Gresham-College. 128

Gresham-College.

be rather Read in English, All or Part. But the Judgment of Learned Men differing it seems in this Point; some being for the Reading in Latin, and some in English, the General Opinion was, That in the three Readings in the Week, the two former should be in Latin, and the last in English.

But the Contents of the foresaid Papers of Reasons, why the Lectures were rather to be in English, may not be unworthy to be mentioned; which therefore follows:

I. Reasons why the Lectures in Gresham College ought to be in English. Viz.

Reasons for the Reading in English.

Because the Good that would ensue would be more Publick.

And the Founder seemed to have a more special Respect to the Benefit of the Citizens; of whom few understand the Latin Tongue.

That there would be more Hope of Contribution from the Citizens for the perfecting this and other good Works, if they might be employed to the common Benefit of the People of the City.

That it would be less offensive and damageable to the Universities, that this Reading be in English.

The the Maior, Aldermen, and Commonalty, to whom the ordering of these Lectures is committed by the Will of the Founder, thought themselves bound in Conscience to provide that they might be read to the greatest Profit.

That if they be read in Latin, some of the Learned might probably resort to them at first for Novelty's Sake; but in short Time they would become Solitary, and void of Auditors. Whereby occasion would be taken to convert the Revenue to some other Uses, or else to transfer the Lectures to the Universities; both which were contrary to the Founder's Meaning.

That the Grecians taught all Parts of Learning in their own Tongue; Varro, Cicero, and Cæsar, and other of the Wisest and Learnedest of the Romans, laboured to have the like done in the Latin. That the vulgar Tongues at this Time, especially the Italian, French, and Spanish, both translate out of Latin and Greek, and write in their Languages all Parts of Learning: Which hath much graced and benefited those Countries.

And Lastly, It will farther the Estimation of Learning among the People, and will give the such a Taste of Learning as not to despise it, as the ruder Sort do; and make them withal to find their own Wants, and how necessary it is to have Learned Men among them.

II. Reasons why the Divinity Lecture should be in English. Viz.

Especially the Divinity Lecture.

That the former Reasons make most for the Divinity Lecture.

That the Exposition of the Texts of Scripture is fitter for none more than the common People; who may and do mistake many Places of Scripture. And when Points of Doctrine, which they hear but shortly and slightly handled in Sermons and ordinary Lectures, shall be soundly and largely delivered in English, with plain Proofs of the Truth of our Doctrine, and Disproof of the Sophistry of the adverse Party; hereby Knowledge will come to be well settled in the Minds of the People, in whom there is a great and general Want of it.

That many able to understand Latin when they read it deliberately, will not be able to understand the Reader when he speaketh it.

That it will be a good Means to beget a Reverence towards Learned Ministers; when Divinity, and the Study thereof, shall appear to be a greater and harder Matter than is apprehended by many; since many simple Men and Women take themselves to be great Divines upon meer Ignorance and vain Presumption.

Recusants, and other secret Papists, shall not be so easily able to shake the Faith, and disquiet the Minds of unlearned People. Who for want of Grounds, are snared and confounded with subtil Arguments, as Papists furnish themselves withal.

That that false and dangerous Opinion, that the Difference between us and the Popish Church is about small Trifles, and maintained by our Side for Contention rather than Conscience sake; may be found false and slanderous: And a true and grounded Detestation of Popery shall be bred in the Queen's Subjects Hearts.

That it may please God to make it a Means of Conversion of some Papists, who though they refuse to be present at Sermons, yet peradventure will not shun altogether Scholastical Lectures.

If it be objected, That it will not be fit to have all Controversies, or the Reasons of both Sides made known to the People; it may be answered, that the Practice of the Adversaries, who have contrived the Controversies, and framed their Reasons in the English Tongue, with as much Subtilty as they can, shew the Necessity of Writing and Reading Scholastically, and Learnedly in English; that the People may be able to maintain the Truth professed by Soundness of Reason. The rest is referred to the Discretion of the Reader.

And as to the other Affair, as by Sir Thomas Gresham's Will divers Things were omitted touching the Terms, Days, and Manner of Reading the said Seven Lectures, and other Circumstances, for the conversing of the Professors as Collegiate Persons, &c. I find a Collection of Rules prefaced in these Words, "It is thought good by the Maior and Aldermen and Commons of the City, and by the Master, Wardens, and Company of the Mercers, to whom the Election of the said Professors, and the good Government of their said College is wholly committed by the last Will of the said Founder, to devise and set down certain Ordinances for the good Government of the said College in Manner following." ]

Rules or Orders for the College.

See these Rules at large, 2d Appendix, p. 2.

But the Reader will observe by what follows in the Second Appendix to this Book, Page 18. or 19. where the Affairs of Gresham College are more particularly and fully spoken of, that the Professors (ever looking on these Orders to be invalid, as having never been legally ratified, or duly confirmed,) never acted in Conformity to them from the Beginning; nor have the Trustees ever called on them for their Observance of them, even then they mention them, giving them not the Title of Orders, but only Articles.]

A. T.

The first whereof was, for a Priority among the Professors. This Priority to be in the Professors of Divinity, Law, and Physick, successively; so that these Three principal Readers be Presidents in Succession. The Divinity Reader to be next the President. The other Readers, after the Divinity Professor, to have their Place according to their Seniority within the College.

J. S.

The Readers to lodge and common within the House, as Collegiate Persons.

Deputy Readers to be allowed by the Lord Maior, Aldermen, and Wardens of the Mercers.

A common Table, or ordinary Diet, to be kept by the Professors within the College by a common Charge.

No Stranger to be entertained at their common Diet above Three Meals within one Month.

The publick Reading to be performed at Five Terms; whereof the First to begin the Monday before Trinity Term of the Common Law, and to continue for one whole Month, viz. the Space of Thirty Days next ensuing; after which Term, a greater Vacancy and Intermission is granted to them for their private Study, and other Business, and for avoiding the Concourse of People in the Heat of Summer. The Second Term to begin the first Monday in September, and to continue for

a Fort-