The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, John Dury To Mr Ironside
Dating:6 May 1640
Ref:6/4/50A-51B: 51B BLANK

                           [Hartlib's hand: Ironside]
Worthy Sir:
If there were noe freedome in Christianity there Could be noe acquaintance of spirits, if spirits should not be able to make acquaintance, what would become of the Communion of saints, to which I have Consecrated my studyes? I should labour in vaine, If I did not affect other acquaintance, then that which Commeth by the outward bodily Conversation if all those that are in Christ be members one of another, if all theire spirits meete in one as proceeding from the same roote, if all theire desires breath one thing, & theire life standeth in the same accion & mocion of grace & vertue sure they Can easily make acquaintance together, & be truly intimate one with another by theire spirituall & eternall parts, although they never see one another in the face. I say in theire bodily face, for the true face is the inward shape of the soule, in soe farre as it is turned towards God & made Conformable vnto the Image of Iesus Christ in whose face the glory of the father doth appeare, for the beames of glory proceeding from him, as he was & is the expresse Image of the father in love, righteousnes & holynes & reflecting vpon a heart turned vnto him by truth <H: faith> & knowledge of his word, leave a Vnit & Character of theire owne shape in that soule, & soe make it have one life & being with all gods Children who are bretheren of that same new generation, whereof the kindred

is named in heaven & in earth, out of all people Nations & tongues, this is then the ground of my vniversall acquaintance, & of the freedome which I take to sue for it at any distance whatsoeuer for I know that the spiritt of our father is not limitted to places, but Can make men Ioyne in affections which are Antipodes one to another And although theire hands & eyes may looke to heaven by Contrary aspects, yet theire hearts & prayers for one another may meete at one instant with simpathizing desires before the Throane of grace, Now then when I am told that I have in any place of the world a brother, the sonne of the same heavenly father, the heire of the same Inheritance which is layd vp in store for me, & a partaker of the cares which belong vnto our family, why should not I desire to be acquainted with him and wherefore may not I salute him at such a distance as we now stand at? Can I thinke it wilbe evill taken? should I Conceive that it will not be kindly entertayned? sure if I did soe I should sinne against the duty which I owe vnto him, & wrong the judgment of those that have Commended your worth and vertues vnto me, Therefore I make noe apologie for this addresse which I make vnto myselfe, to scrape (if it may be soe termed) acquaintance with you, for I thinke it a part of my dutie to offer my love & service not

Complimentall wise, but in spirit & truth to all those that live in the spirit & know the true purpose of our heavenly calling which is vnto libertie: soe to bee free & independant from all, as to serve all, through the love of God & not to give any licence vnto the affeccions of flesh & blood to betray our Ioyes[altered] & Comforts with Carnall ends, for you know we are made to perfite & advance one another vnto happines, every one I say according to the measure of the guift God bestowed on him is a steward thereof to dispense it for the vse of others, And how shall wee dispense any thing to any, of whom we take noe Notice or with whom we never begin to make any acquaintance. Least[H capitalises] then I should be wanting in my Dutie & Calling or seeme to neglect the benefit which my poore endeavours for the Church of God may receive by your heartie prayers vnto God for a blessing on them. I have bene bound to offer thus myselfe, and all that which is Gods, & not myne owne) in me, vnto your service in Christianity, that we may be built vp one by another in Comforts of our hope till wee appeare together at the end of our race vpon the top of Mount Sion, where I desire to meete with yow, and till then, beleive it, in the things of my calling you have all authority to Command me (here yow have my hand for it)
                              To serve you according to
Hamburg this 6: of May        my abillitie
        1640                    Iohn Durye.