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what was agreeable to their former proceedings, and, if it fell out, at any time, that they should do otherwise than the people expect, that he should conceal the same: Whereto Canne, tlieir news-maker, agreed, and was sworn.
SUNDRY THINGS FROM SEVERAL HANDS
CONCERNING THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, viz.
I. A Petition from some well-affected therein.
II. A Model for, a College-Reformation. III. Queries concerning the said University, and several Persons therein. London: Printed by Thomas Creake. 1659. Quarto, containing twelve Pages a
To the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England,
The humble Petition of the Remnant of well-affected Persons within the
University of Oxford,
petitioners are infinitely rejoiced at the good providence of God, which hath once more restored you to those seats, and that station, of which you were by undoubted right possessed, and in which you did so demean yourselves, that the Lord blessed you in your councils extraordinarily, and the hands of the poor people of this nation were much strengthened under you, through a certain hope to see themselves established upon stire foundations; and a commonwealth erected after such a model as would secure us all in our liberties, civil and spiritual, without the fra zard of being overthrown by every or any ambitious spirit. We hope that you yourselves are sensible, as we are, upon that late usurpation upon you and us, being the basest and unworthiest at. tempt that hath happened among the sons of men; and that you will neither give daring spirits any cncouragement, for the future, to act the like, by permitting their predecessor an honourable meinorial, or providing ample revenues for his posterity (a thing with out example in the best commonwealths) noromit those things which are essential to our being a well-framed republick.
In reference hereunto we humbly pray, that you would have a special care of the magistracy of this nation, that it may be in. trusted with snch as fear God, hate covetousness, are and have been, under the late accursed apostasy, promoters and abettors of a commonwealth’s interest, and have owned the like principles in others; and that the armies of our lands may be garbled, and put in such men's hands as are faithful, and able for the discharge of so great a work.
And for so much as the education of persons to serve in church and state, is a thing necessarily to be considered for the subsistence, and continuance of a republick, that the youth may be thoroughly acquainted and prepossessed with the principles thereof, as well as instructed in all other useful learning: We humbly beseech you, that you would take into your care the two universities, which are the standing seminaries of a ministry, good or had, useful or useless, according as they are there educated, and places whither the gentry and others resort for instruction, and whence they return, or may do, well-affected, and capable of sundry employinents in their generations; or clse ignorant, rude, oppressive, debauched, and debauching others, to the great detriment and overthrow of a commonwealth.
We also desire that you would enact a freedom for opinions there, and constitụte professors and librarios, endowed accordingly; that so all that are members of this commonwealth, and are ready to sacrifice all that is near and dear to them for the publick service, that so considerable a part of this nation, so faithful, so well-affected, may not continue deprived of all advantageous breed, ing of their posterity: Through defect whereof they become incapable of reaping any profit from that posture of affairs into which they have principally stated us.
And that degrees may not be conferred, but on such as descrve them, and after a more strict way of exercise, suited to the preserving and upholding us as a republick; and not as hath been for many years past amongst us practised, when creations, and dispensations for time, absence, and exercise, have so been granted for the capacitating of favourites to preferments and trusts, whereunto they were no way fit; that we must make it our carnest humble request, that all degrees which have been conferred on any person or persons, since the surrender of Oxford, may be cassated and mulled by some solemn act, as being no longer characters of merit, bat cheats wherewith to amuse the ignorant; And that such as are now graduates in arts unnecessary, and which they ignore (so as intituling them thereto is a lye) may commence in philosophy and other useful studies, whereof t!;ey cannot be ignorant without prejudice to themselves in their fortunes, and the commonwealth in its disservice.
That whatever is monarchical, superstitious, or oppressive, in the university to the good people, may be abrogated.
That none he heads of houses but such as are intirely affected for a republick, and who will be active in seasoning those under their charge with principles resembling : Aud that, in case you find yourselves not provided with a sufficient pumber of persons for the managing of so many colleges and halls, we pray, yon would re. duce them, rather than suffer any to become nurseries for such as may hereafter be as thorns in
sides. That the power of the university may not be in the hands of any one as chancellor, nor of any clergymen (who have been so potoriously corrupt, negligent, and malignant) as visitors (the miscarriage of inferiors being personal, whilst theirs influence thc pube lick) no nor as heads of colleges, governing with fellows, unless there be a kind of censor residing amongst the who shall be im.
powered to punish (with appeal only to the council of state) all misdemeanors or neglects in exercise or discipline that may be prejudicial to the commonwealth, and influence all elections for the advantage of such as are actively obedient and deserving.
That all such ceremonies and reverence as tends to enervating the minds of the people, and begetting a pride in the ministry, may be put down; since the appointment of so extraordinary respects to men of low cxtraction renders them insolent, and either averse from going out to preach the gospel, or scandalous in the perform. ance thereof.
