The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, [Dury] To ?
Dating:17 January 1642
Ref:6/4/123A-124B
Notes:Turnbull (HDC p224) says from Dury.
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Sir
If the Reasons which have bin alleadged heretofore to Mr Hinderson in a Letter sent to him, & now of late in another short discourse printed concerning that subiect are valid enough to prove, that a Correspondency for some further Vnion in spirituall matters is necessary & most vsefull for the Churches to be continued, as I have endeavoured to begin it; & if therefore it should be set foreward & countenanced by these Churches with permission & allowance of the State; I thinke it will not be amisse to shew the meanes & wayes how it should be set a foote to reach the end for which it is to be sought for; But before I come to speake of this I will mencion one thing which seemeth very considerable in respect of the present State of publick affayres in this Island. For whether in this Kingdome matters be setled or not setled, the purpose of entertayning[altered from entertanying] correspondency with forraigne Churches will be very necessary. For if our affayres be setled according to the prayers of the Godly, then to maintayne our selves in that estate, & vphold the Protestant cause abroad against Papists, and to propagate the truth of the Gospell vnto all, it will be necessary to correspond in spirituall matters with the rest of Protestants, that we may be able to do what is to be done in such excellent objects by a Brotherly concurrence, by which in the Communion of Saints God doth all, & with out which nothing doth prosper in publick Ecclesiasticall matters; if our affayres by the plots of Adversaries, or by reason of Gods judgments over this [catchword: state]
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State should still continue for some yeares in a turbulent, vncertayne, & doubtfull condicion, or begin to grow worse[altered] then we hope they shall be, then for our owne strengthening & safety, it will be altogether necessary to keepe a good correspondency with forraigne Divines that whensoeuer either a Nationall Synod shall be called here, or a Councell of Protestants be endicted either here or elswhere; that then the cause of our Church & Religion may not suffer detriment or be condemned which no doubt may & will come to passe, if noe course be vsed to prevent the worst intencions & construccions of evill Men concerning our proceedings. Non minor est virtus quam quærere parta tueri. Therefore if my mocion of a spirituall correspondency be not disliked. I would now proceed to shew & submit vnto your Iudgment the way & manner how it might be set a foote, That if it be approved by yow, it may be imparted to the Lords Commissioners & if they take the matter to heart, I may receive Councell how to behave my selfe in tyme to come for the proposall of matters vnto the generall Assembly <H: of> our Nationall Church. I conceive then that the first ground of Correspondency should be laid betwixt the sound Divines of this Church & our Divines at home who by the generall Assembly are appointed to intend this busines. To this effect I have already peticioned the Parliament here that they would be pleased to name some Divines vnto me to whom I should make mine addresse to have conference with them about this matter; & if yow would by your ac-
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acquaintance further this proposition that some may be named to whom I should make proposalls concerning the spirituall Correspondency which I sue for, I thinke yow would doe a very good & profitable endevour to the Church of God. The men being named here, I would labour to gaine their consent & cooperation that a Nationall Synod might be procured in this Kingdome, for the setling of the Church in Peace, & in some frame of correspondency & conformity with other Churches which are gouerned in a Synodicall way, that there may be a possibility in tyme to come to continue to a full period the good Intelligence which is to be intended amongst our selves first, & then also betwixt vs & forraigne Churches. When those that are here to be named should have agreed vnto the proposalls, which may be made vnto them about this & some other matters, then I might goe into Scotland to be at the generall Assembly to get their consent & approbacion also vnto the motions which shall be allowed of here to be vnanimously intended. When these mocions shall be consented vnto there; then as from the consent of the Church of Scotland, & as from the Committee of that Church appointed for correspondency with forraigners the matter should be proposed vnto the Churches of Holland, <left margin, H: to obtaine their consent and concurrence in like manner vnto this Worke. And from Holland it> it haveing consented thervnto, the busines could in a short tyme by fit conveyances spread abroad to the rest of all the French, the Germans, the Helvetian, the Polonian & the Transylvanian Reformed Churches, & from thence Answers could be procured in due time which might from Holland be returned [catchword: to]
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to Scotland & hither by him who should prosecute the busines for the publick good, & reside to that effect for a while there. And if matters should grow worse & worse here, his[altered from this] more constant residence might be setled there, to agitate there & from thence toward other Churches in the name of the Church of Scotland & of the sound party of England, those things which the necessity of the times should require to be intended in spirituall matters for the preservacion & the propagation of the Gospell. The particular propositions which may be made here at first concerning the procurement of a Nationall Synod, & the rest of the proposalls which may consecutively be mencioned both here & in Scotland may be imparted vnto yow when yow shall let me vnderstand how far yow agree to these Generalls. Now to make this worke of Correspondency, whereof in due time a full frame & platforme may be communicated vnto yow, feaseable meanes & maintenance must be found to beare the Charges thereof, & of other things which are to be put in print for the better disposing of the minds of all Men who shall be affected towards the Correspondency & communicacion of Councells. These meanes may be found both in England & Scotland. concerning which I will referre yow vnto my Lord Forbes, to conferre of the way how it may be compassed. And thus I commend yow to the Grace of God, remayning your
London the 17th
   of Ian: 1641./42. faithfull Servant &c.