Index
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CHAPTER 6

FROM HIS RETURN TO NEW-YORK, TILL THE CLOSE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

It was on a Sabbath morning that Dr. Livingston reached the city of New-York. The peace and sacredness of God's day, while naturally repressive of levity of behaviour and superfluous congratulations upon the occasion of his return, well accorded with the feelings now predominant in his own breast, and in that of every pious member of the Church, and afforded an immediate opportunity for the devout and suitable expression of them in the sanctuary of the Lord. He had returned, by the favour of Heaven, with health restored, as a messenger of the Gospel of Peace, and to a numerous and respectable flock, bearing the peculiarly tender and solemn relation of a pastor. It was a season, therefore, without doubt, of holy joy and thanksgiving; and, on account of many interesting recollections, which could not but be associated with it, as well as the new and mutual responsibilities it realized, both to him and to all his friends, the first interview must have been very affecting. The succeeding Sabbath, he preached in the Middle Church, in Nassau-street, to a large and attentive auditory, from 1 Cor, L 22, 23, 24 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God: and having delivered this introductory sermon, he was then acknowledged, in a suitabie manner, by the Rev. Messrs Ritzema and De Ronde, and Dr. Laidlie and the Consistory one of the ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church of New-York,

Dr. Livingston commenced the discharge of his pastoral duties with great diligence and zeal. He assumed at once a full share of pulpit and parochial labours; preaching regularly twice on the Sabbath, making visits among the people, and attending two, and sometimes three, catechetical exercises every week an amount of service, it will be admitted by all who are competent judges of the matter, which few young men, under similar circumstances, would have had the courage to undertake, and fewer still the ability satisfactorily to fulfil. But though only just settled in a populous city, where interruptions to study and occasional avocations, not always of a professional nature, are numerous and unavoidable; though connected with a large congregation whose situation was a little peculiar, provided with few sermons, and associated with colleagues of established character, as judicious and able preachers, he did not hesitate to attempt his part, and he performed it to general acceptance.

The fervour of pious feeling which he uniformly discovered, both in and out of the pulpit; his affectionate, dignified, and prudent deportment; and the style of his preaching, novel, yet plain and forcible, admirably calculated to engage attention, to alarm the consciences of sinners, and particularly to comfort and build up believers in faith and holiness, rendered him indeed in a high degree, beloved and popular. His labours, if arduous and weighty, were pleasant. Blessed with a number of godly and devoted friends, who sincerely and constantly prayed for him, and by various little attentions or expressions of kind solicitude, encouraged without flattering him, he was cheered and sustained in his work: blessed, too, with a coadjutor (Dr. Laidlie) who was well acquainted with the state of the congregation and who was, at any time, ready to afford him all the counsel and assistance in his power, he toiled with alacrity, and his reputation and usefulness daily increased.

It was necessary that he should apply himself closely to study: and he was a hard and indefatigable student: he employed every moment almost, not otherwise occupied, in the vigorous pursuit of knowledge, and in the preparation of his sermons: he read, and thought, and wrote with scarce any intermission, excepting what was requisite for attending to other important duties of his station. At the beginning of his ministry, he wrote his sermons entirely out, and committed them to memory; but finding his health to be affected by such severe labour, he afterwards accustomed himself to preach from full notes, or what he called "a copious analysis."

This mode of preaching gave a freer scope for the exercise of his powers; it was exactly suited to his peculiar gifts; and often the amplitude of his intellectual views was so striking, and the degree of feeling with which he delivered his discourses was so strong, and his manner altogether of addressing his hearers, was so singular and impressive, that he was heard with the deepest attention and with delight. Pious and judicious persons considered him a preacher of first-rate excellence, and he soon acquired by his public ministrations, by the habitual suavity of his manners in private intercourse, and by his unwearied exertions to do good at all times and in all places, an influence which is rarely possessed by one so young in the service of his Master.

This high standing in the Church, contributed greatly to the ultimate success of his endeavours to carry the plan that had been devised for promoting the general welfare of the Church. Soon after his settlement in New-York, he sought with his characteristical prudence and zeal, to bring about a reconciliation between the Coetus and Conferentie parties; an object which, as the reader has seen, lay, for years before, very near his heart, and which he had attempted, but in vain, to accomplish when he was in Holland. The circumstance of his having been educated abroad, his present connexion with the Church of New-York, which had happily, at no time, taken a part in the great controversy, and his distinguished reputation, gained him, in a little while, an extensive acquaintance among the ministers of both parties, and consequently many opportunities of calling their attention to the subject. These opportunities, whenever presented, he failed not to improve. As an evidence of his assiduity, a paragraph from a letter which he wrote the following June, while he was paying a short visit to his friends at Poughkeepie, to Dr. Laidlie, is here inserted.

[The love he bore his respected colleague is strongly expressed in the letter; and, as a memorial of their pious friendship, a few additional extracts are subjoined.

"My dearest Colleague and Brother in Christ,

"With pleasure I converse with you, though at such a distance: past times seem to recur to my mind, when, at a greater distance, I expressed my love to you in this way. The Lord has been with me since I left you. On the water it was tedious, on account of the number of passengers. I arrived home on Friday, P.M. being 48 hours on the water. A kind providence to my whole family gives me fresh opportunity to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord. Last Sunday, A.M. I preached here, and was much assisted to speak of Jesus and salvation through his merits. I thought much of our Church in New-York the whole day, (as indeed every day that is much on my heart,) and especially sympathized with my dear Laidlie; my prayers were for you, that God would support and bless you. The country air, the new amusements, and caresses of near relations, have refreshed both soul and body. I feel cheerful and hearty, and am convinced that it is necessary sedentary persons should now and then take tours of this kind. When I am walking among the trees, and ascend a hill, or gain from any little eminence a fine extended prospect, I draw in the wholesome air, and am apt to say 'Man was made to live in the country, to trace the footsteps of his Maker's power and wisdom in the vegetable world.' Nothing certainly but the pleasures and superior advantages of society, can compensate for the loss of those pleasures which the country affords superior to the town. The more I am refreshed in my present situntion, the more I wish to have you with me, a partaker in these rural delights. This, however, I know to be impossible; but shall insist, on my return, that you take the same tour, as soon as your family and circumstances will permit your leaving home, whilst your health and cheerfulness add to my own. *****

"I never feel how much I love you, as when I am absent from you. The Lord be with you, and give you what, as a father, he knows to be best.

"Your most affectionate Friend and Brother,

"June 11, 1771.        J. H. L."]

