constant correspondent of Dr. Livingston. These
gentlemen very promptly and politely furnished
me with such papers, in their possession respectively, as were calculated to be of any service.
Among those sent by the first named gentleman,
was found a manuscript memoir of his father, of
about fifty or sixty pages letter paper, which the
Doctor had written a few years before he died, and
relating chiefly to the earlier part of his life.
This proved of essential service, and long extracts
from it are presented in the following sketch.
It is well known, that his connexion with the
Dutch Church, from his youth, was such, that a
full memoir of his life must necessarily embrace a
large portion of the history of the Church: and I
freely own that when I commenced the work, it
was my particular wish, if it could be done without
destroying its Biographical character, to incorporate with it, a concise and connected account of the
Church from its rise, until the present time. Upon
reflection, this account seemed indispensable to
give a fair and intelligible view of some matters, in
which the Doctor deeply interested himself as soon
as he entered upon the study of Theology: and
throughout, I have allowed myself no farther scope,
nor have I dilated, upon general facts, any farther
than appeared requisite to a proper illustration oi
the events of his life. In the introduction of matter
of this description, relative to one or two periods,
I was under the necessity of availing myself, to
some extent, of private correspondence; but for
having done so, it is presumed, no other apology
need be pleaded.
The letters which were written by the Doctor
upon important ecclesiastical measures, particularly those of a late date, are given, not so much to
complete the narrative, as to show how far he was
active, and the motives that regulated his conduct.
And it was judged indeed, that his excellence both
in private and public life — that his character as a
Christian minister, as a husband, father, friend -
would be better estimated from his unreserved communications to intimate friends, than from a bare
historical statement of facts.
Numerous other letters, upon a variety of subjects, might have been added, but it was supposed
that an appendix, containing them, would increase