Dury devoted himselfprincipally to trying to unite all of the Protestant churches in Europeand to this end began his peregrinations from Sweden and Germany toHolland, Switzerland, France, and England.
These travels were tocontinue throughout the rest of his life, as he tried to negotiate anagreement on the essentials of Christianity in preparation for Jesus'return. In , as the Puritan Revolution began, Hartlib, Comenius, and Durysaw the developments in England as the opportunity to put theirscientific-religious plans into effect. They joined together in Londonin and, with strong support, offered proposals to prepare Englandfor the millennium.
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They proposed setting up a new university in Londonfor developing universal knowledge. In spite of the strong backing theyhad from leaders of the State and Church, Parliament was unable to fundthe project because of the turmoil of the time. Comenius left for theContinent, while Hartlib and Dury advanced other projects and involvedthemselves in the Westminster conference to reform the Church. Theymade proposals for improving and reforming many aspects of humanactivities and human institutions.
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The advancement of knowledge, theimprovement of human life, and the purification of religion, whichincluded bringing the Jews and Christians together, would prepareEngland for its role when God chose to transform human history. In along series of pamphlets and tracts, Hartlib and Dury turned Comenius'stheory into practical applications to the situation then prevailing inEngland.
He pointed out that England, the new Israel, had a specialrole in history, "for the Nations of great Britain have made a newthing in the world; a thing which hath not been done by any Nation inthe world, since the preaching of the Gospel in it, a thing which sincethe Jewish Nation, in the daies of Nehemiah , was never heard of in anyNation, that not only the Rulers, but the whole multitude of the peopleshould enter into a Covenant with their God, … to walk in the waiesof his Word, to maintain the Cause of Religion, and to reform themselvesaccording to his will" pp.
Since England was to be God's agent in history, Dury proclaimed at theend of his sermon that "The Schooles of the Prophets, theUniversities[,] must be setled, purged and reformed with wholsomconstitutions, for the education of the sonnes of the Prophets, and thegovernment of their lives and with the soundnes and purity of spiritualllearning, that they may speak the true language of Canaan , and thatthe gibberidge of Scholastical Divinity may be banished out of theirsociety" p.
In the same year that he delivered this sermon, Dury married an aunt ofLady Catherine Ranelagh and was brought in closer contact with LadyCatherine's brother, Robert Boyle, and the young scientists of theso-called Invisible College. Dury and Hartlib pressed for reforms thatwould promote a better, more useful education from the lowest gradesupward.
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Convinced by the passage in Daniel that knowledge shallincrease before the end of history, Dury and Hartlib sought variousopportunities to bring about this increase in knowledge through betterschools, better religious training, and better organization ofknowledge. Such organization would necessarily affect libraries sincethey were an all-important component of the premillennial preparation.
Between and , Dury wrote a great many tracts on improving theChurch and society. These include an as yet unpublished one, dated 16August , giving his views on the post of library keeper at Oxford. The poor state of Oxford's library led Dury to observe that thelibrarian is to be "a factor and trader for helpes to learning, atreasurer to keep them and a dispenser to apply them to use, or to seethem well used, or at least not abused.
In his important Seasonable Discourse of onreforming religion and learning, Dury had proposed establishing inLondon the first college for Jewish studies in the modern world.
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In thisproposal, he saw as a basic need the procurement of a collection ofOriental books. Such a library was not just to store materials, but tomake them available and thereby increase knowledge. Hartlib, in apamphlet entitled Considerations tending to the Happy Accomplishment ofEngland's Reformation in Church and State , written in andpublished in , had proposed a central "Office of Addresse," aninformation service dispensing spiritual and "bodily" information to allwho wished it.
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Date Media format Printed text. Extent , 65,  p. Language English. Notes Bibliographic format twelvemo General notes "To the reader" signed by the editor: Samuel Hartlib In English, followed by "Bibliotheca Augusta", by Johann Schwartzkopf, which is in Latin Includes "An idea of mathematicks", written by John Pell to Hartlib "The reformed librarie-keeper" following page 12 is a separate dated title page; register is continuous Also issued as part of: The reformed-school: and the reformed librarie-keeper Augustan Reprint Society: "Reformed Librarie-Keeper" and "Supplement" only p.