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inquiries will be furnished, by looking at the characters of the several individuals who have been appointed to the professor's chair, on the foundation of Mr. Hollis.
The first was a “sound and orthodox” divine, elected under the eye of Hollis, and in strict consistency with his "rules and orders.' Preceding the choice,” says President Leverett in his report to the overseers," he was examined upon several important heads of divinity.” He declared his assent to Dr. Ames's Medulla Theologiæ; to the confession of faith contained in the Assembly's Catechism; and to the doctrinal articles of the Church of England;
more particularly, 1. To the doctrine of the holy Trinity. 2. To the doctrine of the eternal Godhead of the blessed Saviour. 3. To the doctrine of predestination. 4. To the doctrine of special, efficacious grace. 5. To the divine right of infant baptism.” p. 255. Here, then, we have an incontestable, practical comment on what Mr. Hollis and his advisers meant by orthodoxy, and the kind of man which he approved, to be placed on his foundation.
The second professor of divinity,--the son of the first, was inaugurated in October, 1765. Previous to his election, he too was examined “concerning his principles in divinity, whether they were orthodox;" and gave full satisfaction to the corporation. Vol. II.
131. The Rev. Dr. Tappan, the third professor of divinity in Harvard College, was inducted into office, in 1792. He too was a
sound and orthodox” divine-well qualified to sit in the chair which the liberality of Hollis had provided. Of course, there was no occasion, up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1803, of disputing about the meaning of Mr. Hollis's orders.
After the death of Dr. Tappan, the professorship of divinity remained vacant for more than a year. The corporation was divided—for a time equally—so that nothing could be done. At length, a change was known to have taken place, so that a majority could be obtained for Dr. Ware ; and in November, 1804, the corporation were called on in the public papers to act, and not to wait for greater unanimity. A warm newspaper discussion now commenced, and was continued-chiefly on one side - till after the election was made and confirmed. In opposition to the election of Dr. Ware, it was urged that he was understood to be a Unitarian. But his friends replied, that he had never professed the sentiment imputed to him, and that to mention such a thing was a calumny. It was further insisted, that the overseers had no evidence, and could obtain none,
of his possessing the qualifications required by the founder of the professorship. “The right to examine him was denied them. His “particular religious principles, though often asked for, were not disclosed."" " It was particularly asked, whether he was a believer in that important doctrine, the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ ;” but “ the reply conveyed no precise or satisfactory answer on that point."* So far were the opposers
of Dr. Ware's election from being convinced that he was of “ sound and orthodox principles,” according to the intent of Mr. Hollis, that they had the utmost reason to believe, from his silence, and from a variety of collateral evidence, that this was not the case. It was insisted, therefore, that whatever they might think of him as a man, and whatever judgment they might, as individuals, form, in regard to his principles, they were bound by the orders of Mr. Hollis, and by the solemn pledges which had been given him, and could not vote to confirm the election.
Those who opposed the election of Dr. Ware were at that time the subjects of much severe reproach. They were attacked, in some of the publications of the day, and without decency or mercy; and the most of them have gone down unforgiven to the grave. But posterity will certainly do them justice. Future generations will appreciate their motives and honor their correctness of principle, their decision and firmness.
Of Dr. Ware himself, I certainly have no disposition to speak reproachfully. His situation is, of all men’s, least to be envied. He has arrived to that period, when the countenance and caresses of interested and partial friends can avail him little. That he possesses talents, and learning, and a great many estimable qualities, I do not doubt; but on the question of his accepting and holding the Hollis professorship of divinity in Harvard College, the impartial of all denominations have formed their judgment, and it will not be reversed. He knew the conditions of this professorship; he knew the solemn pledges which had been given in respect to it; he knew, also, his own religious sentiments, though he took care that others should not know them; yet, he accepted the appointment, promised that he would“ religiously observe the statutes of his founder," and for nearly forty years, received his bread, or a portion of it, from
Morse's True Reasons, etc., p. 19.
a professorship, which was founded by a strictly orthodox man, and was consecrated and solemnly pledged for the support of such a man, in all future time. Nor is even this, perhaps, the worst of the case.
In 1747, Daniel Henchman, Esq., of Boston, left a legacy, to aid in the support of the Hollis professor of divinity in Harvard College. It was bequeathed and accepted on the express condition, that “the person in that office shall profess and teach the principles of the Christian religion, according to the well known Confession of Fuith drawn up by the synod of the churches of New England;
which confession is strictly Calvinistic. But Dr. Ware neither professes nor teaches the principles of the Christian religion, according to this confession. He professes and teaches entirely different principles. Yet the Henchman legacy is retained, and during his whole term of office, Dr. Ware consented to receive the avails of it.
