« PrécédentContinuer »
overseers with uneasie fears, lest the students, by his means, should come to be ensnared: Which uneasiness was at length so signified unto him, that on October 24, 1654, he presented unto the overseers an instruinent under his hands; wherein he resigned the Presidentship, and they accepted his resignation. That brave old man Johannes Amos Commenius, the fame of whose worth hath been trumpetted as far as more than three languages (whereof every one is indebted unto his Janua) could carry it, was indeed agreed withal, by our Mr. Winthrop in his travels through the low countries, to come over into New-England, and illuminate this Colledge and country, in the quality of a President: But the solicitations of the Swedish Ambassador, diverting him another way, that incomparable Moravian became not an American. On November 2, 1654, Mr. Richard Mather and Mr. Norton were employed by the overseers to tender unto Mr. Charles Chancey the place of President, which was now become vacant; who, on the twenty-seventh day of that month, had a solemn Inauguration thereunto. A person he was, of whom 'tis not easie to say too much; but let it here be enough to recite the words of Mr. Increase Mather (who now succeeds him) in one of his orations:
"Cl. Ille Chancæus, quem CAROLUM magnum, jure optimo nominare possumus : Fuit ille senex venerandus, linguarum et artium præsidiis instructissimus, gymnasiarcha præclarè doctus ; qui in filiis prophetarum erudiendis fidelem navavit operam omnemque diligentiam adhibuit. Abitus et obitus tanti viri, Collegium quasi trun. catum, ac tantum non enecatum reliquerunt."*
After the death of Mr. Chancey, which was at the latter end of the year 1701, the Alma Mater Academia must look among her own sons, to find a President for the rest of her children; and accordingly the Fellows of the Colledge, with the approbation of the overseers, July 13, 1672, elected Mr. Leonard Hoar unto that office; whereto, on the tenth of September following, he was inaugurated.
This gentleman, after his education in Harvard-Colledge, travelled over into England; where he was not only a preacher of the gospel in divers places, but also received from the University in Cambridge the degree of a Doctor of Physick. The Doctor, upon some invitations, relating to a settlement, in the pastoral charge with the South Church at Boston, returned into New-England; having first married a virtuous daughter of the Lord Lisle, a great example of piety and patience, who now cross'd the Atlantick with him; and quickly after his arrival here, his invitation to preside over the Colledge at Cambridge, superseded those from the Church in Boston. Were he considered either as a scholar or as a Christian, he was truly a worthy man; and he was generally reputed such, until happening, I can
• That Ohauncey, whom we may properly style Charles the Great, was a venerable old man, most accomplished in the fundamental principles of science and in the use of language, most expert in the art of instruction, who devoted himself with exemplary and unfailing diligence to the instruction of the sons of the prophets. The death of so great a mau left the college crippled and well nigh crushed.
scarce tell how, to fall under the displeasure of some that made a figure in the neighbourhood, the young men in the Colledge took advantage therefrom, to ruine his reputation, as far as they were able. He then found the Pectorship of a Colledge to be as troublesome a thing as ever Antigonus did his robe; and he could subscribe to Melchior Adams' account of it, "Sceptrum illud scholasticum, plus habet solicitudinis quam pulchritudinis, plus curæ quam auri, plus impedimenti quam argenti."* The young plants turned cud-weeds, and, with great violations of the fifth Commandment, set themselves to travestie whatever he did and said, and aggravate every thing in his behaviour disagreeable to them, with a design to make him odious; and in a day of temptation, which was now upon them, several very good men did unhappily countenance the ungoverned youths in their ungovernableness. Things were at length driven to such a pass, that the students deserted the Colledge, and the Doctor, on March 15, 1675, resigned his Presidentship. But the hard and ill usuage which he met withal made so deep an impression upon his mind, that his grief threw him into a consumption, whereof he dyed November 28, the winter following, in Boston; and he lies now interr'd at Braintree: where he might properly enough have this line inscribed over him for his
The fate of this ingenious man was not altogether without a parallel, in what long since befel Dr. Metcalf, the Master of St. John's Colledge in Cambridge; who, as Dr. Fuller has related it, was injuriously driven from the Colledge, and expired soon after his going out of his office: But I would not have my reader go too far, in constructing the remark, which the great Caius made thereupon, “ Omnes qui Metcalfi excludendi autores extiterunt, multis adverse fortunce procellis, sive divina ultione, seu futo suo jactoti, mortem obierunt exemplo memorabili.”+ All that I shall farther add concerning our Doctor is, that in his time, there being occasion for the Colledge to be recruited with new edifices, there was a contribution made for it through the Colony, which, in the whole, amounted unto one thousand, eight hundred, and ninety five pounds, two shillings and nine pence; and of this, there was eight hundred pounds given by the one town of Boston; and of that, there was one hundred pounds given by the one hand of Sir Thomas Temple, as true a gentleman, as ever set foot on the American strand; and this contribution, with some other assistances, quickly produced a new Colledge, wearing still the name of the old one, which old one is now so mouldered away, that
The academic sceptre is more fruitful of anxiety than of pleasure-brings more care than cash-more embarrassment than remuneration.