"What conversation I have already had with some of the partizans in the Dutch Churches, I will communicate to you when I return to town. That bitter spirit, which has so much prevailed, begins to subside, and it is the general sentiment that something must be done in order to open the way for that regular establishment so necessary for the education of youths for the ministry. As I have scarce time to write this letter in haste, I shall refer this to a conversation. You know the love I have for yourself will make your sentiments always weighty with me."

It was stated in the last chapter, that articles of union had been referred to the parties respectively, by the Classis of Amsterdam; and that in consequence of its being proposed in them to form a connexion with Princeton College, and of the neglect of the Classis to order a convention of the Churches, to deliberate upon the plan, the reference had proved abortive.

Subsequently, and but a short time before the Doctor came back to his native country, the Classis was appointed by the Synod of North Holland, through his influence with this rev. body, a committee, with plenary power to do whatever they might judge would be conducive to the interests of the American Church, and between the clerical members of the Classis and the Doctor, there existed a perfect understanding in relation to the plan which, after his return, should be offered to the consideration of his brethren. This plan, thus privately approved, it is probable was the old one new-shaped, the obnoxious article mentioned above being omitted; or it embraced the same cardinal principles, which there was reason to believe would, when understood, be generally viewed as unexceptionable, and as constituting a suitable basis for a union of parties.

The Doctor now found, upon conferring with pious and influential men of both parties, as he observes in the paragraph of his letter just quoted, that the bitter spirit, which had so much prevailed, begun to subside, or that the severity of temper and violence, which had heretofore marked the controversy, were no longer to be seen, and a desire for the adoption of some project that would give satisfaction to all concerned, appeared to be cherished; he, therefore, ventured to hint at one. He did not at once exhibit that which he had provided, but in a modest and discreet manner, endeavoured first to learn the sentiments of those with whom he conversed, with respect to the great objects it contemplated, and then to remove objections, if any were made, in order to prepare the way for its acceptance.

By this prudent procedure, he soon became convinced that the articles in his possession would be favourably received by the Church, and that it was expedient to adopt some measure, without delay, for the purpose of laying them formally before it. He accordingly suggested to his Consistory, that as they had not engaged on either side of the unhappy dispute, their influence, if used, could probably procure a general convention, and proposed that letters, stating the object in view requesting the attendance of every minister belonging to the Church, and of one elder from every congregation, and fixing the time and place of meeting, should be forthwith despatched in their name. The Consistory promptly complied with his wishes, and in the following October, the convention was held at New-York.

The minutes of the body are headed "Acts of the Reverend Assembly of Ministers and Elders of the Reformed Low Dutch Churches in the Provinces of New-York and New-Jersey, convened in the city of New-York, on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th days of Oct. 1771, at the friendly request of the Rev. Consistory of New-York, for the purpose of procuring peace and unity to said Churches." And the first Article, which relates to the arrival and introduction of the members, is in part in these words: "The Rev. Brethren having arrived and being convened, were solemnly welcomed by the Rev. John H. Livingston, S.S. T. D., and Minister in New-York. After the delivery of an appropriate sermon by the Rev. Mr. De Ronde, who had been appointed by the Consistory to preach at the opening of the Assembly, the President was chosen, and the choice is thus recorded. The Rev. Dr. John H. Livingston, minister in New-York as present Proeses of the conciliating Consistory of New-York, and with the knowledge and approbation of his Rev. Colleagues, was chosen President."

The assembly then appointed a committee, consisting of two ministers and two elders of the Rev. Coetus two ministers and two elders of the Rev. Conferentie and two ministers and two elders from the neutral churches of New-York and Albany, to prepare a formula of Union; and when the committee met to attend to this business, the Doctor disclosed the plan which had been digested and prepared in Holland, and which his brethren there had agreed that he should submit to the Church in this country. The committee examined the same with great care, and having made a few slight additions and changes, resolved to report it to the assembly. The assembly approved it unanimously, or at least, without a dissentient voice, with the understanding, that before it should be finally adopted or be considered as having the binding power of a solemn compact, it should be referred to the judgment of the Classis of Amsterdam. The prime mover in the whole matter, it is probable in the first instance, suggested the propriety of such a reference, and it was a masterly stroke of policy. It displayed the wisdom of the serpent, without any of his noxious qualities. - While, on the one hand, the Coetus brethren were gratified with the recognition of principles for which they had long contended; the pride of the Conferentie, on the other, was no less gratified with the proposed reference, as it fully accorded with the principle which they had maintained, and which gave to the Classis a paramount and decisive authority over the concerns of the American Church.

It was a measure admirably adapted to the prepossessions of both parties, and could hardly fail to render each pleased with itself and pleased with the other, too; and, that such was the result, is evident from the concluding article, which reads thus "After giving each other the right hand of fellowship, the committee, as also the Rev. Consistory of New-York, were openly and formally thanked for their friendly and brotherly services; and, after fervent thanksgiving to God, for this unexpected blessing, accompanied with ardent supplications to the throne of grace, for a further completion of this holy union work, as also for the prosperity and well-being of the Church, they parted in peace, and love, and joy.

(Signed) "John H. Livingston, Praeses,
Isaac Rysdyk, Scriba,
Eilardus Westerlo, Scriba."

The convention having proceeded as far in the business as was then deemed advisable, adjourned to meet again the next October; and, in the meantime, what they had already done with so much harmony and good feeling, had a gradual and salutary operation in purging out the old leaven, and diffusing a spirit of forbearance and love through the Church. To present a specimen of these wholesome effects, a part of a letter from the Rev. Mr. Hardenbergh to Dr. Livingston, dated Raritan, July 21, 1772, must be given. "I have the satisfaction to inform you, that the Monday after I returned home, my Consistory at the North Branch, had a meeting with the anti-consistory in that congregation. We found them extremely friendly, and well-disposed for peace. In less than an half hour, we settled all our disputes. Our Consistory elected two from among their party one for an Elder, and another for a Deacon, with which they seemed very well satisfied, and upon that dropt their Consistory, or thus united the two into one. Here I hope have ended, in less than half an hour, tedious, perplexing, and pernicious disputes, which have subsisted in these congregations for above fifteen years past. Blessed be God, that my eyes have beheld the healing of this breach in our Church, before I have been gathered to my fathers."

Pursuant to adjournment, the Convention assembled in October, 1772, and the letter of Classis, officially certifying that the plan of union had been approved by them, was laid before it. Every member then subscribed the articles, and the good work was thus formally and solemnly consummated.

