« AnteriorContinuar »
Report of visits The Honble Ezekiel Lewis Esq' from the Committee
appointed the 8th of April Last gave in the following
report viz The Committee appointed by the Honble & Revd Overseers of Harvard College Apr 8th 1735 to Enquire into the present State of sd College and to make report how far certain dangerous Errors said to have been vented by m* Longloissorie have been propogated & received there having met and made Enquiry upon those matters doe report as follows viz
That upon discoursing with the Revd Presidt & Tuto's who had Examined M' Longloissorie and a Number of his schollars it did not appear that MLongloissorie had vented any of his dangerous Errors among the undergraduates nor that they had been Embraced by any of the graduates to whom he had freely communicated them. But upon discoursing Mi Rogers ? one of the Tuto's on occasion of the reports concerning him wch were brought to this board he appeared to think it a hardship that he shd be Examined as to his particular sentiments on the said heads when there had been no express Charge Laid against him & declined to give us any such answers as might Enable us to report him free & clear of those opinions —
As to the general State of the College this Committee not having had Convenient Opportunity to make Enquiry into it are humbly of Opinion that this Hon ble & Revd board wil think fit to appoint a Committee to Enquire & make report on that head at the next anniversary meeting Cambr. May 13. 1735
Ezek. Lewis After a debate on the first article of the afores d report It was Voted — That the President & Tut's have not power by any Law 2 to introduce or permit any person to Instruct schollars in arts or Languages in this Society and therefore the permission sometime since given by them to Mi Longloissorie to teach the French tongue is in itself void and inasmuch as this board Judg it not consistent with the safety of the College that the said M-Longloissorie shd continue to teach the French Language
1 Rev. Daniel Rogers (H. C. 1725; d. 1785).
? Notwithstanding this assertion, in later years the President and Tutors again exercised this power, for on February 4, 1761, the Faculty voted: 87 Toppan. Leave 2. That Si Toppan be allow'd, according to his Petition to keep a French therefor To keen a French
therefor, To keep a French School in the Evenings, till the School
next Commencement, to teach such Schollars as are desirous to learn that Language, their Parents manifesting there consent thereto (ü. 126).
there any Longer It was therefore Voted that the Presidt & Tut's be directed to forbid the Students whether Graduates or Undergraduates from attending on his Instructions either within the College walls or Elsewhere
Upon debate had on the second paragraph of this report the board think it proper to assert & declare their right to Examine into the principles of all those that are Employed in the instruction of the Students of the College upon any Just Suspicion of their holding dangerous tenents althô no Express Charge be Layed in against them — And that it be recommended to the Corporation to take due Care as to the principles of such persons as shal from time to time be chosen by them into any office for instruction and that no person chosen into such an office shal be accepted or Continued who refuseth when desired to give Satisfaction to this board as to their principles in religion
Voted That the former Committee appointed the 8th of April last be continued with respect to the Last article of their report & that Francis Foxcroft Esq'l be added to them ?
The final allusion to this matter occurs in the Faculty Records under date of May 20:
Abt m’ Longlazaree. President & Tutors met (May. 20. 1735) and con
sider'd, ye first part of ye Report given in by ye Commit
tee of ye Overseers, to said Overseers yo 13. currant, and yg was executed in ye vote of yo Overseers Opon it, & agreed, yt said part ye Hall. May. 21, of ye Vote thereon should be read in ye Hall; ye President
also declaring agreable to said Vote, yt President & Tutors do forbid y® Scholars to attend ye Instructions
of m* Longlazaree (i. 76). "It would be interesting to know," wrote the late Mr. William H. Tillinghast to the present writer in 1911, “what were the errors by which the Overseers were so much alarmed. Did he anticipate Tom Paine?” And again:
It will also be interesting to know how long Langloiserie continued his school in Boston. No doubt he was a Roman Catholic and that may be the source of trouble, though in that case I do not quite see why the Overseers should have made such indefinite mention of his opinions unless they did not wish it to appear on the records that students had been permitted to receive instruction from a Roman Catholic.
1 Francis Foxcroft (H. C. 1712). 2 Overseers' Records, i. 142–143.
How long Langloiserie continued his school, when he left Boston if he did leave it, when he died if he remained here, or what finally became of him, are matters wholly of conjecture, since with a single exception I have been unable to find any allusion to him after the College authorities took away his permission to teach French to the students. It is certain, however, that Mr. Tillinghast was mistaken in suggesting that Langloiserie anticipated Tom Paine and in supposing that he was a Roman Catholic. He had been a Catholic earlier, and later he returned to Catholicism, but during his residence in Boston - or at all events while he was teaching French to the students — he was a Protestant. Our final glimpse of him is as singular as was the first reference to him in the Bible of 1723. For though he may not have been in Boston when the Rev. George Whitefield first came here in 1740, and though there is no evidence that if here he was influenced by the noted preacher, yet had it not been for “the Great Awakening” and the consequent heated controversy that so stirred New England we should know nothing further about him. Of the endless pamphlets to which this controversy gave rise, it is necessary to mention only three. Whitefield having animadverted upon Harvard College, the College authorities replied in 1744 with “The Testimony Of the President, Professors, Tutors and Hebrew Instructor of Harvard College in Cambridge, Against the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield, And his Conduct.” Early in 1745 Whitefield came back with “A Letter to the Rev. the President, And Professors . . . In answer to A Testimony Publish'd by them against the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield, And his Conduct,” and at once the Rev. Edward Wigglesworth rejoined with “A Letter To the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield, By Way of Reply To his Answer to the College Testimony against him and his Conduct.” In the first of these pamphlets the College officers said:
First then, we charge him, with Enthusiasm. Now that we may speak clearly upon this Head, we mean by an Enthusiast, one that acts, either according to Dreams, or some sudden Impulses and Impressions upon his Mind, which he fondly imagines to be from the Spirit of God, perswuading and inclining him thereby to such and such Actions, tho' he cannot but dress, which
hath no Proof that such Perswuasions or Impressions are from the holy Spirit: For the perceiving a strong Impression upon our Minds, or a violent Inclination to do any Action, is a very different Thing from perceiving such Impressions to be from the Spirit of God moving upon the Heart:'...