† His masts all splintered by the driving gale. All who favoured the dismissal of Metcalf, after suffering many adversities, either from special divine vengeance, or the ordinary course of Providence, died in a remarkable manner.
-Jam seges est ubi Troja fuit.*
After the death of Dr. Hoar, the place of President pro tempore, was put upon Mr. Urian Oakes, the excellent Pastor of the Church at Cambridge; who did so, and would no otherwise accept of the place; though the offer of a full settlement in the place was afterwards importunately made unto him. He did the services of a president, even, as he did all other services, faithfully, learnedly, indefatigably; and by a new choice of him thereunto, on February 2, 1679, was, at last, prevailed withal to take the full charge upon him. We all know, that Britain knew nothing more famous than their ancient sect of Druids; the philosophers, whose order, they say, was instituted by one Samothes, which is in English, as much as to say, an heavenly man. The Celtic name, Deru for an Oak, was that from whence they received their denomination; as at this very day, the Welch call this tree Derw, and this order of men Derwyddon. But there are no small antiquaries, who derive this oaken religion and philosophy from the Oaks of Mamre, where the Patriarch Abraham had as well a dwelling as an altar. That Oaken-Plain, and the eminent OAK under which Abraham lodged, was extant in the days of Constantine, as Isidore, Jerom, and Sozomen have assured us. Yea, there are shrew'd probabilities that Noah himself had lived in this very Oak-Plain before him; for this very place was called onyn, which was the name of Noah, so styled from the Oggyan (subcineritiis panibust) sacrifices, which he did use to offer, in this renowned Grove: And it was from this example that the ancients, and particularly that the Druids of the nations, chose oaken retirements for their studies. Reader, let us now upon another account behold the students of Harvard-Colledge, as a rendezvous of happy Druids, under the influences of so rare a President: But, alas! our joy must be short lived; for, on July 25, 1681, the stroak of a sudden death felld the tree,
Qui tantum inter caput extulit omnes,
Mr. Oakes, thus being transplanted into the better world, the Presidentship was immediately tendered unto Mr. Increase Mather; but his Church, upon the application of the overseers unto them to dismiss him unto the place whereto he was now chosen, refusing to do it, he declined the motion. Wherefore, on April 10, 1682, Mr. John Rogers was elected unto that place; and on August 12, 1683, he was installed into it. This worthy person was the son of the renowned Mr. Nathanael Rogers, the Pastor to the Church of Ipswich; and he was himself a preacher at Ipswich, until his disposition for medicinal studies caused him to abate of his labours in the pulpit. He was one of so sweet a temper, that the title of delicice
• The harvest waves where once stood Troy. + Bread baked under asbes.
* Whose noble head towered high above the rest
As 'mid the reeds the cypress lifts its crest.
humani generis* might have on that score been given him; and his real piety set off with the accomplishments of a gentleman, as a gem set in gold. In his Presidentship, there fell out one thing particularly, for which the Colledge has cause to remember him. It was his custom to be somewhat long in his daily prayers (which our Presidents use to make) with the scholars in the Colledge-hall. But one day, without being able to give reason for it, he was not so long, it may be by half, as he used to be. Heaven knew the reason! The scholars, returning to their chambers, found one of them on fire, and the fire had proceeded so far, that if the devotions had held three minutes longer, the Colledge had been irrecov. erably laid in ashes, which now was happily preserved. But him also a præmature death, on July 2, 1684, the day after the Commencement, snatcht away from a society that hoped for a much longer enjoyment of him, and counted themselves under as black an eclipse as the Sun happen to be, at the hour of his expiration.
