The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, John Dury To Thomas Ball
Dating:9 June 1640

    [Hartlib's hand: To Mr Ball Hamburg 9 of Iun. 1640.]
Reverend Sir
The token of your Love being employed by Mr H: for my <vse> hee sent mee your kind & judicious letter written the 15 of May in Answer to a Case which I did propose vnto you concerning my negotiacion. I thanke you for the one & for the other, And that you should not thinke amisse of mee for proposing that doubt or suspect mee of secret <H: prevarication> in the Cause which I agitate. I thinke it fitt to let you know the occasion which did move mee to propose the Case and my opinion concerning your decision of the same. The occasion was given by those with whom I dealt last in the land of Brunswic and Luneburg who for reasons of publicke state (which neverthelesse are now altered, soe that the question is not any more of[altered from if?] great vse now) would not bee seene to concurre in a worke which should directly and Principally bee taken in hand to oppose Papists. For those Princes (being then in a league with the Emperour & being willing to stand to the fundamentall agreements made heretofore in the Pacificacion of Religion in the Empire) by theire Counsellours & divines that dealt with mee, would have a Caution made to limitate the intention of our negotiacion least it might prejudge theire publicke state and involve them in to some inconveniences whereby the present troubles of Germany might bee made lesse appeasable and the differences of partys in Religion (viz. of Protestants & Papists) lesse tollerable in the German Empire. To make this Caution[altered] the divines that dealt with mee in the presence of the States-men enquired of mee what my true aime was in this busines & whether I and our divines did primarily agitate this worke to make a party against papists? To this Question I

gave an Answer to this effect, that allthough Papists by theire tyranny against Protestants did give just cause vnto all those that are persecuted and condemned by them to the vttermost to joyne together by all manner of ways possible to oppose theire violence & errours & that I doubted not but God would by a mighty hand overthrow theire bloody Counsells & cruell proceedings against his Church: yet that was not the proper ayme of my worke to frame any party against them but rather to heale our owne breaches & by that meanes to take away the advantage which they have against vs prevailing more by reason of our inward divisions and distractions then by reason of any strength or good Counsell that they can vse against vs. I sayd moreover that the cheife ayme & desire of our principall divines who give mee assistance in this worke was rather to heale that which might bee healed on all sides, then to destroy or oppose any that was incorrigible & in a word <to> lay sure grounds of Christian[altered from Christianity] vnity for all that would admitt of the same. That if it bee possible even papists might bee converted & reconciled to vs in the saving & fundamentall Doctrine of the G Gospell. Which when[altered] they heard they were well pleased & soe did proceed to a further Conference about other matters wherein I did perceive a greater Moderacion in many things then I had expected. After our Conference was ended when it was thought good to give mee a declaracion which I should make vse of in theire name for the advancement of the worke They inserted this Clause concerning the purpose of the worke as a part of my declaracion concerning my scope which I tooke noe exception against because I conceived

it not to bee any prejudice to the Cause I have in hand or to the liberty which wee have in the Gospell to rise vp & beare wittnes against the Errours of popery For it is soe farr from that intention that even they who did propose this Caution doe not abstaine from writing and disputing daily against popish Errours & I know they will bee glad that others would joyne with them in the same endeavour allthough they will not seeme professedly to concurre in a party and expresse Combinacion framed against them by reason of by the Consequence and refleccion which the matter may have to <in> theire publicke state   This then is noe ways to bind our hands or to limitate vs in Spirituall endeavours and Conjunction of Counsells against popery but onely to prevent an inconveniency which might befall[altered] vnto them in respect of the negotiacion   And indeed if matters should come to publicke treatys hereafter in the Empire Or if I should bee occasioned to treat with those of vpper Saxony and other parts the same Caution will bee vsed by all that stand vnder the same Relacion to the Emperour Thus you see the occasion which moved mee to propose the Case vnto you But I did not propose it soe slightly and plainely as here I have related in vnto you least you should have thought that I made a doubt where none was to bee made. Therefore I thought good to consider [to?] the matter somewhat more deeply & in that Consideracion to lay it before you, to know your opinion. You have therefore done well to to explaine your mind concerning it neither have I any thing to except against that which

you advise. Nor doth[altered from dothe] the Clause inserted into the declaracion of those of Brunswic any ways vary from the teanour thereof For thus it doth run. - et quum ex ipsius narrationibus & adseveratoribus[altered from adseveratooribus] liquido intellexissemus pacem[altered] inter Ecclesias minime ideo queri [two words deleted] <vt spes Pacis> civilis in Rp: Germaniæ minuatur, aut ut duae partes [arc?] arctius conjunctæ tertiam, quæ pontificiarum sive Romano-Catholicorum, est, oppugnent; Sed potius ut juratio <initio> a reconciliatione harum partium que sine dubio propius[altered from proprius] a se invicem ab sunt facto: Deinceps (ad [spirante?] divina Gratia) ad tentandum cum tertia illa parte longius (proh dolor.) Remota concordiam cogitationes suscipiantur rationesque ineantur & sic porro ad Comprimendas Neophotinianos[altered from Neophitianos] & Socinianos ipsissima Christianæ fidei fundamenta subruentes a quibus Ecclesiæ non parum periculi[altered] <H: imminere> videtur animi et operæ socientur, Arma vero non ad fundendum Christianum & fraternum Sanguinem cujus plus nimis hactenus civilia bella prodegerunnt sed ad reprimendum communem Christiani nominis hostem exitio Germaniæ invigilantem[altered] convertantur: quum hunc (inquam) finem intendi ex ipso intellexissemus, non potuimus propositum non probare & constantiam in proposito operamque impensam & labores exantlatos laudare &c. This Clause having none other meaning then what I have heretofore declared & not binding our hands either before, in, or after our Conjunction from dealing in a Spirituall way with papists either for theire Conversion to the truth or Conviction of errour I did admitt & acknowledge to bee my meaning & I hope will not bee excepted against by any of our most judicious

