The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, John Dury To ?
Dating:26 February 1640
Ref:1/4/1A-8B: 7B, 8A-B BLANK

Worthy Sir
Your last letter with the inclosed peece of Bishopp Grossete concerning the interpreting of Scripture is a great Testimony of your affeccion to mee & & mindfulnes of my promise to you, It is very welcome in many respects, In respect that you have taken the paines to transcribe it for mee with your owne hand in respect of the Author & the rarity of his workes, In respect of the matter <H?: and> of affinity which it hath with some of my thoughts about that Subject & allthough I perceive partly by the discourse it selfe, partly by the Title of the Treaty whence it is transcribed where it is transcribed which you call De Cessatione legalium, that hee speaketh of the Interpretacion of Scripture onely soe farr as it serveth for that theame which hee hath in hand yet somethinng may bee gathered from it applyable to other matters, For his Rules which are given in the latter end how to interpret Allegorys have some truth & vse, all though it bee but obscurely & not fully opened, The matter[altered] which hee delivereth is not to bee Contradited, but yet not demonstratively proposed. For many hypotheses are taken as granted which would require a proofe if narrowly examined, but it is faire & probable in a Scholasticall Way & I thanke you for it. And now seeing you have given mee occasion to enter vpon these thoughts with you, soe long as this time will permitt I will prosecute the subject from which I have beene soe long time against my will interrupted.

You know by my former excuses the Cause of of my discontinuance, neither doe I love to repeate Complaints allthough the matter thereof is still remaining, but I rather Venture vpon an extemporary straine of writing & will force myselfe to speake vnadvisedly of waighty matters rather then I should seeme vnwilling to pleasure you in that th which by any meanes I am able to doe. You have <H?: by> the former discourse long agoe (which now I have for this Cause revised) I vnderstood summarily these[altered] posicions.
 (1) That a demonstrative method of Analysing Scripture should shew vnto vs the way how a mans vnderstanding may bee led <left margin,H: infallibly> by degrees (that is by an orderly Concatenacion of true thoughts) from one intellectuall object vnto another till it gather[altered] vp all the meaning expressed in the discourses of holy writte[H alters from writ].
 (2) That to lead the vnderstanding of a man by such a way of diving into divine truthes it must bee supposed & granted, that when the mind apprehendeth truely all the simple Axiomes of a discourse & is enabled to joyne all these axiomes together without errour as they are in the text set in relacion one to another that then the totall summe of thoughts resulting from such a meditacion cannot bee false.
 (3) That to apprehend the simple axioms & joyne the same together, the text ought to bee set downe in write & articulately expressed according to the order of the Axioms & theire Coherences by particles which make them have a relacion together & all to theire joynt maine scope.

 (4) That to meditate vpon this frame of Axiomes thus set downe the first Care & Caution must bee to avoide suddaine preconceptions which will readily arise & disorderly bee suggested to the vnderstanding through the quicknes of our imaginacions to doe which the conceiving faculty of the mind must suffer itselfe to bee led in every thing by the letter vnto the matter & becoming all together passive & captivated it must apprehend nothing but that which by a certaine rule the oorderly frame of thoughts doth suggest to bee taken vp from the letter concerning the sense of the matter.
Which pos posicions being thus called to minde I will now proceed where I left & must tell you that I conceive 3 kinds of Analyses which differ not fundamentally in theire methods one from another but onely in theire different sorts of objects. The first Analysis is of the bare words. The Second is of the Sentences. The third is of the matters in the Sentences. And in each of these there may bee againe severall degrees of Analyticall thoughts as a man will more or lesse dive into every object, The Analysis of the words is a consideracion of the same tending to conceive theire literall meaning. as they stand together in one single sentence. The Analysis of the sentences is a Consideracion of the same tending to conceive theire whole materiall sense as they stand together in the Periods of a full discourse. The Analysis of the matters is a consideracion taken vp

