The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Extract In Hand ?, John Dury To Hartlib
Ref:6/10/1A-16B: 1B, 15A-B, 16A-B BLANK
Notes:Turnbull (HDC p228), probably written June 1642.

               An Extract of Mr. D. letter
                written long agoe to S.H.

When I was in my charge at Elbing in the ministry, I joyned these thoughts with my ordinary meditations & laboured to ripen the matters belonging to this purpose for mine owne information in that which was to bee done, & when I was lawfully discharged of that place, & dismissed from the Congregation which was indeed dissipated by the continuance of warres, because I had none other imployment, I knew noe better worke to bee taken in hand, & more essentiall to the Gospell then this of publicke pacification, therefore I made it the object of all my thoughts, & endeavours, by which meanes I did ingage my selfe fully vnto it, & resolued to oblige others whom I thought most fit to bee stirred vpp to vndertake the thoughts thereof together with mee. For I thought then with my selfe, that which now I find by reall experience to bee most true, that the cheife cause why the Schisme betwixt the Calvinists & Lutherans was not made vpp, was because the thoughts of true evangelicall peace, & vnitie were not entertained by the Leaders of each side, soe <another hand?: seeing> they seemed not to bee willing to consult either side with another or at least each side among themselues about this matter, how & by what meanes [word deleted] true Christian peace, & vnitie might bee erected & confirmed betwixt their Churches. for I did persuade my selfe of this & am still persuaded hereof; that it is impossible but that meanes of reconciliation may bee found [catchword: if men]

if men that are indued with gifts in the Gospell will seeke them as they ought both towards God by prayers, & towards men by Councells & mutuall duties of love, & holy Communion. Therefore I resolved to become a Sollicitour of the publicke good in this case, & to give all able men occasion both to pray & to consult upon the matter if perhaps they should bee brought to take this duty to heart, soe that on all sides the thoughts of peace might find admittance, & the thing it selfe by degrees might take into their affections, to effect which purpose I framed a further resolution which I thought to bee most answearable both to the end of the worke, & the nature of the Gospell, & to mee altogether necessary to bee intended, to wit that I should bee void of all preconceived thoughts towards every man, aiming at nothing but at the things which should bee essentially connexed with the endeavour of holy peace. That all men might bee moved to admit of them, & further them in their owne places, & towards others as occasion should bee offered. And in this resolution I saw two things to bee cheifely requisite: first to study to purchase true Christian Charity 2. To make prudently vse of that liberty which wee have in Christ, whereby wee ought to become all things to all men, in that which is lawfull. By the first the inward disposition of our soule, & by the [catchword: second]

second the outward behaviour of our life is made fit to profit others in spirituall things. Now how much I have profited in these lessons, which can only bee taught by the spirit of God: I cannot, neither ought I to judge of my selfe; but this I can say with a good Conscience, that through Charity towards God, I have laboured sincerely to aime at the good of every one with whom I haue had to doe without partialitie or enclining more to one side then another, & againe that in my outward conversation I know not that I haue given offence to any; or beene accessory & pertaken of their vnlawfull proceedings, except <perhaps> it hath beene once or twice by silence, connivence & some simbolizing with some actions which then did not seeme to mee soe vnlawfull as now they doe. wherein I hope the Lord will forgive mee, & <at> [all] other like occasions give mee more either prudence to avoid them, or els discretion to lay open their faultines without offence. But all this is not here related to boast of my industry or to justify my selfe before men: but rather to shew the ground of something that I have done whereat I vnderstand some are not well pleased, which I neverthelesse thinke that not only I might doe lawfully, but also could neither in prudency nor in a religious course refuse to doe. The thing is the taking of a Pastorall charge in England, when it was offered vnto mee by the King & my Lord of Canterbury: I will not represent vnto my selfe all the reasons [catchword: which]