divines nor give then any cause to thinke otherwise of mee then they ought in Charity to judge[altered] of one that must study to bee on all sides without partiality. In my Iudgement I confesse I am to none more opposite then to Papists & Socinians yet being now professedly an Instrument of peace I thinke it prudencie & a part of my duety to bee voyd of all professed partiallity soe farr as I can possibly bee permitted without giving occasion to those with whom I side to suspect mee of cunning & fraudulent dealing. Therefore the Case which I proposed vnto you concerning the way of dealing with adversaries doth touch the extent of my liberty in yeilding something to them to gaine them without prejudice that I might know how farr without losse to trueth or dissadvantage to our Christian Freedome in maintaining the same I may bind my selfe to Conditions which they may require of mee in case treatyes should fall out to bee agitated in that kind. And for the decision of the matter your Iudgement is sound that I must not bind my selfe to any thing which may make our vnion vseles or restraine mee from bearing wittnes against manifest errours and superstitions which subvert the grounds of religion & the sincerity of our profession. God forbid that wee should loose this advantage by any treatys for this were the betraying of our Cause to common adversarys. I know that it is dangerous to symbolize with Heretickes & papists in outward things I know that allthough a man can sometymes in his particular way being strong doe it in some things for himselfe yet that hee ought allsoe not to doe it, but

leave it off for the offence which may bee taken thereat by such as are weake The [laste ?] <H: case> is cleerely decided by the Apostle (1 Cor: 10 v. 14 till the end) in the matter of eating things sacrificed to Idolls in the presence of a weake Christian. And if this rule had beene observed by such as now of late begin to symbolize <in matters of Ceremony> with Papists in our Church, there had beene noe such occasion of stirre as there is. But when a ruler of a Church will rather offend all that hee ought to edifye in <H: the> trueth then leave off symbolizing with professed enemys <adversaries> I cannot excuse him from guiltines nor can I condemne such as stand vp for the cleering of theire profession from dangerous collusion with manifest opposites vnto the Gospell. This then ought in my judgement to bee thought vpon namely what a [word deleted] <H: man> may safely doe without prejudice to his liberty in Christ for vpholding trueth & without offensive collusion and symbolizing[altered] with adversaries to confirme them in theire Errours & scandalize the true members of Gods Church. The Apostle saith 1. Cor: 10. that all is lawfull but all is not expedient wee must then looke to the Circumstances of that which is to bee done hic & nunc[altered] for Edificacion, yet soe that noe greater Inconveniency follow therevpon then the benefit <H: is which> I make at the present And as I may make vse of my liberty <vpon these condicions> soe I thinke none ought to take offence <H: at another> in this case; yet it is wisedome to foresee the possibility of taking offence and to vse meanes of prevention as now at this tyme I have endeavoured to doe

least I might bee suspected of secret prevarication of which I know my selfe most free as being guided by a rule which maketh mee free from partiality and because my vow (which you will see in print in the Coppys which I have sent over to Mr H:) doth bind mee to bee voyd of all worldly ends of which I allsoe God bee praised am hitherto<TRANS SWITCH="2"></TRANS> free<TRANS SWITCH="1"></TRANS>, soe that with a good conscience I can say I have none other intention nor by-respect or mixt purpose, but onely a single ayme to advance the royall way of Edificacion[H capitalises] soe farr as Christian Charity will suffer mee to goe without dissadvantage to Gods trueth. And if any thing should seeme otherwise to any or if I should seeme to vary my rules which in my vow I have fixed to my conscience to keepe it within bounds, least I might fly out & abuse my liberty, there can bee nothing more acceptable vnto mee then to heare of it from such as are judicious, by way of admonicion which I shall take most kindely Therefore I pray you doe in this case with mee if you should conceive[H alters from perceive] any scruple as I desire to bee dealt withall. For nothing can bee more profitable to mee then to have occasion to cleere doubts if there bee any, <left margin, H: or to rectifie my way's if they giue any cause of doubtful thoughts vnto any.> I thanke you for your readines to promise your assistance in Counsell as need may require & as things may bee within your reach I will reciprocally promise to let nothing passe of moment without your knowledge Let vs pray one for another & as wee have the opportunity doe good vnto all Especially those that are of the household

of Faith & let vs prevent by any meanes that our good may not bee well spoken of The Grace of God bee with your Spirit I rest
                        your truely loveing freind
                               & Servant
                                            I: D: