Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harvard University - 1636

Harvard University was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the Year of Our Lord 1636. Reverend John Harvard donated his personal library and a piece of property to create the College at Cambridge which was the schools original name. Harvard was the first college in North America and was established sixteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims. The purpose of the college was clearly defined.

“To train a literate clergy.”

On September 26, 1642, the Rules and Precepts which would be observed at the college were clearly stated:

  • When any able to make [write] and speak true Latine in Verse and Prose...And decline perfectly the paradigims of Nounes and Verbes in the Greek tongue...[he is capable] of admission into the college.  
  • Let ever Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternall life, John 17:3 and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him Prov. 2,3.  
  • Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoretical observations of Language and Logick, and in practicall and spirituall truths, as his Tutor shall require, according to his ability, seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple, Psalm, 119:130.  
  • That they eshewing all profanation of God's name, Attributes, Word, Ordinances, and times of Worship, do studie with good conscience carefully to retaine God, and the love of his truth in their mindes, else let them know, that (notwithstanding their Learning) God may give them up to strong delusions, and in the end to a reprobate minde, 2 Thes. 2:11,12. Rom. 1:28.  
  • That they studiously redeeme the time; observe the generall houres...diligently attend the lectures, without any disturbance by word or gesture.  
  • None shall...frequent the company and society of such men as lead an unfit, and dissolute life. Nor shall any without his Tutors leave, or without the call of Parents or Guardians, goe abroad to other Townes.  
  • Every Scholar shall be present in his Tutors chamber at the 7th houre in the morning, immediately after the sound of the Bell, at his opening the Scripture and prayer, so also at the 5th houre at night, and then give account of his owne private reading...But if any...shall absent himself from prayer or Lectures, he shall bee lyable to Admonition, if he offend above once a weeke.  
  • If any Scholar shall be found to transgresse any of the Lawes of God, or the Schoole...he may bee admonished at the publick monethly Act.

Before the American Revolution, ten of the twelve presidents of Harvard were ministers. Over fifty percent of the Harvard graduates of the seventeenth-century became ministers of the Gospel,

Furthermore, the Christian faith was the foundation on which one hundred and six of the first one hundred and eight schools in America were established.

Harvard was founded in “Christi Gloriam” was later was dedicated “Christo et Ecclesiae.”

The original founders of Harvard believed:

“All knowledge without Christ was vain.”

The word “Veritas” which still appears on the Harvard University seal and means 'divine truth.'

The motto of Harvard University was:

“For Christ and the Church.”

At the main entrance of the campus; this inscription is upon the wall near the old iron gate The dedication is also in the catalog of Harvard Divinity School.

“After God carried us safe to New England and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers lie in the dust.”

Samuel Langdon, President of Harvard addressed the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in May of 1775:

“We have rebelled against God. We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it...By many, the Gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism... 
My brethren, let us repent and implore the divine mercy. Let us amend our ways and our doings, reform everything that has been provoking the Most High, and thus endeavor to obtain the gracious interpositions of providence for our deliverance. 
May the Lord hear us in this day of trouble...We will rejoice in His salvation, and in the name of our God, we will set up our banners!”

Abridged from William J. Federer's magnificent work America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations

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