which they may have to take exceptions at this. I will suppose they are not schismaticall to thinke it vnlawfull to take a Pastorall charge in the Church of England, for if this bee their ground I say noe more vnto them but this: that I judge the Church of England not only a true Church, but the goverment thereof (the great & manifold abuses being removed from it) as good as any that they can name in Europe if all things bee rightly compared, & therefore if I had intended to take any where a charge of soules, I was bound to doe it rather there then any where els; but if they have any other grounds which I cannot well dive into, because I am only told in generall that this matter is not well taken by some, I will labour to give them satisfaction in opening the thoughts which moved mee to accept of that calling. First I was without a particular charge, free from all Churches, & intended not to bee called to any pastorall Cure; but those that haue authority to call men in the Church of England, of their owne accord was <another hand?: were> pleased to offer a place vnto mee; if I would accept of it, for in these tearmes it was offered, I said that I had no reason to bee vnwilling except it were that thereby I might bee made vnable to follow the worke of Pacification, which I had in hand; to which it was [catchword: answeared]

answeared, that I should have a dispensation, & bee free to goe still about the worke, & might put a Curat in the place to discharge it in my absence: whereupon I did accept of it: but when I came to bee inducted, I found that the place was not vacant, because the incombent[altered] which was supposed to bee dead was still alive. I left it therefore & never thought more vppon it, but went againe beyond seas in my former course. when I came backe againe into England another call was offered vnto mee by the same authority, vppon the same tearmes. I had noe reason then more then formerly to refuse it. I went therefore & was inducted peaceably. I placed a Curate of good report, of whose abilities I did make tryall by conference, & by hearing him preach, & finding him capable of the Charge & fitt to edify both by life & Doctrine, I gave him the allowance which hee desired, & more, & bound him by contract vnder his hand, & promise to performe all these dutyes, which I if I had beene present would haue done, which were to preach constantly every Lords day, to catechise the Children & to doe all other things requisite according to the constitutions of the Church; this being done I came away, & followed the imployment wherein now I am. if any fault bee committed in this, those that blame mee [catchword: for]

for the action ought to shew their exception against my proceeding. Perhaps they will say that it is not lawfull to administrate a cure of souls by a substitute. I answeare that it is soe if there bee noe just cause of absence in him that placeth a substitute, & if it bee against the constitutions of the Church wherein hee liveth. Neither the first nor the second could here bee alleadged. And because the tye to a Pastorall Charge & the importance of the Cure of soules is a thing that hath heretofore troubled my Conscience, more perhaps then any that ever they (who blame mee for this) met withall. I will tell them what I thinke the duty of a true Pastor to bee in the presence of God. I thinke that hee must not only preach & exhort publickly his flocke to build them vpp in the knowledge & practice of Godlynes, but that it must bee his continuall study to pray for them in private, & to watch over them, soe as one that must give an account of them in private, & to watch over them to God, & that hee must know every one of them in particular by name, to which effect hee is bound to visit them in private, to conferre with them, & to set them in a right course of Godlynes, both in respect of their dutyes in their particular callings, & in respect of the State, & life in Christianity; to know the degree how farre every one is to come, to know his spirituall [catchword: diseases]

diseases, & wants, to know what is to bee added to his estate of regeneration, & what word of Doctrine, or admonition hee is capable of, & soe to beare his whole flocke vppon his shoulders, & in his heart & thoughts continually before God. This charge of a Pastor I proposed to my Curat who bound himselfe to observe it according to his abilities. And this if I were amongst them I would faithfully labour to doe, both towards old & young & would make it my constant labour to bring them to the stature of a perfect man in Christ But now I thinke that I am dispensed from this care for a while, first because those that have authoritye to put that charge vppon mee, & in whose name in some sort (at least in <an> outward respect) I discharge the place, they haue likewise authoritie to dispense of mee, & dispose of mee otherwise, & to free mee for a while from this charge, & although perhaps at other times some abuses bee committed in this matter of dispensation, I am not judge of that: I let every man looke to himselfe, & will not presume to censure any mans conscience farre lesse to reforme the constitutions of the Church in such things which God hath not determined, but left vnto her ordering, as shee shall see fitt for her owne edification, & seing I am resolued from henceforth to walke with all men in charitie, & to make vse of the Christian [catchword: liberty]