This event proved a most auspicious one for the Dutch Church, in America, and the distinguished agency of Dr. Livingston in bringing it about, under the direction and blessing of heaven, has encircled his name with perennial glory. As the original projector, and the prayerful, prudent, and persevering promoter of the union, he will be in grateful and honourable remembrance while the Church exists. There were others, it is granted, who zealously co-operated with him in this difficult and weighty matter, as Doctors Laidlie, Westerlo, and Romeyn, and the Rev. Messrs. Hardenbergh, Light, Ver Breyck and Rysdyck; and the judicious and highly useful efforts of these clerical worthies to restore peace must not be forgotten: but Dr. Livingston is pre-eminently entitled to the precious and enduring honour of having been the Peace Maker. The station to which he was elevated in the convention, though he had then been only about a year in the ministry, by the unanimous vote of his brethren, is an indisputable evidence of the opinion entertained by them respecting the service he had rendered, and his superior right, on account of it, to preside over their deliberations.

When he was but a youth, thinking that a union might be effected, spite of the animosities so prevalent at the time, he felt a strong desire to do something towareds its accomplishments; when residing in a foreign country, he laboured with zeal to promote the great object: and when he returned, like the dove which had been sent forth out of the ark, he came back with an olive leaf in his mouth, and ceased not from his laudable exertions, until he had the pleasure of seeing his brethren dwelling together in unity. And it ought to be further remarked, that upon his pacific plan, as a foundation, a noble and beautiful superstructure has since been raised. Soon after its adoption, and in conformity to some of its provisions, a course of measures was commenced, as the sequel will show, for building up the Church, which has at length been crowned with the most gratifying success, which has imparted to her a form, a strength, a dignity, pleasant to the eyes of all who take an interest in her welfare: and let not this labour of love, so estimable in itself considered, and connected in the providence of God, with such eminent benefits to the Church, be ever under-rated.

In point of popularity and influence, Dr Livingston was now, probably, second to no minister in the Dutch Church; and, as a proof of the respect he had excited, it may be proper to state, that at a meeting of the trustees of Queen's College, held in the spring of 1772, a motion was made to elect him President of that Institution, which would undoubtedly have succeeded, had it been tried, but it was judged prudent to postpone the election, until after the next meeting of the general assembly.

[Information of this fact was communicated to him in a letter from the Rev. J. Light, of New-Brunswick, dated in May, 1772.

This gentleman, it appears by a note in the Christian's Magazine, "was active in promoting the independence of the Dutch Church in America. He published several very respectable pamphlets on the subject, which were answered by the Rev. Mr. Ritzema, of New-York.] Shortly after, he received the following polite note from President Dagget, of Yale College.

"Sir,

As I am informed that you have been honoured with a Doctorate in Holland, I would be glad to have a sight of your diploma (which I will safely reconvey to you,) that I may make an entry of it on our College Records, and certify, in the catalogue, the university by which it was given.

"I do, with pleasure, look upon our College honoured by the honours deservedly conferred on any who owe a little part of their education to it."

It is presumed that the Doctor yielded to the complimental request. And another circumstance occurred about this time, which is not altogether unworthy of notice. He was elected a member of the Society of the Hospital in the City of New York a small, it may be in the opinion of some, but nevertheless, a pleasing and pretty good evidence of the regard cherished for him as a benevolent and excellent man, for only citizens of the highest standing in the community for moral worth, it is believed, have ever been chosen to govern that humane and useful institution.

The Doctor felt too much the power of religion upon his heart, and was naturally of too kind a disposition, not to take a deep interest in associations formed for charitable purposes, or to give them that assistance and support which duty required; but it was in the Church, and in that section of it especially in which his lot had been cast, that he found his appropriate sphere of action. Here there was a great deal to be done for the promotion of the Redeemer's kingdom, and to this great work he unremittingly and zealously devoted himself till the close of life.

To strengthen and perpetuate the coalition which he had been the honoured instrument of effecting, and to raise the character of the Church, the project was conceived of procuring, as speedily as possible, the appointment and settlement in some suitable place, of a Professor of Theology: and, in condescension to the respective predilections of the brethren, who till lately had been long arrayed against each other, it was proposed to make a vigorous effort to provide the funds that would be needed for the maintenance of a theological professor in Queen's College, and then to send to Holland for a professor.

The project was adopted, and moneys were collected for this end, in most or all of the Churches that had acceded to the union. The Convention of Ministers and Elders, which met at Kingston in October, 1773, submitted some overtures to the Trustees of the College, and sent a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam, upon the subject of the professorate.

[The Rev. Dr. Dewitt, in his sermon upon the death of Dr. L. referring to the foundation which had been laid by the Convention of 1771, for a theological professorship, makes the following just observation: "The Reformed Dutch Church is thus entitled to the credit of having first contemplated and adopted a system of theological education in this country, which has received the approbation, and been followed by the practice of almost all her sister churches.]

In this letter, after observing that students could be educated at New-Brunswick with little expense that there were Churches in the province of New-York unwilling to make any contributions to the support of the professorate that 4,000 had been subscribed for it that a majority of its friends wished to have it connected with Queen's College, and that that institution was provided with an ample charter; they request that the Classis would select and endeavour to obtain for them, a person well qualified to discharge the duties of a professor of theology. In August, 1774, the Trustees of the College addressed a letter to the Convention, in which they gently notice, in the first place, the anxiety of this body to have the funds raised in the province of New-York properly secured, but ascribing it to "a commendable forecast of future vicissitudes," declare "their readiness to enter into the proposed engagements." They then add "As the College funds, amounting to about 4,000, fall far short of what is necessary for engaging to a professor from Holland, a competent salary, * * and the recommendation of such a professor is daily expected from thence; the augmenting of said funds demands our immediate and most serious attention, in order to enable the trustees to make out a call for the person recommended. And as it is reasonable to suppose, that the professor of divinity is the more immediate object of your concern, we declare it as our opinion, that whenever the Trustees of Queen's College shall remember the chief end of their incorporation, and regard the mcrease of students in this seminary, they will esteem it their duty and privilege to call the professor of divinity, on the recommendation of the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, and the communication thereof to your reverend assembly: nor will they have any objection to the making him, at the same time. President of the College, provided it can be done without detriment to the collegiate community or theological faculty."

The Classis, it seems, to execute, in the best manner possible, the important business which had been confided to them, had determined to solicit advice of the theological faculty of Utrecht, and not being able, as it is presumed, conveniently to obtain the desired advice, till after the opening of the university in the autumn of 1774, postponed, of course, their answer to the assembly.