But that the character of this gentleman may be more perfectly exhibited, we will here take the leave to transcribe the epitaph engraved on his tomb, in God's-acre, at Cambridge. It is the desire of immortality inwrought into the very nature of inan, that produced the invention of epitaphs, and while some will ascribe the invention unto the scholars of Linus, who so signified their affection to their slain master, others will that it may be ascend as high as the great stone of Abel, mentioned in the first book of Samuel, which, they'll tell us, was erected as a memorial to Abel by his father Adam, with that inscription upon it, "Here was shed the blood of the righteous Abel."
Now, to immortalize this their master, one of the scholars in HarvardColledge gave to the great stone of ROGERS the ensuing lines, to be now read there for his memorial; which, for the same cause, we make a part of our history: Mandatur huic Terre et Tumulo,
D. JOANNIS ROGERSII,
Rogersii Doctissimi Ipsuicensis in
Dedhamensis, in Veteri Anglia, per
Orbem Terrarum Clarissimi, Nepotis,
Lectissimi, ac Meritò dilectissimi Præsidis,
Celestior, à nobis Erepta fuit, πασων των αρετων θησαυρος. .
Julii 20, A. D. M. DC. LXXX. IV. Sc. Domini Reverendissimi,
LIV. Chara est pars restans nobis, et quando cadaver.t The favourite of mankind.
+ To this mound of earth is committed a treasury of benevolence, a storehouse of theologic learning, a library of the choicest literature, a living system of medicine, an embodiment of integrity, a repository of faith, a pattern of Christian sympathy, a garner of all virtues—in other words, the mortal remains of the Very Reverend John Rogers, son of the Very Learned Nathanael Rogers, of Ipswich in New-England, grandson of Mr. Rogers, of Dod. ham in Old-England, whose name is illustrious throughout the world. He was a favourite and deservedly admired President of Ilarvard College. His immortal part was borne away from us July the 20th, A. D. 1684.
very dust is dear; 'tis all we have. VOL. II.-2
$ 6. The colledge was now again, by universal choice, cast into the hands of Mr. Increase Mather, who had already, in other capacities, been serving of it; and he accordingly, without leaving either his house or his church at Boston, made his continual visits to the colledge at Cambridge, managing as well the weekly disputation, as the annual commencements, and inspecting the whole affairs of the society; and by preaching often at Cambridge, he made his visits yet more profitable unto them.
Reader, the interest and figure which the world knows this my parent hath had, in the ecclesiastical concerns of this country, ever since his first return from England in the twenty-second, until his next return from England in the fifty-third year of his age; makes it a difficult thing for me to write the church-history of the country. Should I insert every where the relation which he hath had unto the public matters, it will be thought by the envious that I had undertaken this work with an eye to such a motto as the son of the memorable prince of Orange took his device, patriæque patrique :* should I, on the other side, bury in utter silence all the effects of that care and zeal wherewith he hath employed in his peculiar opportunities, with which the free grace of Heaven hath talented him to do good unto the public; I must cut off some essentials of my story. I will, however, bowle nearer to the latter mark than the former: and if no body blame Sir Henry Wotton for still mentioning his father with so much veneration, as “that best of men, my father," I hope I shall not be blamed for saying thus much, "my father hath been desirous to do some good.” Wherefore I will not only add in this place, that when the honourable Joseph Dudley, Esq., was by the king's commission made President of the territory of New-England, this gentleman, among other expressions of his hearty desire to secure the prosperity of his mother, whose breasts himself had sucked, continued the government of the colledge in the hands of Mr. Mather, and altered his title into that of a rector. But when wise persons apprehend that the constitution of men and things, which followed after the arrival of another governor, threatened all the churches with quick ruines, wherein the colledge could not but be comprehended, Mr. Mather did, by their advice, repair to Whitehall; where, being remarkably favoured by three crowned heads, in successive and personal applications unto them, on the behalf of his distressed country, and having obtained several kindnesses for the colledge in particular, he returned into NewEngland, in the beginning of the year, 1692, with a royal charter, full of most ample privileges. By that royal charter, under the seal of King William and Queen Mary, the country had its English and its Christian liberties, as well as its titles to its lands (formerly contested) secured to it; and the province being particularly enabled hereby to incorporate the col. ledge, (which was the reason that he did not stay to solicit a particular charter for it,) immediately upon his arrival the general assembly gratified
• My country and my sire.