The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, John Davenport To John Dury
Dating:25 June 1660

      To his much honoured Friend & Brother in Christ
      Mr Iohn Durie, Preacher of the Gospell in London.
Worthy, much honoured, & deare Brother in the Lord,
I received yours dated the 16th of the 1st month & have communicated vnto sundry of the Preaching Elders of the Plantations, on the Sea Coasts, neare Newhaven, being assembled at the Ordination of a Pastor to a neighbour & sister Church, your loving Letter directed to them together with that which you sent me.
For which, & the Intelligence you sent vs, they all returne, by mee, many thanks to you, with acknowledgment of their strong obliegment & profession of their reall[altered] purpose to pray for a prosperous success of your Negotiation, & a plentifull blessing vpon your person therein, so soone as they shall vnderstand, that a way is opened vnto you, by the Providence of God, for your encouragement to proceed therein. In the meane time, we doe all look at the obstructions of your worke, by the manyfold changes & distractions, as a considerable part of the Calamitie of these miserable & distressed times, for which we desire to be truely & duely grieved, with reflection vpon our owne sins, which concurre with others, in provoking the jealousie of the most High, thus to rebuke & testifie against this backslyding, vnfaithfull generation, who as soone breake Covenants as they make them, professe it to bee their greatest Designe to accomplish a Reformation of what hath been amiss, in Church Order & the administration of Ordinances, & in all things to advance Christ ends & rules; yet acte as men, that seeke themselves & their owne things & not the things of Iesus Christ. For which the Lord hath in his just displeasure cutt off from vs the former opportunities, advantages, Liberties, which we, by our not improveing them as we ought, have forfeited & declared our vnfaithfullnes & hypocrise before all men, & therefore must say, The Lord is righteous, if he for the future lay vs aside, as broken vessels never to be vsed in any Honourable Service, in the Concernements of the Kingdom of Iesus Christ.
  For myselfe, I looke at Yourselfe, & Mr Hartlib, & Mr Comenius as[altered from at] three witnesses against this vnthankfull Age, by whom God hath offered singular advantages for Religion, Learning, & Universall Wellfare; yet neither have the Offers been thanckfully received, nor the offering Instruments honourably rewarded. [catchword: In]

In London are wealthy men enough to set all Engines a worke, which have been presented by you; & if I were resident there, as in time past, I still hope, your workes should not wither & dye by want of such supplies. Heere in New England the people, if they had mindes, want meanes to be helpefull, by their Estates, excepting some Traders, vpon whose gettings I expect little, if any blessing, for sundry reasons. Soe that I am now discouraged from the Colledge worke in these parts, vpon which mine heart hath beene so many yeares, for the good of posterity, whom I pitty exceedingly, & feare their ruine, if some course of good Education in Learning succeed not. All that we can reach to, at present, is a Colonie Schoole to be set vp in Newhaven, wherein Latine, Greeke, & Hebrew are to be taught, so farr as is reqvisite to fit them for the Colledge, for which we had some meanes beqveathed by a deceased Friend, whose Estate lay in another Colonie, who seeke qvarrells & Cavills against the Will, to deprive vs of the Legacie, that they may keepe the Whole[altered] Estate among themselves, & deprive vs of our reight. Nor have we any hope of recovering what is due to vs, vnless we may have helpe from England, where the Executour liveth, which we seeke by this returne. If that faile, media rem benè gerendi deficient, atque in proposito persistendi causa ac spes successus adeo disjecta & eversa fuerint, ut, sicut homines ad incitas redacti solent, exclamemus, Qvid agamus? qvo nos vertamus? We have noe more to doe, but to flie vnto God by Faith, & commit our Cause & his owne Interest to him, waiting vpon him, & looking for him, who delighteth to bee seene in the mount, & when all the helpe in the Creature faileth, can & will send helpe from Heaven immediately, so farr as it may consist with the Counsaile of his will. The same give me leave, to say to yourselfe (Honoured Brother) & to those worthyes conjoyned & combined with You in vnwearied endeavours for advancement of Christs Kingdom, & the Common good of Mankinde, & the Glory of God thereby; though men be vnthanckfull & vnfaithfull, yet God is not vnmindfull of your Labour of Love, which yee have shewed towards his Name. And though you may seeme to have laboured in vaine, as to men, & to have spent your strength for nought; yet your Iudgment is with the Lord, & your worke with our God. Therefore be yee stedfast, vnmoveable, allwayes abounding in the worke of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labour is not in vaine in the Lord. I proceed in my Ministry [catchword: according]

according to the Project for a Body of Practicall Divinity, which I doe highly approve, & shall be reddy to publish my Pastorall labours in preaching suitably to that good & necessary Designe. Some taste whereof I may, if I meete with a safe conveyance, transmit at this time, to some Friends in London, who have sollicited me by their Letters, to send to them some fruites, at least a taste of what the Lord hath been pleased to helpe me to dispense to this Church. I have formerly last, by Shipwrack, some Copies sent to England, one of which I can never recover, because it was the onely Copie I had, which sometimes causeth me to wish for a presse at Newhaven; which, if I could procure with fit Instruments & supplies of paper, I should improve for some service to the Church, without delay. But I feare, I shall weary you with my scribling, & be injurious, by detaining you from better Emploiments. Therefore I shall take off my pen, after I have prayed you to accept innumerable thanks for the papers, & bookes, & Intelligences, it pleased you to send vnto me, of which I hope to make good use. And after I have assured you, that my heart is much knit to you in the Lord, to whom my Prayers shall be for continuance of his gracious presence with you in Iesus Christ, In whom I rest
                     Sir   Yours exceedingly oblieged
Newhaven the 25th d.       Friend & Brother
of the 6th M.1660.                       Iohn Davenporte
PS. Sir, Your representation of the State of the Protestant Churches in Europe, I have perused, & have improved to awaken all that heard me to lay to heart the Afflictions of Ioseph, with Instructions added by me, how they may be prepaired to exercise an right hope in God, in reference to the State of his[altered from this] Churches, by every one, having & expressing a publick Spirit, in the Communion of Saints. I value that piece of Intelligence above the weight of it in gold; & am sensible of the want of some publick Agents likeminded to yourselfe, by whom we might receive the true reporte of forreigne Affaires, that so wee may know how to Counterworke the Enemie, & to lift vp prayers suitably to the Exigencies of the Churches.
I beseech you Sir, to continue this Correspondencie betweene vs.

[another hand:]
Mr Davenport of New-haven in New England to Mr Durey.