about the same tending to conceive the Spirituall meaning thereof as they stand together in subordinacion to the same mystery of Gods Kingdome which is delivered in the doctrine of the Gospell cleerely vnto vs that being apprehended by faith & knowne in the Spirit as an eternall truth it may worke in our Soules the State of regeneracion & this is the Subject whereof Bishopp Grossete seemeth willing to give vs some rules of interpretacion, but mee thinkes hee doth not come home to the purpose which should bee aimed at & is not fundamentall enough in his Rules.
As for the degrees of Analyticall thoughts which may be taken vp in each[altered] of these kinds of meditacions they are two in everyone. The first is of popular & obvious truthes the second is of more hidden & deeper wisedome.
But before I proceed to particulars two things come here in Consideracion to bee explained first why there bee soe many kinds & degrees of Analysis Secondly what theire dependance is one vpon another
The reason & Cause why the method of Analysing must bee devided into soe many parts is this, because there bee soe many different intellectuall objects. I say objects different in kind to bee thought vpon in the Text, which to bee vnderstood should regularly bee resolved into the parts whereof they are made vp & as the objects are different in kinds, Soe the parts whereof they are made vp & whereinto they must bee resolved being of a different

Nature it followeth that the thoughts whereby they are to bee considered must bee allsoe different & distinguished one from another least there bee a Confusion in the method of Analysing. Now that the objects are different in kind is evident by theire definitions. For words are different in kind from whole Sentences joyned in a Period & the outward materiall Sense of a Sentence or of many Sentences <left margin, H: ioyned in a period> is different in kind from the Mistery which by the Spirituall meaning of the matters themselves is offered vnto the Conception of the Spirituall man who hath received vnderstanding to discerne Spirituall things Spiritually as the Apostle sayth they must must bee discerned, Cor: 2. 13, 14. As for the dependence of these things one vpon the other in the text wee see it is most naturall & essentiall vnto the way of teaching For the Text being a doctrinall <left margin,H: speech> or discourse vttered by God for our Instruction in heavenly matters & all speeches amongst men intelligible, being made vp of words & S Sentences bearing matters in theire sense; It is necessary for the vnderstanding of <H: the> matters taught to consider the sentences & to conceive aright of the Sentences to consider the Words whereof they are made vp. For as Sentences are the Essentiall parts of Periods in a discourse soe words are the essentiall parts of Sentences, & allthough this Coherence & dependence of these objects of our Analyticall thoughts bee evident enough in it selfe: yet I suppose it will not

bee amisse to shew something more in it then at the first veiw doth appeare, For these 3 parts of Analyticall meditacion doe Harmonically answer to the three digestions which are in our naturall bodyes for the Sustentacion thereof by food, that even as the matteriall food is dissolved to give our bodyes nourishment, soe the Spirituall food of knowledge is in like manner distributed <H: and> by the division of Gods word made a meanes of nourishment if <H: for> our Soules vnto life Eternall; For in our naturall bodys the first digestion is when the gross substance of meate is dissolved into its Chilus & the Superfluityes are sent away into the draught this digestion is performed in the Stomacke. The Second is when out of the Chilus blood is made which the liver doth performe, & the third is w when out of blood every part of the body taketh to it selfe, by its owne digestive quallity that nutriment whereof it doth stand in need, Soe out of Blood vitall Spirits are digested in the heart & in the braine animall spirits & in the Spermaticall [H alters from Sparmaticall] so Vessels Sperme & in the Paps milk &c each m member assimilating the th Substance[H alters from Subsistance] of blood vnto[altered] it selfe for its owne nutriment. Now as this falleth out in the Elementall food of our Bodys naturally without our knowledge, soe wee to feed our Soules with knowledge[altered from knowledges] must distribute & digest the intellectuall[altered] food thereof by the like operacions & vnderstandingly & this is to bee done by this threefold analyticall Meditacion of the text.

