Dury (Durbeus), John
Dury (Durbeus), John, an eminent Protestant divine, was born in 1595 or 1596 at Edinburgh. His father had been a monk, but, becoming a Protestant, he had to flee to Holland, and became minister to the English and Scotch at Leyden. Here John Dury was educated for the ministry. He visited Oxford in 1624 for the sake of the libraries. In 1628 he became pastor to the English factory at Elbing, Prussia, where he became acquainted with Dr. Godemann, one of the councilors of Gustavus Adolphus. Godemann suggested to Dury that whoever should bring about a reconciliation between the great parties into which Christendom was divided would be the greatest of peacemakers. From that time forward the greater part of his life was devoted to this object. He was invited to England in 1630 through the influence of Sir Thomas Rowe, English ambassador to the court of Gustavus Adolphus. He was well received, and his first plans were approved by archbishop Abbot, by Laud (then bishop of London,) bishop Bedell, and bishop Hall. In 1631 he laid his plans before Gustavus Adolphus, who was greatly interested in them, and gave him letters patent recommending him to all Protestant princes. From the Lutherans he turned to the Calvinists, and visited Hanau, the Palatinate, and other places. When Gustavus fell in 1632, the Protestant (and especially the Lutheran) ascendancy fell with him. But Dury's cause and plans gained friends throughout Europe. In 1633 he returned to England, and at the suggestion of Laud was ordained priest by bishop Hall (with no obligation of residence) in 1634. Armed with letters from Laud and other English prelates, he attended the meeting of Protestant States in Frankfort (1639). His life was thence forward an incessant round of journeyings, colloquies, letters, and publications; all futile, so far as his great aim was concerned. He died at Cassel September 28, 1680.
A summary account of them is given in the Christian Remembrancer, January 1855, art. 1, from which we take the following, account of the chief sources of information as to Dury:
"1. A brief Relation of that which hath lately been attempted to procure ecclesiastical Peace among Protestants, published by Samuel Hartlib (London. 1640).
2. A summary Account of Master John Dury's former and latter Negotiations for the procuring of true Gospel Peace, with Christian Moderation and charitable Unity among the Protestant Churches and Academies (London, printed for the author in 1657). These two are identical down to page 32 of the former, which is the same as page 23 of the latter. The Brief Relation has three more pages, containing a sort of epilogue, which concludes that portion of Dury's labors.
3. The unchanged and single-hearted Peacemaker (London. 1650).
4. Consultationum Irenicarum προδιόρθωσις (Amst. 1661). Of biographies, the best are: 1. G. Arnoldus, Historia Johannis Durai, a university thesis, delivered under the presidency of J.C. Kohler, and usually quoted as that of Colerus (Wittenberg, 1716).
2. C.J. Benzelius, Comm. Hist. Theol. de Jo. Duraeo maxime de actis ejus Suecanis, cum praef. L.L. Moshemii (Helmst. 1744). The proceedings of Duraeus at Marburg are said to be related by Schenk in his Vitae Professorum Theologiae Marburgensiumi, page 207, but this book the writer has not been able to see. Jablonski has recorded his attempts in Prussia and Poland in his Histcria Consensus Sendomiriensis. His journeys in the Palatinate, Switzerland, and Denmark are related in Seelen's Deliciae Epistolarum; in the Museum Helveticum, and in the Fasciculus Epistolarum Theologicarum of Elswitch." His Latin writings include Hypomnemata de Studio Pacis Ecclesiastica (Amstel. 1636, 4to): — Consultatio Theol. super Negotio Pacis Eccles. Promovendo (London. 1636, 4to): — Capita de Pace Evangelica (London. 1657, 4to): — Irenicorum Tractatuum Prodromus (Amstelod. 1662, 8vo).
Dury unfolds his scheme at length in the Dedication of his Irenicorum Tractuum Prodromus. In every national church there was to be a Collegium Pacificatorium, constituted of some theologians and persons of high position; these colleges were to confer together upon the condition and means of union, and come into correspondence with one another. The main conditions were these:
1. Negotium per disputationem scholasticam nunquam esse agitandum.
2. Ad praxim pietatis omnia concordiae consilia et media esse referenda.
3. Per concessa in libris symbolicis semper esse procedendum.
4. Omnia esse subordinanda fundamentalibus et irrefragabilibus Christianismi dogmatibus, quae ipsi Pontificii negare non possint.
5. De Syncretismo; i.e., de nova quadam religionum miscella, non esse deliberandum, sed de fundamentali concordia.
6. Nunquam agendum de factione aliqua politica contra Pontificios formanda, sed de Protestantium innocentia manifestanda, ut pateat, haereseos crimen iis nullo jure a Pontificiis imputari.
7. Postquam in fundamentalibus inter partes consensum esse apparebit, in reliquis tolerantiae innoxiae locum esse dandum.
8. Prophetandi libertatem secundum s. Scripturas regulatam et quae personalia non tractet concedendam esse.
9. Injuriarum praeteritarum amnestiam esse faciendam, nec impune admittendum, ut ulli se novis injuriis lacessant.
10. Regimen Ecclesiarum utrique parti liberum esse relinquendum, ut illud, prout ex usu suo utilissimum judicabit Ecclesia quaelibet, constituat. The means recommended were, the setting aside of the prejudices of the parties against one another, the publication of books to recommend the union, and correspondence between the parties." Gieseler, Church History, (ed. by Smith, 4, § 51). See also (besides the works cited in the course of this article) Mosheim, Church History (New York, 1854, 3 volumes, 8vo), 3:360; Bayle, Dictionary, s.v. ; Reid, Westminster Divines; Arnold, Kirchenund-Ketzer Historie, 17:11, § 23; Dowding, Life of Calixtus (London. 1864, 12mo).