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Harvard University

Rules And Precepts At Harvard In 1636

The Rules and Precepts that were observed at Harvard University, September 26, 1642, stated: 

"1. When any Schollar...is 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. 

2. Let every 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 eternal! 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 wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him Prov. 2, 3. 

3. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoreticall observations of Language and Logick, and in practical! and spiritual! 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. 

4. That they eshewing all profanation of Gods 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 minces, else let them know, that (notwithstanding their Learning) God may give them up to strong delusions, and in the end to a reprobate mince, 2 Thes. 2:11,12. Rom. 1:28. 

5. That they studiously redeeme the time; observe the general! houres...diligently attend the Lectures, without any disturbance by word or gesture.... 

6. 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. 

7. 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. 

8. 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."

1636. Old South Leaflets" Peter G. Mode, "Sourcebook and Biographical Guide For American Church History" (Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing Co., 1991) pp. 74-75