John Dury.—This zealous divme was born in Scotland, but sojourned some time in the university of Oxford, particularly tor the benefit of the public library. He was there in the year 1624, but it does not appear Imw long he continued. Afterwards, he travelled into various foreign countries, particularly through most parts of Germany, wltere he visiled the recesses of the muses. By long continuance in foreign parts, he spoke the Germau language so fluently, that, upon his return to England, he was taken tor a uative German. Our author adds, that he was by pro
• Ludlnw's Memoirs, p. 407.
+ Mr. John Knowles, in a letter to the governor of New England, dated July 6, 1677, thus observes:—" There is another trouble which I presume "to put upon you, that is, to speak to the Reverend Mr. Higginson, pastor "uf Salem, to move that congregation to do something for the maintenance *' of Mrs. Peters; who, since her husband suffered here, hath ilepended "wholly upon Mr. Cockquaine, anil that church whereof he is pastor. "I fear she will be forced to seek her living in the streets if some course "be not taken for her relief, either by Mr. lhgginson, Mr. Oxenhridge, or "tome other sympathizing minister."—Massachusets l'aptri, p. 614.
fession a divine and a preacher, but whether he took orders according to the church of England, which he always scrupled, doth not appear.* However, these scruples, by some means or other, he overcame. For, though he had been ordained in one of the foreign reformed churches, he was required to be re-ordained before he could be admitted to a benefice in England; and, accordingly, submitted to the renewal of this ceremony under the hands of Bishop Hall of Exeter.t
Mr. Dury was for many years employed in a design of
Eromoting a reconciliation between the Calvinists and lUtherans abroad; or, as he used to express it, "for making and settling a protestnnt union and peace in the churches beyond the seas." We shall give an account of this object, in the words of one who warmly censures both Mr. Dury and his undertaking. "He made a remarkable figure in his time, by running with an enthusiastic fcal for uniting the Lutherans and Calvinists. He was so strongly possessed with the hopes of success, that he applied to his superiors for a dispensation of nonresidence upon his living, in order to travel through the christian world to accomplish the design. And he not only procured a license for the purpose, but obtained the approbation and recommendation of the Archbishop of Canterbury,| and was assisted by Bishop Hall, and the Bishop of Kilmore in Ireland/, He began by publishing' his plan of an union in 1634; and, the same year, appeared at a famous assembly of Lutherans at Frankfort in Germany. The churches also of Transylvania sent him their advice and counsel the same year; and he afterwards negociated with the divines of Sweden and Denmark./ He directed his attention to every quarter. He consulted the universities, communicated their answers, and was not discouraged by the ill success which he met with. He conlcrred with the learned divines in most of the places on the continent, and obtained their approbation of his design. His project, however, was much ridiculed: but this only served to inflame his zeal. He afterwards endeavoured to unite, not only the Lutherans and Calvinists, but even the whole christian world. To this end, he travelled through many parts of Germany, where he was cordially received and liberally entertained. He seems to have been an honest man, but enthusiastical. His notions were but idle fancies, and his scheme was equally wild and impracticable."*
• Wood's Athene Oxon. vol. i. p. 849, 850.
+ Prynne's Cant Doome, p. 390.
i Archbishop Laud made mention of this circumstance at his (rial. But although he at first espoused Mr. Duty's undertaking, he appears afterward* to have thrown some difficulties in the way.—Ibid. p. 589, Ml.
^ Bishop Bedell of Kilmore, who loved to bring men into the communion of the church of England, but did not like compelling them, was of opinion, th.it protectants would agree well enough if they could be brought to understand each other. He was therefore induced to promote Mr. Dury's design, and, towards defraying the expenses of which, he sabscrihed twenty pounds a year.—Biog. Briton, vol. ii. p. 136. Edit. l'.'O. • Biog Britan. vol. vii. p. 4383. Edit. 1779.
Notwithstanding the censures of the above writer, it is manifest that Mr. Dury's undertaking received the warmest patronage and encouragement of many celebrated divines. In the year 1635 he exchanged several letters upon the subject with the learned Mr. Joseph Mede. He first solicited this celebrated scholar to give his thoughts upon the best method of pursuing the design; and then stated the method in which he had addressed the Batavian churches, desiring his remarks upon it. Mr. Mede most cordially approved of his endeavour to promote a pacification, but was doubtful of its success. He commended Mr. Dury's method of addressing the foreign churches; owned bis
food intentions; and spoke of his abilities in terms of the ighest approbation. "From his wisdom and abilities therein," says he, "I am filter to receive knowledge and instruction than to censure or give direction."+ Mr. Dury communicated his design to the most celebrated divines of New England, who signified their hearty concurrence in the generous undertaking.; And Mr. Baxter observes, that "Mr. Dury having spent thirty years in his endeavours to reconcile the Lutherans and Calvinisls, was again going abroad upon (hat work, and desired the judgment of our association how it might be most successfully accomplished; upon which, at their desire, I drew up a letter more largely in Latin, and more briefly in English."$
Upon the commencement of the civil wars, Mr. Dury espoused the cause of the parliament, and was chosen one of the superadded members to the assembly of divines. He took the covenant with the rest of his brethren, and was appointed one of the committee of accommodation.! It is said, that he afterwards joined the independents, took the engagement, and all other oaths that followed to the restoration.! He was certainly a man of a most worthy character, and was exceedingly revered and beloved by numerous persons highly distinguished for learning and piety; amoii£j whom, it would be a great omission not to mention the famous Sir Robert Boyle, who was his kind friend.* In the great design of promoting concord among christians, be discovered a most excellent spirit, and was indefatigably laborious. Though he was not so successful as the best of christians desired, his endeavours were certainly useful. Through the whole, he acted upon the most generous and worthy principles. This will appear from his letter, dated July, 1660, addressed to the Lord Chancellor Hide; which was as follows:
+ Mede's Works, u. 804, 863—866.
± Mather's Hint, of New Eng. b. iii. p. 39, 40.
4 Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part i. p. 117."
| Papers of Aceom. p. 13. J Wood's Athens Oion. vol. i. p. 850.
« My Lord,
"In the application which I made to your honour when you were at the Hague, I offered the fruit of my thirty years labours towards healing the breaches of protestants; and this I did as one who never had served the turn of any party, or have been biassed by particular interests for any advantage to myself; but walking in the light by rules and principles, have stood free from all in matters of strife, to be able to serve through love. My way hath been, and is, to solicit the means of peace and truth amongst the dissenting parties, to do good offices, and to quiet their discontents, and I must still continue in this way if I should be useful. But not being rightly understood in my aims and principles, I have been constrained to give this brief account thereof, as well to rectify the misconstruction of former actings, as to prevent further mistakes concerning my way: that such as love not to foment prejudices may be clear in their thoughts concerning me; and may know where to find me, if they would discern me or any of the talents which God hath bestowed upon me for the public welfare of his churches, which is my whole aim; and wherein I hope to persevere unto the end, as the Lord shall enable me, to be without offence unto all, with a sincere purpose to approve myself to his majesty in all faithfulness.
"Your lordship's most humble servant in Christ,
During the same month he sent smother letter, giving an account of certain proceedings relative to the universal pacification among christians. It was addressed to the Earl of Manchester, lord chamberlain of his majesty's
• Biog. Britan. vol. ii. p. 497. Edit. 1178.
household.* The author now cited denominates Mr. Dury "the Lithuanian scholar," and observes that in December, 1660, he was presented, by favour of the Earl of Manchester, with so much of the Lithuanian Bible as was then printed, which was down to the Chronicles.* Thus, Mr. Dury lived till after the restoration, but does not appear to have conformed, nor yet to have been ejected. Every thing seems to have given way to his favourite object; therefore he most probably discontinued his stated ministerial exercises some time before this period.
His Works.—1. Consnltatio Theologica super negotio pacis Ecclesiust. 1041.—2. Epistolary Discourse to Tho. Goodwin, Ph. Nye, and Sam. Uartlib, 1612.—3. Of Presbytery and Independency, 1046. —4. Model of Church Government, 1647.—5. Peace-maker tho Gospel way, 1648.—6. Seasonable Discourse for Reformation, 1649.— 7. The reformed School, 1650.—8. The reformed Library-Keeper, 1650.—9. Bibiiotheca Augusta screniss. Priuc. D. Augusti Ducis Brunovicensis etc., 1650.—10. The unchanged, constant, and singlehearted Peacemaker drawn forth into the World: or, a Vindication of John Dury from the Aspersions cast upon him in a nameless Pamphlet, called,' The time-serving Proteus, and ambidexter Divine, uncased to the World,' 1650.—11. Supplement to the reformed School, 1651.—12; Earnest Plea for Gospel Communion, 1654.—13. A Summary Platform of Divinity, 1654.—14. A Declaration of John Dury to make known the Truth of his Way and Deportment in all these Times of Trouble, 1660.—15. Irenicorum Tractatuum Prodromus, 1662.—And some others.