The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Extract In Hand ?, John Dury To Hartlib
Dating:[31 August 1646]
Ref:1/6/7A-10B: 9B, 10A BLANK
Notes:Original at 3/3/32, copy at 1/6/11:.

[another hand:] Durie
[Hartlib:] An extract of a Letter to Mr H.
  Concerning Borehl I shall desire you to make use of what I shall saye of him so as not to make his name openly knowen; but impart the descriptiom which I give without a name inscribed[H alters from described] & you may reveale to such as you thinck good his name by word of <H: mouth> & the place of his abode: [deleted up to this point by H] [left margin H: 1. begin from the words As for etc.] As for the man himselfe <H: our Friend> this I can saye upon certain Knowledge of him of his State[H capitalises] & of his Wayes[H capitalises]: That from his youth since the time that hee lived here in England & did studie at Oxford, hee hath beene noted for zeale to Religious wayes & for exemplarie forewardnes to advance the knowledge of the Truth[H capitalises] in matters of Practise. His[H capitalises] affection that[H alters] waye when the German Sigler (who was in <H: the> ende discovered to bee an imposter) was here, did cost him deer for hee was free of his purse toward him till hee was found out; & since I know, that hee hath never beene wanting, so long as God did continue his estate, to contribute not only unto the necessities of the saints, but unto public designes which tend unto Religious endes; for the mans spirit doth lye wholly that waye not only to bestowe his meanes but to spend himself wholly upon the thinges that are most Eminently usefull to the kingdome of Christ in the Gospell, as it ought to bee advanced without partialitie towards all men: the love of Godliness & Grace wheresoever it doth appeare to bee in a good Conscience or wheresoever it may be wrought in such as have the knowledge of Principles[H capitalises] leading to a good Conscience; doth raise his affection without partialitie above the common straine to apply himselfe towards them for the increase therof; so that hee doth not at all looke upon any mans opinions whatsoever they may bee with any prejudice; but walking by an vniversall[H alters from universall] light doth take up every one as hee findes him to prosecute[H alters] in

that degree of greath <H: growth> wherin hee standes that which is most usefull for public & privat edification. His partes of vnderstanding[H alters from understanding] are very large & answerable to this Aime[H capitalises] of dealing with all men upon vniversall[H alters from universall] grounds; for though hee can apply himselfe very distinctly to the debate & consideration & search of all particular matters, which may come into debate; yet he caryes along in his minde continually a more transcendent Principle[H capitalises] & Rule[H capitalises] of Contemplation[H capitalises] then any man that I have mett withall in any of my travells; which made me close more Cordially in all things with him. For as I found his Parts[H capitalises] answerable to his Aime[H capitalises]; so I could not but take notice of Gods designe, that certainly hee hath ordained him for some peculiar great Worke[H capitalises] in this, or the future Age[H capitalises] wherein hee is to bee Instrumentall[H capitalises]; & the rather because these talents are improoved by a diligence & laboriousnes which is undefatigable; & employed about the Objects[H capitalises] which are not ordinarie, or in the eye almost of any other men that are noted & cryed up in the Churches[H capitalises]. For wee find that the esteeme of most men is raised upon the abilities which they shew in dealing with particular Adversaries[H capitalises] in speciall Controversies[H capitalises]: but hee is lifted above all scantie designes & hath with long & painfull studies & great expence[altered], applyed himself to elaborat the Fundamentalls[H capitalises] of Christianitie, against Atheists & Iewes & against all the presumtuous Professors[H capitalises] & Practicers[H capitalises] of Religion in a self conceited waye wherby they indirectly overthrow the truth of that profession which is truly saving. I have seene divers of his peeces which are elaborat; & drawen from grounds which are to all men that are but Rationall[H capitalises] Vndenyable[H alters from undenyable]: hee makes no haste to put forth any thing, nor hath hee any ambition to be knowen to have anything of this kind elaborat; but rather conceales himselfe & his labors, & is not unwilling that others may enioye