A letter from them was received, however, in or near the following spring, and being opened by a Committee that had been appointed to inspect its contents immediately upon its arrival, with power to call, if it should be judged expedient to do so, an extra meeting of the assembly, it was found that they had unanimously recommended the election of Doctor Livingston as the professor. The letter of professor Bonnet was enclosed in that of the Classis, and both extolled him as a person well qualified for the office, and to be preferred to any one that could be sent from Holland; but in case he should decline the office, the assembly was requested to state particularly the salary that would be attached to it, in order that the Classis, in looking out a Holland divine to fill it, might feel themselves authorized to make a definite offer in that respect.

The Classical letter was dated Jan. 14, 1775; and the Committee having read it, pursuant to the power vested in them, issued circular letters, calling the assembly to meet in New-York in the month of May of the same year. The call was obeyed; but as the battle which constituted the first scene to the great drama of the revolutionary contest had been fought only a few days before at Lexington, Mass., such was the state of feeling prevailing in consequence at the time, that the members hastily terminated their session, after recommendmg the observance, throughout all their Churches, of a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. The particular business for which they had assembled, was necessarily deferred.

Hostilities with Great Britain had now commenced in earnest; and it being supposed that the enemy would early seek the occupation of New-York, which was in a defenceless situation, many of the citizens deemed it a prudent step to remove their families into the country, and accordingly did remove them in the fall of 1775; but a much greater number left the city in the spring and summer of the following year.

Philip Livingston, Esq., a distinguished patriot and a member of Congress, was among the first to

[This gentleman was the fourth son of Philip, who was the eldest son of Robert, and a grandson of the celebrated John Livingston, that died at Rotterdam. The following notice of him is extracted from a Biography of distinguished persons in America:

"Philip Livingston, one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, was a member of the family which has long been distinguished in the state of New-York, and was born at Albany, January 15th, 1716. He was graduated at Yale College in 1737. With the superior advantages of an excellent education, he embarked in mercantile pursuits, and was soon engaged in extensive operations; and his inflexible integrity, and enlarged and comprehensive views, laid the foundation, and erected the structure of extraordinary prosperity. His first appearance in public life was in September, 1754, when he was elected an alderman of the city of New-York. From this period, he continued to fill various and important trusts under the Colonial Government, till he took a decided and energetic stand against the usurpations of Great Britain.

"Mr. Livingston was chosen a member of the first Congress, which met at Philadelphia on the 5th of September, 1774. In this assembly, he took a distinguished part, and was appointed on the Committee to prepare an address to the people of Great Britain.

"He was re-elected a delegate in 1775, with full power to concert with delegates of other colonies, upon such measures as should be judged most effectual for the preservation and re-establishment of American rights and privileges.

"On the fourth of July, 1766, he affixed his signature to the Declaration of Independence.

"On the 15th July, 1766, he was chosen by Congress a member of the Board of Treasury, and on the 29th of April following, a member of the Marine Committee; two important trusts, in which the safety and well-being of America were essentially involved.

"On the 13th of May, 1777, the State Convention re-elected him to Congress, and at the same time thanked him and his colleagues for their long and faithful services rendered to the colony and state of New-York.

"Mr. Livingston's attendance in Congress did not, however, preclude his employment at home, in affairs of importance. He served in every capacity in which he could be useful in the councils of his state. He assisted in framing a constitution for the state, and, on its adoption, was chosen a senator under it.

"In October, 1777, he was re-elected to Congress under the new Constitution, and took his seat in Congress in May, 177S, one of the most critical and gloomy periods of the Revolution, and incessantly devoted his whole faculties to the salvation of his country. He expired at York, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of June, 1778.

"A short time previous to his demise, he sold a portion of his property to sustain the public credit; and though he sensibly felt the approach of death, owing to the nature of his complaint, he did not hesitate to relinquish the endearments of a beloved family, and devote the last remnant of his illustrious life to the service of his country, then enveloped in the thickest gloom."

The eldest daughter of Philip married the late Stephen Van Renssalaer, Esq., of Albany, and was the mother of the gentleman now living, of the same name and place, whose patriotic services, amiable deportment, and princely liberality, in the promotion of science and religion, are well known. The second married Dr. Thomas Jones, a learned and respectable physician of New-York, and was the mother of Mrs. Clinton, the widow of the late much lamented Governor of the state of New-Vork.]

take this step, and in the month of Oct. conveyed his little household to Kingston, a town some distance up the Hudson, in the county of Ulster, New-York. evidence, of sincere and ardent piety; and he thus became allied to other families among the most respectable in the colony.

Dr. Livingston was himself a sincere and decided friend to the American cause. It was the earnest wish of his heart that the war begun, might result in the estabhshment of his country's independence, and, like a number of patriotic and pious ministers of the city, offered his fervent prayers to God for its ultimate success; but

[The Rev. Dr. Miller, in his Memoirs of the late venerable Dr. Rodgers,says "For a considerable time before this crisis arrived, Dr. Rodgers and several other clergymen of the city, among whom were Dr. Mason and Dr. Laidlie, had been in the habit of holding weekly meetings, for cultivating friendship with each other, and for mutual instruction. Toward the close of 1775, the gentlemen concerned, agreed to suspend their usual exercises at these meetings, and to employ the time, when they came together, in special prayer for a blessing upon the country, in the struggle on which it was entering. This meeting, thus conducted, was kept up, until the ministers composing it, and the great mass of the people under their pastoral care retired from the city, previous to the arrival of the British forces."

Dr. Livingston was, no doubt, one of this clerical association; and it is probable, that as often as he was in the city, after his marriage, when they convened, he united with them in supplications to Heaven for a happy prosecution and termination of the conflict.]

neither political nor religious principle made it his duty to remain in New-York, when that would be only an unnecessary exposure of his life, and the greater part of the people of his charge had fled into different parts of the country, to places of more safety. He, therefore, resided in the excellent family with which he had recently become connected, and visited the city for the performance of ministerial duty, as often as it was practicable, and as long as it was considered proper to continue service there. Until, in fact, the British forces took possession of New-York, in Sep. 1776, he and Dr. Laidlie, who had also removed to Red Hook, alternately came down, unless providentially prevented, and preached to the remnant of their flock; and in the month of June preceding, he administered the Lord's Supper in the Middle Church, which ordinance was not dispensed again in any of the Dutch Churches in the city, during the continuance of the war.

While the Doctor was staying at Kingston, he preached once every Sabbath, if in the place, in the Dutch language; but, as the congregation there was furnished with a pastor (the Rev. Mr. Doll,) when he found that he would be probably for some time, excluded from New-York, he became anxious for another situation, where his ministrations might be more needed, or would promise more usefulness; and about the time that his intercourse with the city ceased, it pleased the Lord to provide him just such an one as he had desired.

In the autumn of 1776, the Consistory of the Dutch Church in Albany, invited him to spend the period of his exile, or as much of it as suited his convenience, in labours among them. This invitation he promptly accepted, and with Mrs. Livingston and his infant son [Col. H. A. Livingston, of Poughkeepsie, the only child of Dr. Livingston], went there in the month of November,

Whether anterior to this removal, public worship in that Church had been regularly, or at all performed, in English, is not known; but it was understood that during his residence in the place, he would be expected to preach in this language, whilst the esteemed pastor would take the Dutch service, and for nearly three years he laboured zealously, in conjunction with the pious and excellent Westerlo, to build up the Church in faith and godliness.

After he had been here about a year, he made a visit with his little family to his father at Poughkeepsie, which, for a short season, was attended with imminent danger, and led to the loss of his journal, containing a number of anecdotes, and relating his religious experience from the day of his embarkation for Holland.

It was in the month of October, 1777, when Gen. Vaughan, with a small fleet, sailed up the Hudson, and burnt Kingston. The enemy, as they passed the residence of his father, which stood upon the margin of the river, fired into it, and in the perturbation and alarm of the moment, produced by this wanton attack, while making some hasty preparations to leave the house, he burnt that manuscript, which he happened to have with him, under the apprehension that, if it were not destroyed, it might fall into improper hands. The loss was a serious one: it was to him an invaluable treasure; and had it been preserved, much interesting and important matter could, no doubt, have been derived from it to enrich these pages. The whole family, upon the above threatening occurrence, fled to Sharon, Conn. and remained there some weeks.

The climate of Albany, in winter, proving too severe for the feeble constitution of Mrs. Livingston, he removed in the summer of 1779 to Livingston's Manor, in the hope that this change of situation would be beneficial to her health. How far his ministerial labours were pleasing and useful to the people of Kingston when he sojourned among them, the writer has not been informed; but of their very great acceptance in Albany, that he was highly esteemed by the congregation in that city for his superior endowments, as an ambassador of the Cross, for his warm and elevated piety, his engaging manners and holy conversation, unquestionable proof can be given; for in the ensuing spring he received a call, in due form, to return to them. This call, which is dated the 4th of April, 1780, was brought down and presented to him the next day by the Rev. Dr. Westerlo [MVD: married to the sister of John Henry's wife], and Mr. John Beekman, who had been charged by the Consistory with its delivery. He took it into serious consideration, but finally declined it, and continued at the Manor, preaching to destitute Churches in the vicinity, the unsearchable riches of Christ.

The Doctor, it is evident from the facts already stated, did not lead a life of inaction or indolence, while compelled to intermit the exercise of his sacred function in New-York; nor did he rove about as a political missionary, consuming his time in an unprofitable discussion of questions relative to the public affairs, interesting as the subject then was to persons of every description. Though a decided Whig; though he rejoiced at every occurrence auspicious to the cause of freedom, and both in public and in private, remembered his beloved country at the Throne of Grace, praying that the right hand and arm of the Almighty, and the light of his countenance would save her, yet he loved the cause of Christ more; and he, therefore, assiduously employed himself in the glorious service to which he had been called. His prudence, his just sense of the dignity of his office, as a minister of religion, and of the solemn nature of the duties appertaining thereto, were such as could hardly fail to preserve him from any unseemly descension in ordinary discourse upon political matters; but conversation of the kind was not sufficiently suited to his taste, to put him in much danger in that respect: Redeeming grace was habitually the theme of his meditations; and he never was so happy as when hearing or telling of the victorious operations of Him whose kingdom is not of this world, and commending a precious salvation to all around him, as well in the social circle as in the house of God.

The Church in which the Doctor now regularly preached, was in the village of Lithgow, where he lived, and near the Manor-house, but his attentions were not confined to the congregation that assembled in that place. Other congregations within a convenient distance, and there were several, composed chiefly of German families, in want of the ministrations of the Gospel, enjoyed a portion of his labours as often as circumstances would permit. During his stay with this people, which lasted about eighteen months, he preached two sermons every Sabbath, one in English and the other in Dutch, and he had reason to hope that his strength had not been spent for nought.

The following two years were passed at Poughkeepsie. The Church in this town, which now was without a settled minister, desired his services; and he being rather inconveniently situated in some respects, at the Manor, consented to take the pastoral oversight of it; and, accordingly, removed for the purpose in 1781, to his father's mansion, where he remained until the close of the war. Of the profitableness of the Doctor's ministry, during this period, no materials are in hand to authorize a representation: there can be little doubt, however; nay, the simple fact that some solicitude was expressed to have his labours, warrants the assertion, that in point of popularity, he stood high with the people, furnishing a case a case, indeed, which rarely occurs in which the proverb was not verified that, a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house [Matt. 13. 57. 33]."

The present cheering prospects of America led him to reflect with much attention upon the changes that would be necessary in ecclesiastical policy, under a new form of political government, to place the Church in the most advantageous circumstances, or to give the denomination that relative standing and influence among other denominations, to which it was the ardent wish of his heart it might speedily attain. The following extract of a letter to the Rev. Dr. Westerlo, dated 22d October, 1783, will show the interest and mature deliberation with which he revolved the important subject, and also the origin of a plan which was ultimately adopted, but not till towards the close of his life.

"The revolution in our political interests has made a change in the general face of our American world, and as it has removed some difficulties which were taken into consideration in our former plan, so it has introduced others which deserve a very weighty and impartial discussion. The common enemy to our religious liberties is now removed; and we have nothing to fear from the pride and domination of the Episcopal Hierarchy."

"A sufficient seminary for all the purposes of common literature, is now already established in the Jerseys, and will probably be enlarged into an University, and be most favoured by the legislature in that state. The erecting, therefore, a College, with all the appendages necessary to justify the appellation, at Brunswick, appears to be an object at once beyond our funds, and in itself unnecessary. The question will then recur, what must, what ought, what can we do? To me, there appears but three possible methods, which, if not free from difficulties, seem to be upon the whole at least practicable, and in some measure calculated to answer the purposes we wish to obtain either to wait until the government of this state shall organize the College in the city of New-York, and then appoint a professor for our Churches in that College, to be supported by the funds of the College: or, to request, (which, if done, will doubtless be obtained,) a local union with Princeton, where a professor of our nomination, and supported by us, may teach in their house, and the students have the privilege of their library; or, lastly, that our Churches support their independence, and distinct name and existence, by erecting at Brunswick not a College, but a Divinity-Hall, for the sole purpose of teaching Theology."

"I will freely communicate to you my sentiments upon each of these, not only because you have a right, as a friend, to know my opinion, but because I wish to prompt you to an explicit declaration of your own mind upon the subject, as I am by no means fixed in my views, but would fain gain all the advice possible in a matter which is justly considered by all as important, and which cannot succeed without the joint concurrence and approbation of the whole."

"With respect, then, to the first thing proposed, it appears to me the following difficulties are altogether insurmountable 1. The time may prove too long for the wants of our Church before the College in New-York is properly organized. 2. The old Charter of that College, and the funds which were given upon express condition of the operation of that Charter, will create some difficulties: these have still their friends, who will be ready to oppose, if not openly, at least by their influence, every measure which seems to prefer any persuasion or denomination above the Episcopal. 3. The government of this state **** will probably wish to give no countenance at all to any denomination of Christians, lest an infringement of religious liberty should be made; and, therefore, if the College should be erected into an University, it is my opinion, the science of theology will be entirely omitted. For us, therefore, to be waiting for that event, will be loss of time, engaging in the quarrels of an old standing and high partyship, or a final disappointment at last."

"The second has a greater prospect of success, and for some time has been uppermost in my mind, in consequence of a train of happy consequences, which I imagined I saw connected with that situation; nor was the assured orthodoxy of all the Presbyterian Churches, and their indissoluble union in doctrines with ours, by that means, the least argument to persuade me into a coalition with Princeton. But, upon mature thought, it is evident to me that this measure will not succeed. For 1. Our professor, when placed there, must be either under the control of the Trusteeship of that College, or, (if an exemption from their jurisdiction should be stipulated,) it is impossible but he will, in time, be under the influence of their customs, sentiments, and opinions, as he must be one among the many who surround him, and who, all being swayed by one interest, will unavoidably draw him also with the stream; whereby the professor of the Dutch Church will and cannot but be a Presbyterian professor. You know my sentiments in favour of the Presbyterians too well to suppose I mean any thing in this the least derogatory to them, their doctrines, or their church government. I esteem them highly, and wish many among us were not possessed with such groundless prejudices against them. But when I consider our Churches as hitherto preserving a distinct denomination, my first observation will be seen to have great weight, as the name and existence of the Dutch Churches by such an union would soon expire. 2. The same funds must be raised by us for the support of this professorate at Princeton, as if it was placed in any other situation, while the prospect of its answering our purpose would be dubious, and our professor evidently placed farther out of our control, in proportion as he became united to others. 3. Our correspondence with our mother churches in Holland, and the possibility of being increased by emigrations from thence, should at least incline us to remain as pure and unsuspected of any mixture as possible unless some generous and proper plan, formed by a genius equal to the task, should be drawn for uniting all the Reformed Churches in America into one national Church which, notwithstanding the seeming difficulties in the way, I humbly apprehend will be practicable and, consistent with the outlines drawn by Professor Witsius for King William the Third, I yet hope to see accomplished. But until something of that kind is proposed, what has been mentioned above stands with its full force."

"The last of the three proposed plans, remains to be considered. At first blush, it is evident that if it can be put in practice, it will distinguish our Churches as singularly concerned for maintaining the truths of the Gospel, and instead of absorbing them into other denominations, will fix their character in a point of view, which will hand down the efforts of the present generation with honour to posterity. While others have laboured with success and praise for the cultivation of learning in general, it seems to be reserved in Providence, as the peculiar province of our churches, to employ their whole influence in teaching and establishing the Reformed religion."

"Before I mention the difficulties which have occurred to my mind, permit me to premise the arguments in its favour. 1. If we erect a respectable professorate and Divinity-Hall at Brunswick, we shall have our institution wholly under our own control; every difficulty can be canvassed, and redress obtained without the interposition of other denominations, or any appeal to different boards. 2. The name and estimation of the Dutch Churches among the various churches in America, are in such repute for orthodoxy, that our institution will bid fairer to be universally useful when we stand alone, than any union with any that can be named, could possibly promise. 3. The local situation of Brunswick seems to be a proper centre for the States of New-York, and Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in the last of which there are perhaps as many congregations of the Reformed Churches as in both the former. 4. But what ought to be a principal consideration is, that all the donations and assistance we are to expect for this undertaking, will be given by those who belong to the Dutch Churches (as every other denomination has plans of their own, which call forth their whole abilities,) and it is evident the benefactors for our professorate would give with greater freedom, and feel more happy in promoting a work, which they were assured would remain under the sole inspection of the Dutch Churches, than by any combination of ecclesiastic interests with Princeton, or political with New-York, could possibly be effected."

"These, and what I might still add, if these were not sufficient, have induced me to prefer the last to both the former plans. The difficulties which occur, are, indeed, not small; they are few in number, but of great weight. The one is, it will unavoidably take up some time, at least two years, before any thing of importance can be done towards this establishment. The other is, we have not funds equal to the task; and we shall need the advice of our wisest friends, to point out a method for obtaining a sum sufficient to maintain a professor in theology, and in the oriental languages."

"I have already said that I was not fixed in my views respecting this affair; at least, not so fixed but that I stand open for conviction, and wish to obtain all the light which can be thrown upon the object, before I determine in what manner my vote or small influence shall direct. Upon discoursing with Mr. Romeyn, I found him fully convinced that what I have last considered was the proper line of conduct for us; and his arguments have not a little conduced to establish my mind upon this plan. It is the interest of the Redeemer's cause we have at heart. Our hands must do what we are called to with all our might. An effectual and peculiarly exclusive door is now opened for service. The enemy of all religion is not at rest. Our united efforts and blessings, as answers to prayer from the throne, may fix an establishment that shall make glad the city of our God for ages yet to come."

The conjectures he formed, as to the arrangements that would be made in behalf of the literary institutions mentioned, and the views of church policy he expressed in this letter, were singularly judicious; and it must be acknowledged, that they prove him to have been a man of an enlightened and comprehensive mind, and, however devoted to the best interests of his own Church, of a catholic spirit.

To a distressing and protracted time of war succeeded at length, in the good providence of that God who ruleth among the nations, a time of peace. By His blessing upon the arms of America, every mountain became a plain before her Zerubbabel, and the top stone of her liberties was brought forth with the exulting shouts of thousands. Verily there is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength [Ps. xxxiii. 16, 34]; but they that are engaged in a righteous cause and look to the Lord for help, through him shall do valiantly; for He it is that shall tread down their enemies [Ps. lx. 12.], And truly it may be said, that if it had not been the Lord who was on our aide when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us [Ps. cxxiv. 2. 3].

The long and arduous conflict between Great Britain and this country, was brought to a close in the year 1783.

Provisional articles of peace had been signed at Paris in the latter part of the preceding year, and as soon as intelligence of the fact reached here, all hostilities ceased. A number of the exiles ventured forthwith to re-occupy their former dwellings; but they did not generally return, until after an event, the anniversary of which has been celebrated ever since the evacuation of the city by the British troops, on the twenty-fifth of November, 1783.

About this time. Doctor Livingston came back to resume his pastoral charge, and commenced a laborious course of ministeral duty.



Reverend John Henry Livingston's Plan
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[As the Doctor himself was, without doubt, the author of this plan, or of the greater part of it, and as its adoption had an important influence over the state of the Church an influence that renders that adoption one of the most memorable and propitious events recorded in her history the reader will probably be gratified to see the whole of it.

Preliminaries
"Whereas, certain misconceptions concerning the bond of union between the Churches in this country and those in Holland, have been the unhappy causes of the past troubles: In order, therefore, to prevent these in future, and in consequence of the advice and direction of the reverend Classis of Amsterdam, in their last letter to us, we unite ourselves in one body, and we agree with each other to regulate our church government, and union with the mother Church in Holland, in the following manner:

ARTICLE I.
Adherence to the Constitution of the Church.
We adhere, in all things, to the Constitution of the Netherland Reformed Church, as the same was established in the Church orders of the Synod of Dordrecht, in the years 1618 and 1619.

ARTICLE II.
Consistories.
"The Consistories shall always be appointed, and their business conducted agreeably to the Constitution of the Netherland Churches.

ARTICLE III.
Organization of the superior Church Judicatories.
"In addition to the above, we organize or establish, according to the counsel and advice of the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, approved in the Synod of North Holland, such ecclesiastical assemblies as are consistent with the government and constitution of the Netherland Church, and our relation to the same; which judicatories shall be distinguished by such names as shall hereafter be determined.

ARTICLE IV.
Number of these in general.
"These judicatories shall be two in number, which we provisionally call the particular and general assembly, till their names shall be more particularly agreed upon.

ARTICLE V.
Matters to be discussed in the Particular Assemblies.
"In the particular assemblies, all matters regarding the interests of subordinate congregations, and which cannot be determined by the Consistories, shall, in the first instance, be regularly brought forward, and acted upon, (even to the suspension of ministers for improper conduct,) before they can be brought up to a higher tribunal.

ARTICLE VI.
Members of these Assemblies.
"At these assemblies, each minister, with his elder, belonging to the same, and furnished with suitable ecclesiastical credentials, shall attend at the appointed time and place. With respect to absentees, special regulations may afterwards be made.

ARTICLE VII.
Number of these Assemblies.
"These assemblies shall be five in number. This number may, nevertheless, hereafter be increased by the General Assembly, and the place of meeting changed, as circumstances shall require.

ARTICLE VIII.
Three in the Province of New-York, and two in New-Jersey.
"Three of these assemblies shall be held in the province of New-York, and two in the province of New-Jersey.

ARTICLE IX.
One in the city of New-York.
"In the province of New-York, one shall be held in the city of New-York; to which shall belong all the Low Dutch Reformed Churches, whatever their language may be, on Long Island, in the city and county of New-York, and in the county of Westchester. Whether the Churches in the county of Richmond shall belong to this assembly, is not yet determined.

ARTICLE X.
One in Kingston.
"Another shall be held in Kingston, to which shall belong the Churches of Dutchess and Ulster counties, and the congregation of the Camp.

ARTICLE XI.
One in Albany.
"A third shall be held alternately in Albany and Schenectady, to which shall belong the Churches in the counties of Albany. Glocester and Cumberland.

ARTICLE XII.
One in Brunswick.
"In the province of New-Jersey, one shall be held at New-Brunswick, to which shall belong the Churches in the counties of Richmond, Monmouth, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterton and Sussex.

ARTICLE XIII.
One in Hackensack.
"The other shall be at Hackensack, to which shall belong those of the counties of Bergen, Orange, Essex and Morris.

ARTICLE XIV.
Time of Meeting.
"These assemblies, on account of the distance of the respective members from each other, shall not hold more than one ordinary meeting in each year. The particular time of meeting is deferred to a future opportunity.

ARTICLE XV.
Correspondents.
"When these particular assemblies shall correspond with each other, and in what manner, is also deferred.

ARTICLE XVI.
General Assembly.
"In addition to the above, a General Assembly shall be held every year, composed of delegates from each particular assembly.

ARTICLE XVII.
Members of the same.
"To this rev. assembly, shall be delegated from each particular assembly, two ministers, each with an elder, furnished with suitable credentials.

ARTICLE XVIII.
Place of Meeting.
"The meetings of this general assembly shall be held alternately at New-York and Kingston; the rev. assembly shall, nevertheless, have liberty of appointing a third place of meeting in the province of New-Jersey.

ARTICLE XIX.
Time of Meeting.
"The time of meeting shall be considered hereafter, and appointed in the most suitable season, and so as to be most convenient for the particular assemblies.

ARTICLE XX.
Examination, Preparation, and Peremption.
"For this General Assembly, with the approbation of the Rev. Synod of North Holland, and the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, we assume the long-wished-for right of examining candidates for licensure and for the ministry; and also further to qualify those who are lawfully called, as the same is practised in the Netherlands. A list of all those who have been examined and ordained, as also of the newly settled and removed ministers, shall be kept in our yearly acts, and sent over with a request to the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, that they may be carefully inserted in the register of ministers, and numbered by them among the North American preachers in both provinces.

ARTICLE XXI.
Matters to be treated of in the General Assembly.
"All Church matters which cannot be determined in the particular assemblies shall, when regularly brought up, receive their complete and final decision in the General Assembly. In some particular cases, the following rules shall be adopted:

ARTICLE XXII.
Union with the Church of Holland.
"To preserve in the best possible manner, the bond of union with our highly esteemed mother Church, (which we greatly desire,) there shall first be sent every year a complete copy of all the acts of our general assembly, signed by the Proeses and Scriba, for the time being, to the Classis of Amsterdam, as duly named by the Synod of North Holland for that purpose.