liberty whereby God hath made vs free from human constitutions, I will dispute with no man for outward matters not expressly determined in the word, nor scandalously vrged as a yoke to bee laid vppon the Consciences but will indifferently vse them as I see them recived, & as they tend to edification; & what authority is given by the Church of any place for the outward administration vnto any whom shee hath appointed in a charge of that nature, I will never question, but soe as I find it in the Church by the liberty which I haue in Christ to become all vnto all men, soe farre as I find things lawfull I will make use of it, & yet haue my conscience free from any yoke of bondage, because I know the nature of the thing, & how farre I am bound to it: I know that it is neither[altered] Circumcision, nor vncircumcision that maketh a man acceptable vnto God, but the doeing of his will, & I know, that neither[altered] this outward Custome, nor that, neither this dispensation, nor that obligation by men in it selfe bindeth or looseth the Conscience before God, but that it is the tenour of his institution & covenant with vs in the Gospell which wee are bound to observe in spirit, & truth. & therefore although I thinke that hee that hath authoritye [catchword: from]

from the Church to call a man to a place as a pb publicke administratour of callings hath also authority to dispence him whom hee calleth from the place for a while, yet I make not this the ground of <that> my Conscience resteth vppon in this matter, but I looke vnto the will of God, & the obligation which I haue to serve him in the Gospell. I consider this particular calling as given by him, I did accept it as from him, & therefore the intention both of giving & accepting of it with the condition annexed, that I should not leave the prosecuting of an vniversall good, for to intend a particular congregation was proposed by mee to him, & by him accepted, & admitted through the instrument of his Church appointed to looke to such cases. Therefore it is not the lawfulnes of the dispensation, or the authority of the dispensation[altered] to dispence that I stand vppon, but it is the lawfulnes of the condition which I made in accepting of it, or rather the lawfulnes of my liberty & free intention to propose such a condition to God & his Church in accepting of it. Now if any man will question this whether the condition bee lawfull yea or noe? or whether it was lawfull for mee to intend, & propose such a condition in accepting of it yea, or noe, if hee doth know the nature of the worke which I am about, as I haue heretofore set it forth, & the necessitie of the negotiation which I haue intended, & the manifest providence, assistance, & blessing of God that went along [catchword: with]

with mee in it, hee may soone cleare his doubt, & bee resolved, that whether the particular calling was offered vnto mee, to disingage mee from the publicke; or to enable mee the more to it, that I had just reason to shew the condition wherevpon I thought I thought I might accept it. But one will say perhaps how could yow intend lawfully to accept it vppon this condition? had it not beene better to have refused it, & kept your charge <another hand?: self> free from the charge of soules which yow cannot watch over? I answeare to the first, that I could lawfully intend to accept it vppon this condition, because I could lawfully, & doe really intend to discharge the duty when this condition is fulfilled: Now as I may intend to discharge a duty; soe I may intend to oblige my selfe to it: soe that in effect I did contract to discharge it in my owne person, not for this present but hereafter: & this I might lawfully doe vppon the ground of a better imployment, & more necessary for this present in the Gospell of God. As for the second I answeare thus, that I did not judge it better to refuse, then to accept, because I tooke it to bee a calling of God, & I know no sufficient reason to refuse it, but divers reasons doe move mee to accept it. for the condition which I proposed being admitted tooke away all reason of refusall, & bound [catchword: mee]

to acceptance. And besides this tye of yeelding to my condition, whereby I was taken at my word, & soe could not goe backe without a more pregnant reason then yet I know; if I had absolutely refused it, only to bee more free then I am, I thinke I had done foolishly, & irreligiously foolishly, first because I cannot bee more free then I am at present, for there is noe tye in the world vppon mee to draw mee from this worke, 2ly because I had brought without cause a prejudice vppon my selfe & the worke which I did intend to further in giving just occasion to the Church & State to suspect both mee, & it of factiousnes, If I should without satisfactory reason both to my selfe & others of refusall, have shewed an vnwillingnes to bee a professed member of the Church of England. Now I had none that was satisfactory to my selfe, & therefore I needed not to intend the refusall, nor seeke a reason that would bee satisfactory to others, for that reason which is alleadged in the second question that my Conscience might bee free from the charge of those that I cannot watch over is of no moment, neither to others, nor to mee, for others who put the charge vppon mee thinke my conscience free from the charge if I doe soe much as in this case the constitutions of the Church require; & I thinke in respect of my selfe the same, that in soe doeing I am free [catchword: before]

before the Church, & consequently before all other private men, who haue no authority, nor warrant to prye further into the actions & Consciences of other men then the publicke authority vnder which they stand doth: yet because this is a searching & censuring age not soe much of it selfe as of others, & if they suspect or judge a man faulty in one thing, they will have no communion with him in any thing, that I may not please my selfe but others in all things; I will tell them further, wherefore I judge my Conscience also free even before God from the charge of those that I cannot at this present watch over, & that is because I am persuaded that God in calling mee at this time intended not that I should watch otherwise over them then I doe; although I have taken the charge vppon mee as I did; for the charge which I tooke vppon mee even in the presence of God & in his feare; I haue discharged & will labour to discharge further. I have done what I could for the good of their soules, according to the first intention, & condition, which I proposed to God in accepting of it. I have vsed all meanes that I was able to imploy, to provide well for them, & I will endeavour still to keepe them in my mind by prayers, & as occasion shall require to doe any thing for [catchword: them]

them that shall lye in my power, to the spending of all the stipend that I reape from them, vppon them, if it bee requisite. This care & sincere desire to doe them good (soe farre as I can) absent & the intention not to defraud them of my presence, when I shalbee able to bee with them is a freedome to my Conscience before God of whom I accepted the calling with this condition, that I should not bee bound soe long as this publicke worke did hopefully proceed & required my absence, to watch otherwise over them. & I am persuaded that God doth free my Conscience (which otherwise in matters of this nature more then any other hath beene scrupulous) for from all scruples in this present Case. Nether doe I see any reason of scruple, that can truely bee alleadged why an absolute personal watch should bee necessarily requisite in him that conditionally accepteth the charge of a Pastour. Soe all the matter falleth vppon the lawfulnes of making the conditions, wherein my Conscience doth rest satisfyed. And therefore I had done foolishly if being satisfyed in Conscience concerning the manner of my tye to the Charge; I should haue refused: & not only had it beene folly, great imprudency[altered] & harme to my publicke endeavours, but also perhaps irreligiousnes that being actually a [catchword: Minister]

Minister, & not having any relation to any Church at all I being lawfully called should without a satisfactory cause vnto mine owne conscience rather choose to bee loose from all Churches, & particular charge, then obliged to bee a professed member of any, & in some relation to a charge: for this worke that I am now about may bee called an Apostolicall worke, in respect of the finall intention, but I hope no man will thinke mee soe madde as that I should thinke my selfe therefore extraordinarily called vnto it, as an Apostle that is aboue all particular Churches. If my fancy did runne to those extreames of selfe conceit, I should goe beyound all the [word deleted] <most> <left margin: peremptory> Censurers of this age in presumption. But I hope God shall keepe mee from such spirituall pride & irreligiousnes[altered], & therefore seing this calling was but followed in a manner accidentally, because I was discharged from the other by a providence of God so long as noe private Charge was offered, I sought for none (for I thinke it as vnlawfull to run & seeke for a particular place, which one hath affected, as it is to refuse a lawfull call without a satisfactory reason, but this being offered of it selfe, & I not in conscience able to refuse it, it would haue beene an irreligious & irreverent course in mee to dispise the occasion which God may offer vnto mee to serve his Glory in that place, when the occasion of this present imployment [catchword: shall]

shall fall to the ground, what I doe <I> know what God intendeth by that call? & wherefore I may hereafter serve there, would it not then haue beene a despising of the pastorall charge to which now I thinke my selfe somewhat better fitted then in former times, if I had without sufficient cause rejected the call? & because I haue found divers scandalized at my person in these yeares by past when I had no private calling, only because I went vpp & downe without all relation to any Church for which I had some hard reasonings with some, that would know how I could warrant my loose & vagabond imployment as they called it, wherein nether the person nor the action had a relation to any Church: I thought it might also bee a providence of God in this respect to take away the scandale which such like persons might take hereafter at mee & the worke, lest the good intention & progresse thereof might bee stopped for such conceits; for men even otherwise judicious enough, when they are without prejudice, are apt sometimes to stumble at strawes, & will find a pretext to leave a duty which for other carnall reasons they are vnwilling to performe: in deceiving their owne consciences to make it thinke that they may lawfully refuse to doe a duty required of them in Gods name because it is perhaps required by mee in whom they find some fault, as if the infirmitie or fault of one that (vppon good sufficient reasons [catchword: at]

at which they can except nothing) goeth about to give them a speciall occasion of serving Gods glory according to his expresse will in the Gospell, were a sufficient cause to make them leave of their duty, & in not furthering the Councells of peace to bee accessory to contentiousnes. Let all men that pretend Conscience, & are so scrupulous or rather presumptuous as even to judge of the Conscience of others, & that from one action taken in the worst sence, judge their owne hearts first, & take heed of these deceits, least while they can see a moate in[altered from an] another mans eye, & looke not to such a beame as this in their owne eye, they may perhaps bee[altered] lyable to greater judgment then mine is, even to his judgement that is able to say vnto the Conscience of every one of vs thou Hypocrite, why dost not thou first take the beame out of thine owne eye that thou mayst see to take the moate out of thy[altered] brothers eye? As for mee let any man thinke of mee as hee pleaseth, yet I desire it may bee with charity for I desire with a good Conscience, to become all things to all men, & if [t?] in this accepting of the calling, in this not following of it, as they suppose I should doe I committ a fault, I hope God will reveale it vnto mee, for I can protest, that I nether did the one nor the other for carnall ends, or worldly respects, but in the feare of God, according to the [catchword: measure]

measure of that knowledge which I had to discerne things lawfull from those which are vnlawfull. In the meane time whether I bee faulty or not faulty in this, let mee stand to the judgment of God who tryeth all hearts; as I will not bee condemned of men soe I will not justify my selfe before [word deleted] Him: hee is greater then my Conscience, & knoweth all things: & if needs must bee a fault in mee, yet I would intreate those that can with a good Conscience take vppon them this judgment over mee not to give mee occasion to judge them, & complaine over them also in a matter of greater importance, comaunded by God, & required by men, which they still neglect for which I cannot well see they can alleadge any colour of excuse. But I will refraine to judge till due time come, till God manifest the secrets of hearts, & then the judgment wilbee of God, & not of men, In the meane time wee should doe well to follow the Apostles Councell to apply our judgment, not one against another, but rather vnto this, that wee give not one to another any [C?] occasion of stumbling & falling, which <if> I haue done vnadvisedly by this action (wherein neither I as yet can, neither could others of cheife note, with whom I did then deliberate see a fault) or perhaps also by some expressions of this declaration, or perhaps in their judgment by the vnsufficiency of the whole ground of my proceeding, [catchword: I]

I can but desire them to pardon it in the love and meekenes of Christ, for I haue done it vnwillingly, in ignorance, & in feare, being in a strait, I did follow that which I thought most lawfull: & therefore if they wilbee so ingenuous, as to speake their mind vnto my selfe (according to Christs Commandement, 18 Math. 15 If thy brother trespasse against thee, goe & tell him his fault betweene thee & him alone) & not goe preposterously to worke, to blame mee [word deleted] towards others behind my backe, in censuring my actions, & make mee suspected to have an evill Conscience before they have ever enquired of any ground, or motive of my Conscience, If (I say) they will not doe soe (as by the effects of their discourses to others I can gather they haue done) but will first propose their judgments, & doubts of the lawfullnes of my action, or of the insufficiency of this justification of it, vnto my selfe, I shalbee ready at all times in a peaceable manner to give them further satisfaction, & answeare ingenuously any question which vppon this occasion they may propose vnto mee for edification & not for strife, for I protest that I will not contend to justify my selfe, If I bee in a fault, I hope God shall give the grace to confesse it, In the meane time I make this declaration of my lawfull accepting of the Charge, to prevent the subtle poyson of [catchword: preposterous]

