The Hartlib Papers

Title:Letter, John Dury To [Hartlib]
Dating:25 August 1646
Notes:Copy extracts at 1/15 & 47/14.

Deare freind
in my last I gaue yow some incident thoughts; concerning the improouement of the library keepers place at Oxford; to shew the true ende & use therof, & how the keeper therof should bee regulated in the trade which hee is to driue for the aduancement of learning; & encouraged by a competent maintenance & supported in extraordinarie expences for the same. now yow wish that Mr. Rous who is the Chaireman of the Committee for Oxford were furnished with a discourse such as I then did beginne to delineat: I know that Mr. Rows is a man of iudgment & parts beyond many; & a great louer of learning; if the [X ? inserted in connection with extracts being taken?] motion bee but made unto him upon such grounds as haue beene briefly suggested, I make no doubt but hee will bee able & willing also to enlarge it towards the houses, with better conceptions then may bee suggested by me unto him, or <by> any other for if it bee Considered that amongst many eminencies of this Kingdome that library is one of the most considerable for the aduancement of learning; if rightly improoued & traded withall for the good of many at home & abroad; if this (I saye) bee rightly Considered & represented to the houses, that by this meanes this nation, as in other thinges, so especially for Pietie & Learning, & by the aduancement of both may now bee made more glorious then any other in the world; no doubt such as in the houses know the worth of Learning, will reddily consent unto the motions which may bee made towards this purpose. what a great sturre hath beene heretofore about the eminencie of the Librarie of Heidelberg <but> what use was made of it? it was ingrossed into the handes of a few till it became a praye unto the enemies of the Truth; if the librarie keeper hadde beene a man that would haue traded with it for the increase of true Learning; it might haue beene preserued unto this daye in all the rarities therof, not so much by [left margin: the shutting up of] the multitudes of bookes & the rarenes therof for antiquitie as by the understandings of men & their proficiencie to improoue & dilate knowledge, upon the grounds which hee might haue suggested unto their[copy at 47/14 says others] of parts: & so the librarie rarities would not only haue beene preserued in the spirits of men, but haue fructified abundantly therin unto this daye: wheras they are now lost, because they were but a Talent digged in the ground: & as they that hadde the keeping of that <librarie> made it an Idoll, to bee respected & worshipped for a raritie by an implicit faith, without any benefit to those who did esteem of it <a farre of> so it was iust with God that it should fall into the hands of those, that in all thinges follow an Idolatrous waye, to blind men with shewes without <all> reallitie of substantiall vertue which [catchword: is only eminent]
[left margin:]
I praye remember me to sir Cheney & to Mr. Godeman, to Mr. Haake & all other freinds
When yow receiue Dr. Spanheims bookes from Mr. Haake let me know; that I may write to him to thanke him for his paine & bid him in the meane tyme let Dr. Spanheim know that I am not at London

is only eminent in this that it becommeth profitable unto all, by dilating the light of knowledge & the loue of grace & goodnes in the hearts of all men that are fitte to receiue the one & the other, & where this aime is not in those that are intrusted with public places; there they in ende will bee found unprofitable seruants: for the trust which God hath put into their hands to profit withall they discharge not; for the account which euery one is to giue [un?] unto him of his stewardship, is not how carefully hee hath kept thinges of use, unto himself; to pride himself in the possession of that which others haue not (as the custome of men is, that know not what true glorie is) but how faithfully & diligently hee hath distributed the same to such as were worthy therof for their good; that they might bee stirred up both to glorifie God for his goodnes & to imitate him in the communication of all good <things> unto others for his sake freely: this was Christs worke on earth to receiue us unto the glory of God; this was that which hee taught by his practise; that it is more blessed to giue then to receiue; this is that which this envious world cannot relish; & what stoppes the current of true Loue in the hearts of men? Nothing so much as the self seeking of men in the wayes of learning by which they couetously obstruct the fountaines of life & comfort; which might ouerflow & water abundantly the barren & thirstie soules of those that perish for want of addresse unto wisdome: which in all the wayes of humane & Divine learning might bee mainly aduanced by the industrie of one Man in such a place, whose trade should bee such as I formerly described; to deale with the spirits of all men of parts; to set them a working one by & towards another, upon the Subiects which hee should bee intrusted withall to keep in the[altered?] stock of learning. it is the glory & riches of nations & of great cities to make themselues a center of trade for all their neighbours: & if they can fine wayes of policie to oblige their neigbours to bring receiue from their Magazines the commodities wherof they stand in need; it is euery waye a great benefit unto the state: so it may bee in matters of learning & by the trade of Sciences, this Church may oblige all the neighbour Churches, & that uniuersitie all forrainers that trade in knowledge; to receiue precious commodities wherof they stand in need from our Magazines & store houses; if a painfull steward & dispenser therof bee employed & maintained to use industrie for so blessed a worke, from whence much glorye unto God in the Gospell; & honnour will redound to the nation: for although the wayes of humane learning are almost infinit [catchword: & wonderfully]