the benefit of them without any notice that they are his: hee did spend to satisfie himself in dealing with the Iewes, & to inable others heerafter to deal with them, seven or eight yeares in constant studie, with a Iewe whom hee did hire to go along with him in the course of his studie; I saye hee did spend this tyme with incredible diligence & constancie in the studie of the Misnayoth & of the chief Commentators therof; & because his Iewe could not speak Latin but Portugalls & French only; hee did learne the Spanish & Portugall language to bee able to understand his true & full sense in the matters concerning their lawes: & with this Iewes helpe hee gotte the Misnayoth transcribed, & punctuated, interpreted, & enlarged with commentaries which are amongst them authenticall such as Bartenora is & others; to the ende that both the common sort of Iewes might know what the constitutions of their Religion is, & also that the learned sort of Christians upon the same discoverie might bee able to know how to deal with them for their conviction; & before I went from him hee told me that his way would bee to publish the Misnayoth with points first under the name of some Iew; because if it should bee put forth under the name or by the industrie of any Christian, it would not bee of credit amongst them: & hee told mee that none but Manasseh[H alters from Manaseh] Ben Israel was fit to have the credit of it to make it currant amongst the Iewes, & therefore I see that hee hath brought his designe to passe in this particular; how farre hee will proceed in the publication of the rest which hee hath in reddines I am not [inserued?] <H: informed>, but I suppose that hee will neglect nothing, that may bee done, no doubt the Latin translation in due tyme will bee hadde, both of the text & commentators. I know his zeal will not suffer him to rest till hee hath brought the matter to some period, for although hee hath not such meanes of his owne as will

beare the charges which are requisite in prosecuting this designe, yet there is hope that God will raise instruments to assist him; for no doubt the tyme doth drawe neere of their calling; & these preparatives[H alters from preparats] are cleer presages of the purpose of God in this worke, for when hee doth beginne to fitte meanes for the discoverie of their errors & for the manifestation of the Truth of Christianitie, upon more vniversall[H alters from universall] grounds then as yet have beene offered to them, it is a cleer token that hee intends to take the vaile from of their faces; & the many wayes which are now intended for the facilitating of the studie of the Orientall languages amongst Christians, is another token of the same purpose of divine Providence; The Iewe which hee made use of is one called Iudas Leon, who at his cost did build a moddell of the temple of Ierusalem with all the appurtenances thereunto, in a most exact waye according to the description made therof in the Scripture & after the sense of all the Rabbies that are of note & credit: this peece I have seene, & amongst all the Rarities & Antiquities which are to bee taken notice of, there is none to be compared therunto; when once our Antiquaries shall see the description therof, they will find other objects of curiosite then hitherto have beene minded, & that one peece of discoverie of the Iewish [marters?] <H: matters> will bee an inlet to the manifestation of all other things which concerne the tenour of their Religion: & so a meanes to raise mens thoughts to mind them, & to compare their former & latter wayes of worshipping God & to offer unto them that truth of Worship[H capitalises] which is most spirituall, which the Prophets have foretold should bee exerci exercised[H alters] in the Kingdome of the Messias. And to advance this designe hee hath prepared a Treatise[H capitalises] fitted for their vse[H alters from use] to demonstrate the Divinitie of the Histories of the New Testament by all the Arguments[H capitalises]

by which they beleeve the Old[H capitalises] Testament[H capitalises] to be delivered by God unto their Nation[H capitalises], which arguments hee sheweth to bee more plentifull, & more pregnant[H alters] in the New then in the Old Testament; which is not only fit to convince them, but to refute all Atheists, who value[H alters] the Holy Scriptures no more then some other Writing[H alters from writes] of cunning Men[H capitalises] or of Philosophers, that wrote by their naturally eminent parts wisely, yet in straine differently from others, of which sort there are many in the Christian World[H capitalises], which have as great need to bee soundly dealt withall as any others; for such vndermine[H alters from undermine] & overthrow all Religion whatsoever. I could wish from my heart that if God doth put it in the heart of this State[H capitalises], or of the City of London to advance Godlines & Learning in an universall Waye[H capitalises], which is the least requitall can bee given to his Glory[H alters from glorys] for all his mercies to them: that this Man[H capitalises] & such as are qualified in this Kind might bee sent for & employed in those Workes[H capitalises] wherunto God hath eminently fitted them. I have not time[H alters] to adde what might bee further said & <H: but> I shall commend you[H alters from yow] to the Grace of God & all your public thoughts to this blessing; & my self to your prayers<H:.> who am Yours faithfully in Christ.
                                          I. D.

[another hand:]
Extract of Letter giving some account of Mr Dury & his designs.
[another hand:]
or [Borellus.?]