It is in the third pamphlet that the allusion to Langloiserie, though he is not mentioned by name, occurs. Professor Wigglesworth wrote:
The first Thing we charge you with is Enthusiasm. This we take to be a Charge of an higher Nature, than perhaps People are generally aware of. They who are unacquainted with the Histories of former Ages, and so strangers to the Mischiefs which Enthusiasm hath often brought upon both States and Churches, may be too apt to think it a pretty harmless Thing; and may fancy an Enthusiatick Turn to be an Innocent Weakness, to which none but good Men are liable. But all who duly consider the natural Tendency of this cast of Mind, and are acquainted with the outragious Acts of Wickedness, which Men have been frequently led into by it, cannot but dread and set themselves vigorously to oppose its first Appearance.
If we consider the Nature of Enthusiasm, which is to make a Man imagine, that almost any Tho't which bears strongly upon his Mind (whether it came into it by Dreams, Suggestion, or whatever other Way) is from the Spirit of God; when at the same Time he hath no Proof that it is; it will plainly appear to be a very dangerous Thing. For if a Man believes the Tho't which bears upon his Mind, to be from the Spirit of God, he must think it his Duty to conduct himself agreably to it. ... So that a Man of an Enthusiastick Turn is likely to have but little Help in his Conduct, either from his own Reason or from the Holy Scriptures, whenever a Tho't from some other Quarter rushes strongly into his Mind, or lieth much upon it. And what Wonder will it be, if Men in such a Case, are led on insensibly, till they have put away a good Conscience, and concerning Faith have made Shipwrack in a most surprising Manner.
AND such hath been found by sad Experience to be the Fruit of Enthusiasm, in all Ages of the Christian Church. But we shall only men. tion two or three Instances, looking no farther back than the Times of the happy Reformation from Popery.
Wigglesworth then goes on to cite one instance from the sixteenth century and one from the seventeenth century, and then continues:
· Testimony of the President, etc., p. 4.
oppose its first
We shall take Notice of but one Instance more, among the Multitudes which might be rehearsed; for hardly any Age of the Christian Church hath passed without them: And tho’ the Instance which we shall now pitch upon, did not end so tragically as the two already mentioned; yet Enthusiasm in this proved as destructive to Faith, as it did to a good Conscience in the two former. And we the rather speak of this, because the World hath never yet had any publick Account of it. And we our selves very sensibly felt its ill Effects, in the Society under our Care, not more than Ten Years ago; when a Gentleman, who had been permitted to teach the French tongue in the College, where he had behaved himself to all Appearance unblameably, at length began to give too much heed to certain Dreams, which he supposed to be of Divine Original. And when once he had gotten his Imagination thoro'ly heated with these, he soon began to fancy himself favoured frequently with Visions too; and these sometimes attended with articulate Voices to instruct him in the Divine Meaning and Design of them. Upon this he very industriously, tho' with as little Observation as he could, endeavoured to propagate among his intimate Friends, several strange and pernicious Doctrines; such as the unlawfulness of Magistracy among Christians, and consequently of any temporal Punishments for evil Doers, from men; that Punishment from God in the Future State would be sure not be eternal, nor any other, nor perhaps more, even for a Time, than what wicked Men now suffer in this World, by being abandoned to the outrage of their own and others Passions, &c. That a standing Ministry, Ordinances, the Christian Sabbath, and Social Worship, were all without Warrant from the New Testament: That, beside our blessed Lord of the tribe of Judah, who was in his Account but a meer Creature, (if not a meer Man) there was quickly to be expected a second Messiah of the Tribe of Ephraim, who is the Shepherd the Stone of Israel, spoken of Gen. 49. 24. And the person like the Son of Man, whom Daniel saw in the Night Visions, to whom there was given Dominion and Glory, and a Kingdom, &c.* that this person was then in Being; that he had been often presented to him in Vision, and was one whom he knew very well. And tho' he declined telling who he was, under Pretence of wanting a Permission for it; yet, by many Circumstances it appeared highly probable, that he himself was the Man, in his own Conceit. Nor was his being by Birth a French Man, an Objection of Force enough to be set in Opposition to his heavenly Visions; for Multitudes in the World (as he said) are undoubtedly of Israelitish Extract, who are not known to
* Dan. 9. 13, 14.