work, and made him, through a long life, a burning
and shining light in the Church.
The important question being now solved to the
satisfaction of his own mind, he deemed it proper
at once to acquaint his father with the change that
had taken place in his views. For reasons, which
it is unnecessary to relate, he was apprehensive
that he would not readily be permitted to quit the
study of law; but the result of the disclosure of his
wishes was very different from what he had anticipated, and thrilled his heart with delight. His
father promptly and cheerfully consented to his
commencing the study of theology; and, for his
encouragement, added a promise of such pecuniary
assistance, as he might need in the prosecution of
the good design.
THE STATE OF THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH IK
NORTH AMERICA, ABOUT THE YEAR 1765.
The Reformed Dutch Church in this country, at
the time that Mr. Livingston resolved to seek preparation for the service of the sanctuary, was in a
very unhappy and critical state. Before proceeding
further in the account of liis life, that some things
to be stated in it, may be fully understood; that his
disinterested and useful offices in behalf of this
church, which will be described in course, may be
seen in a proper light, the peculiar difficulties then
existing, so inimical to her peace and prosperity,
must be unfolded.
It will be necessary to take a cursory retrospect
of the Church from her rise, in order fairly to exhibit
the nature and influence of these difficulties.
Nova Belgia, or New Netherland, as the part
of America claimed or settled by the Dutch was
originally called, comprehended a considerable
extent of country. The earliest settlements they