That there may be sundry acts in each year, at which a select number (yet varying each year to prevent collusion) of patriots or senators
be present to judge of the abilities, and inclinations of the several students towards the publick good, and accordingly dispose of them into places, so as they may be serviceable to the nation, and not grow old in their colleges, which thereby become as it were hospitals and monasteries. . These things we thought it a duty incumbent on us to propose unto you, being ready to supply by our activeness whatever pre. judice our paucity might create unto the commonwealth: We have no self-ends, nor do we labour to promote particular interests, being ready to comply with any of your commands, and in the mean while,
As your Petitioners, shall ever pray, $c. A slight Model of a College to be erected and supplied from
Westminster School. Since the students of Christ Church finding their condition, as to discipline and other emoluments, intolerable under their present governors, neither the foundation-men, nor ancestoral gentry being educated, so as to be serviceable to the publick in any trusts or employments; they have drawn up a petition, that the revenues of the college may be enquired into, and that they may be regulated by statutes (though good statutes in the hands of remiss and neglia gent persons become ineffectual) and since the canons of the said college (the dean is so dissatisfied with the posture thereof, that he hath professed himself ready to desert his station) do very little, and ought not at all to intermeddle with the government of that house (they should have been sold as cathedral, and that according to the covenant, as the university in convocation declared, but were, I know not how, preserved, possibly as a support to the theni designed monarchy) nor do they, by reason of their frauds, dilapidations, male-administration of discipline, disaffection, and ge. neral worthlessness, deserve to have any new right conferred on them. It is humbly queried, whether some such model as the ensuing (which shall be more fully represented, with the reasons of each particular circumstance, when there shall be any appointed to receive proposals) than either they, or the whole university at present is.
Let the places of the dean and canons be abolished, and the in, comes thereof sequestered for the carrying on of the intended mo. del, which may be perfected without any further expence, than
what is at present lost amongst thankless, useless, or disa ffected persons.
Let the honourable the governors of Westminster School be in. trusted with the supreme power of the college, and disposal of revenues.
Let no person, professor, or fellow, have any extraordinary allowances, but what shall arise from their care in instructing others, and donatives to be given from time to time by the governors, accordingly as they shall find men profit in learning, and hopeful to serve the commonwealth.
Let the novices of the foundation be provided for of such books as are prescribed them by the discipline of the house (without permission to read others till they have perfectly laid their foundation) and accommodated in a decent way as to cloaths, diet, and cham. bers, and chamber-furniture, and with physick in case of indispo. sition, at the college charge.
Let the foundation be supplied from Westminster School, not only for their better instruction, but for the preserving of unani. mity; and that, upon their coming to the university, they be not enforced to one study, or general studies, but immediately put unto such a society and class of students as are for this or that profession.
Let there be certain times of the year fixed, in which commoners. and others may be received into the college, and at no other time, to prevent disorders in studies ; let that tiine be such as the profes-, sors shall agree upon, wherein to finish their course of lectures : And let these be distributed into classes as the other, and regulated in their diet, habits, and company, as may best suit with their intended course of life, and the being of the commonwealth, which requires that the youth be bred up to sobriety, frugality, and knowledge.
Let the students of all sorts, and faculties, be obliged, before their departure, to understand the grounds of a common wealth, and what is the particular basis of this, that so they may be more active in their persons and relations, it being their reason, and not custom which induces them to subjection.
Let the governors make it their càre, that when persons shall arise to maturity, and capable of any employments, to promote them in several ways accordióg to their several professions; and that none be permitted to refuse any such probation employments; As for physicians, that they go with our merchants and ambassa. dors. to remote countries, and that though the emalument be not great; and the like for such as study other faculties, and that none decline this. That, after their return, they give an account of their observations, and deposit them in the college archives, and that tbey be at their return maintained as before (their places in their absence being supplied by others) till the state can find thein employment.
Let there be established in the college one or two professors ia divinity, who shall finish such a course therein as shall be thought
fit, especially instructing all in the several analysis's of faith, and grounds of religion : Let hiin or they uphold disputations and such-like exercises,
Let there be a professor of civil law and politicks, who may in. struct all in the foundations of common right, and dispose them to prefer a commonwealth before monarchy: Let him direct them in a method of particular politicks and history.
Let there be one professor in Des Cartes's philosophy and mathematicks.
Let there be one professor of Gassendus's Philosophy, and Gencral Geography, who may also give directions for particular geography.
Let these cach have assistants out of the fellows to be constituted, who inquire into the magnetical philosophy; let them have a school of experiments in opticks and mechanicks, for the instruction of the gentry, and such, as shall be found suitable, to assist them in their studies; and let this be defrayed by the publick, or by levies upon each commoner that comes to study there, as they now give pieces of plate.
Let there be a professor of physick, and another of anatomy ; let them read, dissect and keep a chymist for experiments and promoting of medicines; let this be defrayed partly at the publick, charge, and partly by levy upon the students in physick, and such as shall desire to be present, and partly by the standing apothecary of the college-physicians.
Let there be a professor of useful logick and civil rhetorick, for the institution of such as are to be employed in the publick; and let them practise, not in a declamatory and light, but masculine and solid way, that is, English as well as Latin; and that they be instructed in the way of penning letters and dispatches.
Let all, or any of these, teach such, as are not versed in Latin, in English ; and let such be distributed into agreeable company, for the bettering themselves; and let the professors be scverely prohi. bited from teaching any that shall be young, and not of their col. lege: As for such as are grown in years, and yet would learn any, or all the studies aforesaid, they may be admitted, and disposed of according to discretion, without prejudicing the constant course of studies to be upheld in the college.
Let there be sixty fellows in the college, with competent allowance, to supply the quality of standing tutors, who may carry on the studies of the youth in things of lesser moment, and prepare them for lectures, examine them after lectures, see to their man.
Let twenty of these study controversial divinity and ecclesiasti. cal history, yet so, as to be able to manage the practical part for the good and credit of the nation, either at home, or in employments with ambassadors. Let a third part of these alternately reside at London, that they may not be strangers to the world, and circumstances thereof, and so be able to direct better, in order to the education of their countrymen.