The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, John Dury To [Godeman?]
Dating:Undated
Ref:6/4/157A-158B
Notes:Turnbull suggests to Godeman and dated 28 March/7 April 1636.
[6/4/157A]

                   Grace & Peace be to yow
                            Amen.
Deare loving friend
The continuall renewing of your affectionate & constant care for me that have never bin able to deserve the least fruits of any benevolence at your hands; maketh me ashamed of my selfe when I thinke vpon the great heape of benefits which yow have bestowed vpon mee; & now this addition which I have received by Sir William Boswell his meanes sent to him from yow in a most kind letter to me doth vtterly [confound?] me, not knowing what to say or do in testimony of thankes towards yow. I can give yow nothing but a sincerely devoted heart vnto your services vpon all occasions; & that I will faithfully expresse in the presence of him before whom we can meete one another daily in prayers: that he would be pleased both to reward for me that which yow have hitherto don to me for his sake which I can not requite; & also blesse the fruits of the seeds of your righteousnes in a speciall providence & Direction over yow in all your wayes, that in the place wherein he hath set yow which I do congratulate vnto yow, your Integrity, Prudency, & discretion & godly behaviour may shine forth to his glory, your owne comfort & the edification of others even as the sun at noone day in the midst of many clouds & darke spots of the aire wherewith for the most parte the Courts of great Princes are infected. I have alwayes wished & do pray to God [it?] may take effect that many such as are of your disposition endued with experience & Godlines, with meeknes & sincere vprightnes might be about the Princes & Nobles of our Christian Religion: & therefore although yow seemed enclined more to a retired life, yet yow know that I never for my parte could perswade yow to it but rather wished yow to stay in the element wherein God had bred yow; because I was perswaded that he had some good vse for your gifts. Now therefore I am heartily glad that yow are in a place of better content then the former was & I entreate yow to take it as a pledge of some better favour at Gods [hand?]
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which he certainly will bestow vpon yow, if as your good affection is of it selfe bent, through his grace, yow improve the occasions which he will offer to yow to advance his glory: which according to your owne zeale towards all good workes yow shall best be able to intend & affect in your owne Discretion & Prudency, wherein the Providence of God will never be wanting to assist yow, when it is heartily craved by prayer to go before vs in all our waies. For God is very kind true loving & faithfull to all such as turne their hearts to him in truth: he will never suffer them to want any good thing that may serve for the encrease of their felicity, or may be fitt to make them able to apply themselves to make advantage vpon all occurrences of such hints & opportunityes of doing good as may serve much for his glory, or the comfort & refreshment of honest hearts; for when we serve the Communion of Saints vprightly we serve God immediatly in his Kingdome, & we cannot draw neerer to him then in such endevours; nor enrich ourselves more with the treasures of Hope of a blessing vpon all our waies then when we addresse them to this Scope. Therefore if I might be so bold with yow as to recommend vnto your thoughts & affections a singular object of such a care; in the advancing of which yow might do the publick good of Religion, Learning, & Schooling all at once as much good, as in the advancement of twenty other particular persons that are not so disposed as he is; I could name vnto yow my most deare freind Mr Hartlib; whose honesty & hearty love to all good workes may be aswell knowne to yow as to me for the generall; but this I thinke I can say more then any that hath interest in him, that none knoweth soe well as my selfe the paines, the zeale, the deepe poverty <H: manifold straites>, the indefatigable courage & heroicall inclinacion of that man to all
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good publick endevours; & in a word the infinite worthines of his person in that most vsefull kind of employment which is so abhorrent from a worldly mans thought, & so transcendant in excellency of Godly zeale & Piety, that he is directly an exquisite Martir of publicke endevours, suffering the losse of all & the perpetuall anxieties of outward & inward straites with incessant labours & turmoiles of body & spirit for to serve others with the totall neglect of himselfe; which he doth with so much patience & meeknes, & hath done these 5 or more yeares to my knowledge, that it is a wonder to me & a great strengthening to my faith to consider the providence by which he doth subsist & by which God maketh, in this so unlikely & in the flesh most miserable estate of his vse of him to advance so great matters by way of chargable Intelligence & Sollicitation of workes of the best nature for <H: which> he is little considered of in the world: there is not a [man?] of ten thousand in any Country of the world that would be for [a?] world of profitt so employed, & bound to go about that which [he?] doth for nothing & it is not possible for a man that conceiveth but superficially & in generall of the nature of his employment to apprehend the vsefullnes thereof at one instant, but it requireth a serious meditacion to see the depth thereof & the breadth of his enlargement for all publicke services. I can testify this much concerning my selfe which is but one parte of his relations that in England he hath bin my right hand without which I could never have proceeded in this worke so farre as I have done; & if he should faint vnder his burthens & be without release, my [breath?] in a manner will be stopped & my feete will be cut of. Therefore if yow love me or love the cause I have in hand which from your Honourable Father was deferred vnto me, & as it were by Gods providence transported; if yow love the bond slave of all the servants of God, & the only faithfull Sollicitor of the Communion of Saints in all [manner of publicke endevours?]
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which is absolutely the most vsefull & necessary of worke that in this age (where conjunction of spirits is so far decayed, & thereby the dissipation of all States & Churches in learning & in Religion brought to passe) can be intended: if I say yow love an object of such a nature wherein all the vsefullnes of all things tending to benefit the publicke stocke of truth & vertue is as it were in one head contracted & sett a worke; then love & consider Mr Hartlib, & in your prayers to God as well as in your occasions which prudently yow may take amongst men, have a care & thought of him: for in helping him yow helpe not hundreds but I may say thousands of all godly soules both at this present & hereafter to many excellent comforts of the spirit of God & meanes of graces & abilityes to bring them to perfection. As for my selfe I shall thinke all that can be don to him don to my owne soule: for if I had 2 farthings in the world he should have the one & the halfe of the other rather then to be in extremity of want. my affection hath carried me away in a large streame vnawares in speaking of him so that I could not make an end till the paper failed: therefore pardon my excesse it is of love both to yow & to him, that yow may be blessed of God to be so happy an instrument of publicke good as to helpe to support so publicke a spirit as is I am perswaded in all the world & no lesse honest a man. I thanke yow for your advertisements concerning your Brother [gap in text] & Mr Gordon: I will make vse of them. Helpe me I pray yow in your prayers that this my Ministery of love & peace for the perfecting of the Communion of Saints may be prospered. The Grace of God be with yow I rest
            Your most affectionate & obliged Servant
                                 in Christ
                                   Iohn Durye
Commend me I pray yow
to Mr Wesselius [rest torn off]