preposterous judgments which Satan is ready to insinuate in mens hearts against others, that their eyes may bee blinded in themselues; & because the substance of this exception seemeth to mee to rise from an evill roote, which is an opinion of the vnlawfulnes of accepting any Pastorall calling at all in England, if a man can avoid it, & to strike at the very overthrow of the Church, as it standeth in the bosome of the State in England; I must yet adde one word more both for the clearing of the matter in it selfe, & shewing my ground of proceeding in it, & that is this, 1. the Authority by which Ministers are called to particular Charges in the Church of England, is either of God, or not of God, if they say it is not of God, then I will tell them what I thinke, & am able to prove as I suppose, that if the authoritie to dispose of particular charges which is established in the Church of England bee not of God, that then there is no authority in any Church in Europe to call a man to a particular charge that is of God: for there is noe true condition of a divine calling but it is to my judgment (who with scrupulositie have experience both of the one & of the other) as much if not more in the Church of England then in any other. But if they say that the authority to call Ministers to private Charges in England is of God then I aske, why may [catchword: not]

not I being void of a calling, & finding my selfe in Conscience not vnfit for it, accept a calling from God when hee moveth his instruments to offer it vnto mee? I cannot see what they can say here but that I may accept of it, if there bee no lawfull impediment, & I say that I must, & am bound in Conscience not to refuse it without a warrantable cause, which I alleadged soe farr as I thought I was bound to doe; which cause being taken away lawfully both in an outward, & inward respect before God, & men; I could not decline it in that respect, & soe farre <as> it was offered vnto mee by the authority which in that Church is from God. for as it was offered soe I accepted of it; conditionally it was offered, conditionally I did accept of it, therefore if those men that stumble at this matter will rectify my Conscience, & supposing I haue done amisse) they must shew mee one of two things whereby the action may bee vnlawful: either that it was not lawfull for mee being in this worke to admit of any private calling to any place requiring personall residence, vppon any condition whatsoever, or that it was not lawfull for the authority appointed by God in the Church of England to offer such a charge vnto mee vppon such condition. If they maintaine the first they must take heed to 2 things, first [catchword: that]

that they make not mee in the worke that I am about any thing els besides what I am, that is a private Christian travailing vpp & downe to sollicit a neglected duty vppon the warrant of a generall commaund by occasion of some fit opportunities offered vnto him soe to doe, & because hee is free from all obligations which might keepe him from travailing to this effect, 2ly that they explaine & distinguish rightly the nature of a pastorall Charge as it is in selfe a duty in the Spirit appointed by God, as it is in the outward Church to bee publickly or privately, & personally discharged & ordered & what degrees there bee in this respect in it, & to whom it belongeth to appoint & order these degrees for publike edification, whether it belongeth to him that is to bee called, or to those that haue authority to call him, & what properly belongeth both to the one & to the other, either severally & distictly or els joyntly & relatively, as the one correspondeth with the other; If they maintaine the second, they must let mee vnderstand, & explaine themselues in these things. 1. what right the authority established in the Church of England hath as from God to dispose of particular places in this nature, 2. what vnlawfulnes was in the condition which I proposed, & how the effect of it is imcompatible with the true nature of a pastorall Charge, soe that the authority [catchword: of the]

of the Church cannot lawfully appoint both these to bee in one person at once. If they will instruct mee better then I am in this matter whereof they make a doubt & whereof I (to serve their scrupulositie soe farr as it is lawfull, & to condiscend vnto them that in all things I may learne truely to renounce my selfe, for their sakes, I am now willing to bee as in a doubt with them; Let those things bee scanned at fit occasions with mee, & I hope in God they shall find mee no reprobate, or man of an evill Conscience, as they seeme to censure, & inferre, & thereby pretend to justify perhaps themselues before other in comparision of mee: but farr bee it from mee to stand in any comparison open or secret with any man, I haue enough to doe with my selfe to take heed to my wayes by the rule, not by the line of other men. Anothers fault or perfection is not my studdie, yet if it come so in my way that I cannot goe by it, I labour to turne the one in my selfe to a matter of true sorrow for my owne good, & the other to true joy & thanksgiving towards God for his good gifts vnto men, I would to God in this case I could truely say from my very whole heart with the Apostle 2 Cor: 13. 17.[should be 7] now I pray to God that they doe noe evill, not that I should appeare approved, but that they should doe that which is laudably honest, though I bee as [catchword: a]

