising my self your Corporation wil follow my directions, and keep to my Rules, as neere as they can. I have not added the clause relating to my Successors, which I told you in a former letter I had by me, because I am willing to see what Acts or Obligations, your Corporation wil send me, to satisfy me and my Successors; that they wil at all times keep my Trust inviolable, and not divert it from my written orders and Rules. If I live any years I shal judg by what I heare of their practice and shal be glad to find by experience no cause of adding it to my Will, according to the Power I reserve to my self still to do.

    I thank you Sir and all the Gentlemen concerned in the wise and decent manner of inducting my Professor into his work, the account whereof I have received with pleasure from my estemed freind Mr. Benjamin Colman and I do humbly hope God wil attend it with success, and that I may heare there of and Rejoice. If it were not too much trouble, I should be glad to see a coppy of your and his Oration on that occasion, if you so see fitt, but I shal not urge it.

    I am greatly grieved to heare that any Ministers in New England should return to the Discipline and Ceremonies of the Church of England, from whence their Fathers Reformed, how melancholly is the thought! We have now had for a number of years at London our publick meetings for Religious Worship undisturbed blessed be God, but I feare should that Clergy recover power as formerly, our numerous Assemblys would soon be greatly thin’d, the rising generation not having studied the reasons of our separation and by the Rest the Churches injoyed, possibly Parents, have been deficient in instructing their familys.

    May Ministers in New England be now helped of God to manage in this Controversy, which I think is of far greater concerne to you then formerly with a few Quakers and Baptists, I say to manage with a spirit and temper of Christian Love and Charity; Yet to assert and maintaine on proper occasions, your Reasons for your Practice as plainly and as strongly as you can in the College and in the Pulpit.

    Dummers management for Yale College gave me grounds to suspect a Snake in the grass. I am sorry to see it verified, and it justifies me Sir when I wrote to you about my Professor and the reasons why I guarded and limited so as I did. I should be glad if your Corporation on a vacancy should think fitt to chuse my Professor a Fellow thereof. I think it might be of service to you, he residing in the College with you.45 It is not my meaning in my orders to prevent it, but to restraine him from being a Tutor. One work I thought enuf for him, but I presume not to direct in this affaire, onely I thought proper to explain my self thus for Mr. Wadsworths satisfaction, who doubted my meaning. If I may offer my privat thoughts to you Sir without being estemed medling in matters out of my province, the number of Students in your College being now increased to neere 200, according to the account sent me by Mr. Severs, I think the Number of Fellows of your Corporation should be increased, if you can manage it legally and in Love, by an explanatory act of your Governour and Councill with the Bord of Overseers, and take your Resident Tutors in the honorable name of Fellows. But I beseech you Sir take it not amiss I thus presume to offer my private thoughts. When you have Received these my Orders and Institutions of my Trust signed sealed and Witnessed, I suppose your Method is to enter them in some book of Register among your former benefactors, and then I intreat all my former, imperfect papers, may be cancelled and destroyed, and this Parchment Roll remain for your direction. I am now herewith sending over Bills to your Treasurer, with which I hope he will cleare at once all I have ordred to be paid and remains due at or about your annual Audit in my Seperate Trust account, and so to continue payments as need requires in your College Method whether half a yeare or yearly, so that a clear ballance be made once a yeare and sent me to London.

    While my money remains at 6 pC Intrest, if that be wel paid I hope what I now add wil allow a little expence on a day to be apointed annually, for your self and the Corporation and Tutors with my Professor and Ten Students and any other you Sir please to invite in comemoraition of the Founder, of which if you shal think wel, let me have your advice the summe convenient to be allotted and a proper day to be apointed and I wil give directions and order accordingly.

    My sincere Respects to you Sir and to all the Fellows and Tutors of Your College.

    Reverend Sir

    Your very humble Servant

    Thomas Hollis

    Hollis-Leverett mss, Houghton Library. See Nos. 223 and 236 for an account of different versions of Hollis’s Orders and Rules.