For this gross and palpable perversion, President Quincy presents no apology; and I know not that any has ever been attempted. To justify their misappropriation of Hollis's donations, Unitarians have resorted to all those shifts and pretences which have been before examined and exposed. At first, it was insisted, that Hollis was not a Calvinist ;-and then, that though he was a Calvinist, he was a liberal-minded man, and could not have used the term orthodox, in the customary sense ;-and next, that in whatever sense he used the term, he could only have intended that the candidate should be a man of correct principles, in the judgment of the electors for the time being ; and now, last of all, that the entire eleventh article, in which the obnoxious term occurs, does not properly belong to Hollis, but was forced upon him by the bigots with whom he had to do.* Between these different pretences, which have been so laboriously set up, there is little to choose. One is worth about as much as another. They are all baseless and frivolous in the extreme; and would never have been resorted to by learned and sensible men, but for the desire they felt to cover over a transaction, which never can be satisfactorily excused. The election of a Unitarian to the professorship of divinity in Harvard College, and the sustaining him there for nearly forty
* And yet, says Dr. Colman : "It was the free and catholic spirit of the seminary”—at the time when it was controlled by these Calvinistic bigots—“which took his generous heart.”
years, can never be reconciled with the expressed will of the generous founder of the professorship, and the assurances given him that his orders should be respected.
Nor is this the only perversion of the bounty of Hollis, with . which the government of Harvard College is justly chargeable. The sumns which he gave, from time to time, to promote the cause of charitable education, were all intended for “
and pious young men.”. And who is a pious young man, in the sense of the Calvinistic Hollis ? What meaning must he have attached to the important distinctive epithet here employed ? He, and he only, is pious, in the sense of Hollis, who has been awakened, convinced, and hopefully regenerated, by the Spirit of God—who, under a sense of his guilty and desperate condition, has fled for refuge to the hope set before him, and put his trust in the atoning blood of Christ-and who, having submitted to Christ, endeavors to obey and follow him, and to walk in all his commandments and ordinances blameless. In short, he only is pious, in the sense of Hollis, who is truly evangelical, in spirit and feeling, in heart and life. But are young men of this character uniformly selected, as beneficiaries of the Hollis funds ? Let those who have the disbursing of these funds answer it to their own consciences, as they must one day answer it to a higher tribunal.
Nor is it the donations of Hollis alone, that have been perverted after this manner. Many others are in the same predicament. Take the following as an example. In the year 1657, the Hon. Edward Hopkins, previously governor of Connecticut, died in England ; and among other instances of his great liberality, ordered that “five hundred pounds be made over into New England, for the upholding and promoting the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, in those parts of the earth.” This sum afterwards fell to the corporation of Harvard College ; and the avails of the fund created by it, or a large portion of them, have been appropriated, year after year, for the support of Unitarian students, in the Cambridge Theological School. Governor Hopkins first came to this country, in company with Mr. Davenport, in 1637. He was a strict Puritan and Calvinista bearer and admirer of the excellent Mr. Hooker, at Hartford. He considered Unitarianism as not only different from, but op
posed to "the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,” and would sooner have thrown away his money, than have given it for the education of Unitarian ministers.
It is a solemn thing to hold, in trust, the benefactions of the dead, and to come under obligations, expressed or implied, to dispose of these benefactions according to their wishes. It is a fearful thing to trifle with such obligations, and turn aside the bounty of the dead to purposes which they would never have patronized. There is an eye which sees such things, although the eyes of the deceased are closed. There is a voice which will one day reprove them, though the lips of the departed are sealed forever.*
In managing their theological funds, the corporation of Harvard College have a somewhat difficult task to perform. They have received the money of Mr. Hollis, and bound themselves to expend a specified portion of it, in the support of a professor of divinity, who shall be a man of “sound and orthodox principles," in the customary, Calvinistic sense. They have also received the money of Deacon Henchman, and are under obligations to bestow the income of it upon the Hollis professor of divinity," so long as he shall profess and teach the principles of the Christian religion, according to the well known Confession of Faith, drawn up by the synod of the churches of New England." It further appears, that the corporation are “residuary legatees, under the will of the late Henry Lienow, Esq., of Boston;" and the income of his money, when received, they will be bound to appropriate, “ in furtherance of the Unitarian faith,
From the lists of donations in the volumes before us, it appears that not less than 20,000 pounds, in money, besides books, lands, and other donations, were given by individuals in this country and in England, to Harvard College, previous to the
year 1780. The great body of these individuals were strict Calvinists—the friends and promoters of evangelical religion ; and they made their donations, on the supposition, and with the 'expectation, that the institution was to continue (what it ever had been) the defender and promoter of the evangelical faith. They certainly never would have given their moneymore than they would have burned it in the fire, or buried it in the ocean--could they have dreamed that Harvard College, in the early part of the nineteenth century, would be publicly claimed as "the pure, uncorrupted fountain head of Unitarianism."