a reprobate, as almost I am become in most mens judgments not only in England but elsewhere also; for I would faine noe nothing on all sides against the truth of Christianity, but every thing for the sincere profession thereof, that I may become soe vnto every one as I would haue every one become towards others. for though I cannot fully as yet attaine to it, neverthelesse I aime also at this perfection which the Apostle had, that I may truely say with him that I am glad when I am weake & others strong, & that I also wish ever the perfection of many not only aboue my selfe, but also to my disadvantage, that they may bee made vpp through my faults & imperfections which may more & more in due time bee discovered, to give mee occasion of more humiliation, & mortification then as yet I can attaine vnto, If God should bee pleased to raise mee vpp againe by true repentance, & give mee some experience to teach others in the way of Godlynes hereafter, for what is it wee ayme at in the profession of the Gospell, & observation of anothers actions? doe wee seeke ourselues or the Kingdome of God? if wee seeke ourselues wee are not the servants of Christ, but if wee sincerely studdie to renounce, & deny our selues in all private things both spirituall & temporall [catchword: that]

that the publicke state of religion may thereby bee advanced, & propagated towards all men, then wee are servants of Christ indeed, for soe Iesus Christ came not to serve himselfe, but to serve others, that they might bee received into the fellowshipp of his glory, & to this effect, hee laid aside his heavenly perfections, became of no reputation, & tooke the shape of a servant vppon him, & professed himselfe to bee a servant to all, & surely as hee made outwardly profession, soe hee was inwardly affected, soe that wee may gather that all the graces which hee did purchase & seeke to for his humanitie in his exinanition were not sought for by him to this intent, that hee should haue them for himselfe, but that hee might bee able to administrate them vnto others even as hee saith to his Father in his prayer of intercession 17. Ioh. 19. that for their sakes (meaning the beleeving disciples) hee sanctified himselfe that they also might bee sanctified by the truth; thus wee should studie Holynes, & all manner of Grace & knowledge, not for our owne sakes & love to our owne perfection (for if this bee our aime, wee serve not Christ but our selues) but for the good of others, that the Kingdome of God may bee fulfilled in all men that belong to it, & if wee seeke for grace & righteousnes to this end wee shall certainly obtain [catchword: it]

it, & if this bee our aime in the profession, wee shall never bee in love neither with our owne knowledge, nor our owne actions to justify or maintaine the one, or the other, further then wee shall evidently see that they tend to the edification of all, for it is neither the performance, or formalitie of a particular action, nor the abilitie of talents to doe such actions as are lawfull perfect & lawfull, that maketh vs servants of God in the kingdome of Christ, farre lesse the knowledge of all misteries, & depth of vnderstanding above others: but it is in that measure of Grace wee haue attained vnto, the freedome of the spirit to apply it, & our selues by it in the actions which ought to bee performed to some others through love, that all men may bee brought to regeneration, & hee that walketh by this rule peace bee vnto him, & to the Israell of God. It shalbee alwayes my endeavour soe to doe: & whether I bee in this present publicke imployment, or in my private Pastorall charge hereafter at Saxbye as I said before, seing I haue once put my hand to the plough, I am resolved never to looke backe againe, but as I haue done, to goe on, in the attempt of Provocation to gaine others to those duties of love, either in the way of travailing to that effect, soe long as it shalbee requisite; or els in <the> way of writing, & privat meditation, when the occasion of travells shall cease. For since I haue beene in the [catchword: State]

State of this cursitory life, although I have had many causes of meditation & writing, yet the distraction of my thoughts arising from the vnsetled course of life wherein I am, would never permit mee hitherto to ripen anything, & indeed, (as I said before I entred into this large digression) the end & scope of my travells was not to doe any thing by my selfe, but rather to move others; that were of greater abilities, that were in eminent places, & had leysure to write, to take these Councels of peace, & vnitie to heart: for as I then thought soe I find now in the worke of sollicitation that the greatest cause of all this misery is the neglect of consultation & communication of Councells & thoughts vppon the matter. To remedy which evill, I haue beene willing to spend my paines, & soe haue laboured to fit my selfe in a Spirituall disposition of Charitie, & Christian liberty towards all men, that I might giue offence to none, & please not my selfe, but others for edification.