ARTICLE XXIII.
Appeals concerning Doctrines.
"Secondly Whenever differences may arise on important doctrines among the brethren, whether ministers or communicants, a decision on which might be matter of grievance to some, the case in difference shall be left to the judgment of the Rev. Classis, or if need be, to the Rev. Synod of North Holland, according to whose decision the general assembly, as well as the condemned party, shall conform or act.

ARTICLE XXIV.
Depositions.
"In case a minister, on account of doctrine or life, shall be deposed, and conceive himself aggrieved by such deposition, he shall have the liberty of laying his case before the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, or through it before the Rev. Synod, for their judgment, whether he may be called again or not; and the general assembly, with the deposed minister, shall be bound to submit to the judgment of the Rev. Classis. In the mean time, however, in consequence of the length of time required for deciding such an unhoped-for case, the congregation of the deposed minister, if they request it, shall be furnished with another pastor.

ARTICLE XXV.
Approbation of Calls.
"It is agreed, that the approbations of the calls of candidates on their exam. peremp. shall be given by the general assembly, but that of ministers, considering the wants of the Church, shall be given by the particular assembly to which the calling congregation belongs.

ARTICLE XXVI.
Visitation of the Churches.
"Concerning the visitation of Churches, there shall be particular regulations adopted in the general assembly which is to be organized.

ARTICLE XXVII.
Extraordinary Meetings.
"Extraordinary meetings of the general and particular assemblies may be held for the examination and decision of matters, which, for urgent reasons, cannot be deferred till the ordinary meeting. These meetings may be called by the last Proeses and Scriba of the respective assemblies.

ARTICLE XXVIII.
Professorate.
"Concerning the professorate, we will act according to the advice of the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, viz. we will provisionally choose one or two professors to teach didactic, elenchtic, exegetic, &c. theology, according to the received doctrines of our Low Dutch Reformed Church; to which office we, according to the judgment of the Classis, will choose, on favourable terms, such divines from the Netherlands as are of acknowledged learning, piety and orthodoxy, and immutably attached to the Netheriand formulas of union, said Classis having promised to recom- mend suitable characters.

ARTICLE XXIX.
Further regulations respecting the Professorate.
"The professor or professors above-mentioned, as soon as the wished for reconciliation in this country is obtained, and finally established, shall be chosen and called, on a sufficient salary, though not without the approbation of the general assembly, with this provision, that such professor or professors shall not stand in any connexion with English academies, but shall give lectures on theology, in their own dwellings, to such students only who can produce testimony that they have studied two or three years at a college or academy, under approved teachers, and improved themselves in preparatory studies, such as the languages, philosophy, &c. Such professor or professors shall also preach once every month or fortnight, in Dutch or English, as well to assist the minister of the place where he or they reside, as to afford the students a good model of preaching; in consequence of which, the reverend professor or professors, shall be subject to the particular and general assemblies, in the same manner as is already specified particularly of the ministers.

ARTICLE XXX.
Provisional Exception.
"Nevertheless, since we, according to the condition stipulated by the Classis, can cherish no hopes of reaping the fruits of the above-mentioned professorate, for a long time to come, we are of opinion, as there are now a number of students with one or other minister, who probably will in a short time be fitted for the exam. prepar. that these students ought, in consequence of the great need of the Churches, to be provisionally examined at the next meeting of our general assembly.

ARTICLE XXXI.
Schools under ihe care of the Churches.
"Finally, the respective congregations shall hereafter make it their business to establish public or private schools, in which, under the direction of Consistories, instructions shall be given as well in the languages as in the fundamental principles or doctrines of the Reformed Dutch Church, as the same are taught in our Low Dutch Churches.

GRIEVANCES.
ARTICLE I.
"Concerning those congregations who have two Consistories and two ministers, it would be desirable that they should unite in one body; but where this is impracticable, matters shall remain in statu quo, till means and opportunities shall be found, in God's providence, to lead to this union.

ARTICLE II.
"To those congregations who have one minister, but two consistories, it is earnestly recommended that they unite in one Consistory. The reverend brethren shall likewise avail themselves of every opportunity which offers, by brotherly exhortation, to effect the same; as also, for those congregations which are situated, as stated in the first article, whilst we cordially supplicate the God of peace to remove all remaining grievances from such congregations.

ARTICLE III.
"Since, during the past troubles, some persons have been ordained for the holy ministry, whose examination and ordination is not deemed valid by some of the brethren, yet for peace sake, rather than that the contemplated union should not be accomplished, these brethren agree, that every one whom the Rev. Coetus acknowledges as an ordained minister, shall be considered as such, and in that capacity take his seat in our assemblies, not doubting but the Rev. Claesis of Amsterdam will agree with us in this particular.

ARTICLE IV.
"Since the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, in one of their last letters, express themselves favourably of the Rev. Hermanus Meyer, from which it plainly appears that they would fondly see a re-union between him and his congregation, if it was possible: we are of opinion, that in case that reverend brother accedes to the aforesaid articles of union, and subjects himself to this arrangement, such subjection is a sufficient ground to give him, as our esteemed brother, a seat and voice in the above-mentioned particular and general assemblies, whilst the reverend assemblies, as soon as they are organized in the manner specified, with the advice of the Rev. Classis, will offer their friendly aid for adjusting the differences between him and the congregation of Kingston, in case the wished for union between them is not previously accomplished.

CONCLUDING ARTICLES.
ARTICLE I. Exception.

"The preceding articles shall not be binding in cases where they are hostile to any privileges granted by charter to any Church.

ARTICLE II.
Binding force of these Articles.
"As soon as these articles are constitutionally received and approved by this assembly, each member shall provisionally give the other the hand of brotherhood or fellowship, in hopes that the Rev. Classis and our respective congregations will approve and ratify the same, but they shall not be obligatory before such approbation of them shall be given by our respective congregations and the Rev. Classis.

ARTICLE III.
"Since the Committee have the satisfaction to be unanimous in their opinion on these articles, subject however, to superior judgment, it is their cordial desire and prayer, that this reverend assembly may adopt the same, that the long-wished-for-union may, if possible, be effected according to these articles, which may the God of peace and love grant of his mercy.

"New-York, October 18th, 1771.

"Signed by the above-mentioned Committee."]

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