For the bare letter & word of the text is like vnto the grosse meate which is received into[altered from in] the Stomacke, the Sentences[H alters from Senses] are like vnto the blood & the matters are like vnto that which is apppropriated[H alters from appropriated] vnto every member for the sustentacion thereof, the Stomacke into which the words are digested is the imaginative & memorative faculty of the Soule. The liver into which the sentences are digested is the rationative & Comparative faculty, & the rest of the organs into which the matters <are digested> are severall according to the different powers of the Soule, for the Conscience is like vnto the heart wherein the matter becommeth vitall Spirits, The judging & discerning faculty is like vnto the brain wherein the matter becometh animall Spirits, the will & desires are like vnto the Spermaticall vessells wherein the matter becometh a Seede of Regeneracion & all the affeccions & particular habits of vertue & grace are the members of the new man for the inward new man is begotten in the Soule by the incorruptible Seed of the word which liveth & abideth for ever in it 1. Pet: 1. 23. <left margin, H: and> The manner of this begetting of the new man is the renewing of the Soule in [left margin, H: Colos. 3. 10.] knowledge after the image of him that createth it that is after the Image of Christ as then the meat is first chewed & by the Stomacke soe wrought vpon that it becometh like a

pap out of which <H: pappe> blood is made, & out of blood lastly all other bodily Sustenances <H: substances> are produced neither can the latter of these operacions bee accomplished without the former, even soe <H: is> it is with this mentall feeding <H: vpon knowledge>, for the words must bee chewed & reduced to theire proper significations in their simple axioms wherein they become like a pap, out of which the ratiocinative[H alters from rationative] faculty by comparing one axiom with another in <H: observing> the Sentences, draweth good Sense & Sententious notions of truth which <H: is> materiall vnto he way of life, which materiall truthes are afterward distributed by the veines of the Soule into <H: all> the organicall members of the Spirituall man & by theire facultys become a Substance of regeneration through faith in the knowledge of the Mistery of God & of Christ.
  This is then that dependance & Coherence which <left margin, H: which> these parts of the method have one[altered from once] to another where againe it is to bee observed that as an errour in the first digestion cannot bee corrected in the second, nor a fault in the second cannot bee mended by the third, soe it is extreamely difficult when an errour is committed in the Verball Analysis to correct it in the second Analyticall operacion which worketh vpon the Sentences, or when a fault is committed in the sentences to mend it in the third part of meditacion which Analyseth the matters, yet the Correcting of faults in this Spirituall digestion is not alltogether soe impossible as Physicions say it is in our naturall

bodys, because in these mentall operacions a man may have Cause to doubt & soe reitterate & reassume his pst past accions & mend his mistake Thus you see what the parts of this method are & why there must needs bee soe many mentall operacions in it, but how to regulate & direct the thoughts to attaine infallibly vnto the truth in each of these operacions the chiefe of these matter to bee aimed at doth consist, hereof time will not suffer mee to speake at large for the present, yet that you may have an Idea of that which further doth Concerne this Subject it will bee expedient to reckon vp & give you as it were a list of the fundamentall rules which are to bee delivered when it shall please God to give mee more freedome of Spirit & lesse occasions of distraccion.
First then generall Rules are to bee given to shew how the mind ought to proceede perpetually in any of <H: [al?]> these operacions. For seeing the method of finding out truthes is a very simple & plaine way & allways in substance the same but variously to bee applyed vnto the severall objects of meditacion, therefore that wherein the whole matter consisteth ought first to bee delivered by it selfe & then the varietys which arise in making vse thereof about severall objects, are to bee explained.
As for the Generall Rules which in due time God willing shall bee more distinctly explained they are summarily these,
 1   That hee who doth meditate vpon the Text must bee able to know evidently of his owne thoughts

that they doe proceed orderly & not at random & therefore must bee taught how to order the proceedings thereof about every object before hee begin to meditate thereon,
 2   That in every object the ordering of thoughts must bee such that all ways one Conception may bee raised or framed out of another, that is to say, there must bee a Continuall progresse & Coherence of true Conceptions by which the vnderstanding may bee ledde a priori[altered] infallibiliter noto ad posterioris[altered] Cognitionem where must bee shewed what is prius or posterius in Cognitione textuali,
 3   that this progresse in every object must goe from Simples to a Compound of the same kind, or from a Compound to its Simples as they stand in relacion or subordinacion one to another in the discourse which is to bee analysed.
 4   that the manner of[altered from to] proceeding[altered from proceed] eyther from simples to gather <a> Compound or from a Compound to observe the Simples thereof must bee noe lesse infallible & demonstrable then anything ellse conceived or practised in the method of analysing. And then in the particular Rules must bee shewed how in each of the forenamed objects or parts of the Analyticall meditacion all these t Rules are to bee observed in respect of theire Substance yet differently in respect of the matter to which they are applyed; As namely
In respect of the words a mans mind must