& wonderfully various & haue their peculiar uses in the outward life of man for which most men affect them; yet in one that is to mind the uniuersall good of all; the whole varietie & diuersitie of matters, usefull unto this present life, as they come within the sphere of learning; must bee reduced, & may bee subordinat; unto the aduancement of the Gospell of Christ, wherin the glory of the nation at this & at all tymes should bee thought to stand. & truly that is the thing which takes most with me; for which I would haue that librarye thus Improoued by a faithfull keeper; that when his trade is set a foot with all those that are of eminent parts in their seuerall faculties; wee knowing who they are & wherin their eminencies doe lye, may haue opportunities <to> prouoke them to the right use therof by giuing them obiects from our store, & furnishing them with taskes & matters to bee elaborated; which cannot bee diuerted from the Scope of Gods glorye, to bee made knowen unto all in Iesus Christ: for there is nothing of knowledge in the mind of man which may not bee conveniently referred unto the vertues of God in Christ; wherby the humane nature is to bee exalted unto that dignitie, wherunto hee hath renewed it; that it should by[altered] him rule ouer the whole Creation: & the want of this aime to looke upon thinges in order to him; & to sette them a working without relation to him, is that which blasts all our endevours; & makes them determine in Confusion & disorder: for whatsoeuer is not directed in its owne place with some Reference unto him; must bee ouerthrowen; nor is there any waye left for any to prosper in that which hee undertaketh, but to learne to know him, & respect him in it, for the aduancement of his Kingdome ouer the soules of men; which by the sanctified use of all knowledge is Chiefly effected: if then the trade of learning is to bee set a foot in a public waye; & Regulated to deserue the Countenance of a Religious state; this aime & the waye of prosecuting of it must bee intended & elaborated; for except sciences bee reformed in order to this scope, the increase of knowledge will increase nothing but strife, pride & Confusion; from whence our sorrows will bee multiplyed & propagated unto posteritie: but if hee who is to bee intrusted with the managing of this trade, bee addressed in the waye which leadeth unto this aime without partialitie his negotiation will bee a blessing unto this age & to posteritie:
I haue no tyme to inlarge upon this subiect or to conceiue a formall & Regular discourse; but the thoughts which thus [catchword: fall into? MS torn]

fall into my mind I impart unto yow that yow may giue them as hints unto others who of themselues will bee able to inlarge them either to the houses, or to such as can swaye the Counsells of leading men in the houses. [))? inserted in connection with extract being taken?]
yesterday I was engaged in our Catecheticall matters to ripen some things by ioint deliberation with my fellow labourers; perhaps the next weeke wee shall bee able to send yow some thinges to bee printed for our use according to the modell of proceeding which in my last I described unto yow: & if that cannot bee so soone reddie, yow may confidently expect something concerning the teaching of Logicke, & the use of Reason in yong beginners as yow did desire in english.
I thank yow for all the particulars of yowr letters to which I cannot now speake, nor is it needfull: only I am gladde that Mr. Reynolds is made Choise off to bee vice Chancelour of Oxford; hee is a man of learning eminent in parts; solid in iudgment, Godly wise & knowen in the lawes & Constitutions of the state, & euery waye qualified for such a place & I am persuaded will bee a reall favourer of public [designes? MS torn] yow haue acquaintance with him; if yow take an opportunitie to see him, & occasionally tell him that I doe [congratulate? MS torn] him heartily in the places, to which hee is appointed; I suppose hee will take it well. in aurem tamen dicendum; quod cum grano salis dispensanda sint erga illum. Cogitata nostra quibus reformationem scientiarum molimur: omnes non [capiunt? MS torn] omnia: but generall good motions such as this is of the trade of Learning, of Practicall Divinitie, of furthering Peace & Moderation, & such like may without all scrupule bee imparted.
the bibles wherof yow haue sent me some pages are indifferently well printed; if they bee correctly printed all will bee well if it is free for euery one to print them, it is likely they will bee cheaper, but what course may bee, or is taken for the [correctnes? MS torn] of the printing I would haue yow to enquire: in holland some small bibles haue beene printed heretofore but most shamefully vicious to the dishonour of God & religion; therefore the [correctum? MS torn] is to bee lookt unto.
my wife & I thank yow for the Recepts of the liquor [Saturni? MS edge] thanke Mr. Worsley from us; if my wife or I can settle so as to apply our selues for the making of those that medicine wee will not bee backward to improoue the use of it to the good of many: our present care is to order our owne soules & the soules of those with whom wee are here to bee conversant if wee can find the Kingdome of heauen wee hope the rest [left margin:] will not bee wanting in due tyme. The Lord direct us in the waye to profit in all thinges, & to make all outward intendements subseruient to more eminent uses then what they reach unto in respect of the Body. I must breake of & commending yow to the Grace of God rest
                            Yowr entirely deuoted freind
Winton this 25. Aug.               in Christ to serue yow
    1646.                                       Iohn Dury
My humble seruice and respects to Sir William Waller; to whom I haue nothing of moment to write. item to Mr Sollicitor; & Mr. Sadler, & Dr. Coke when yow write to them. I sought yesterday Sir Cheneys letter looking ouer other papers the [greatest?] part of the morning from [6? MS torn] till [12c?] but could not find [it.? MS torn]