bee taught how to order his thoughts to proceed regularly in finding out the true litterall Sense of any word as it is considered by it selfe alone or as it standeth with other[altered from theis] words in the Composure of this or that Axiome, how to proceede from the literall Sense of the Words severally, to gather the litterall sense of the same joyned together in an axiome, & by what evidenc the true sense of the letter may bee demonstratively conceived.
In respect of the Sentences a man's mind must bee taught what to consider therein in the first Second third & fourth &c place, how to observe the Coherence of the parts thereof to make it vp, what relacion the parts of a whole period have to one & other & all to the whole & by what evidence all this may bee found out & the cheife materiall Sense thereof demonstratively gathered.
And lastly in respect of the matters a man's mind must bee taught how the thoughts may bee raysed from the outward part of the materiall Sense of the Sentences to the inward & more Spirituall meaning thereof, which standeth in some mystery which commonly is wrapped vp therein as the kernell in the a shell & by what Sense evidence the true Sense of the mystery may bee Spiritually demonstrated. If the full declaracion of these poynts with the Illustracion thereof by Examples were set downe as I conceive it may bee done, [per?] perhaps your laudable desire to dive into this matter would receive Satisfaccion, but you know

my State & distraccions & you see by the blotts of this writing what time I have to meditate & recollect my selfe in such waighty matters Since my coming from Brunswic immediately after the sight of your letter I begunne to sett these thoughts <left margin, H: to paper>, but before I could make halfe an end I was occasioned to make a journey from hence to Gluckestad to prosecute my negotiacion with his Majesty of Denmarke, there I had noe more time then to reade over what I had written & now I have in hast corrected some of the first expressions I <and> added this list of Rules to the Discourse of the parts of the method that it may serve mee for a Taske against the next time of Leisure & that you may <left margin, H: fore>know the Summe of that which ought to bee explained in this method of Textuall Interpretacion. You cannot believe how I long to bee once at rest & free to my selfe that I may beate out this matter & perfect divers discourses which are begunne about it & it is a loathsome thing vnto my Spirit thus to handle this Subject abruptly & imperfectly But what can I doe? I must command my desires & possesse my Soule in patience till it please God to set mee a liberty & ease mee from the burden of other Cares & thoughts which give mee noe rest by reason of my present Condicion. Remember mee in your prayers who shall never cease to bee
                           Your most ready willing
                           & affeccionate Servant in
                           Christ. I. D.
[H. hand:]
Hamburg 26. Febr. 1640.

         Post Scrip:
Since I came last to this towne I have vnderstood that an Analyticall write which I vpon occasion sent in to Holland to a freind to resolve a doubt of his which hee proposed out of the 16 v. of the 12 Chap: to the Romanes Compared with the 3 v. of the same Chap. will bee transcribed & sent to Mr Hartleib whereof you will bee made partaker, & I desire you yo chew your Cud a little on it till more provision bee sent vnto you I could have imparted it long agoe vnto him if it had beene possible to mee or any man to transcribe it by reason of our more necessary writings & journeys & other distraccions which allmost put vs out of heart to doe any thing more in any publique busines whatsoever. You judge rationally[altered from rationably] of the Parlaiment my prayers are for the Successe of it & that it would please God to doe two things, First to give vnto the Kings Subjects cheifely in Scotland an obeidient & trusty heart towards theire Soveraine, Secondly that all resolucions may soe fall out in England at the Parlaiment that not onely the Scotts may have Cause eyther to trust or to feare him sufficiently, but allsoe that the English may have all Content & full assurance of Constant quietnesse within themselves to bee able to doe good vnto any forraine Churches./