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CHAPTER III

inefficacious, or conferring no right to administer sealing ordinances. The claim, however, which Niewenhyt, [The writer has no means of ascertaining, though it would gratify him to be able to present, the names of the ministers who preceded Mr. Niewenhyt in the Church at Albany. In the Christian's Magazine, the Rev. Messrs. G. Schaats and Godefridus Dallius, are represented to have served the same Church prior to the year 1693.] in his zeal, set up in favour of the exclusive validity of Holland ordination, was not more chimerical and absurd than that which in modern times has been advanced, and somewhat strenuously maintained, in favour of the exclusive validity of Episcopal ordination; and though urged, on the occasion, in contravention of a suspected nefarious design, the fact that it was urged, clearly evinces the influence which it was believed the argument would have; and hence, may be seen the ascendency then of the Classis of Amsterdam, in the Dutch Churches, in this country. This ascendency continued unimpaired, and without even the semblance of opposition, until the year 1737, when, for the first time, an attempt was made to form a local convention, to have some general superintendence of ecclesiastical concerns. A few ministers [The Rev. G. Dubois of the city of New York; the Rev. G. Haeghoort, of Second River; the Rev. B. Freeman, of Long Island; the Rev. C. Van Santvoort, of Staten Island; and the Rev. A. Curtenius, of Hackensack.    C. M.] met in

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CHAPTER III

the city of New-York, and agreed upon the plan of a Coetus, or an assembly of ministers and elders, to be subordinate to the Classis of Amsterdam.

The plan was submitted to the consideration of the churches; and the following year, at a meeting of ministers and elders* held in the same city, it

*
Present The Rev. Mr. Dubois, with two elders, Anthony Rutgers and Abraham Lefferts; the Rev. Mr. Freeman, with two elders, Peter Neviiis and Dirk Brinkerhoof; the Rev. Mr. Van Santvoort, with one elder, Goosen Adriance; the Rev, Mr. Haeghoort, with one elder, F. Van Dyck; the Rev. Mr. Curtenius, with one elder, Zabriskie; the Rev. R. Erickson of Nauwesink, with one elder, J. Zutveen; the Rev. J. Bohm, of Philadelphia, with one elder, Snyder; the Rev. Mr Schuyler, of Schoharie, with one elder Spies; and the Rev. T. J. Frelinghuysen of Raritan, with an elder, H. Fisher. The names of the persons constituting this meeting are taken from the Chris. Mag. in which the last-mentioned clergyman is thus spoken of in a note: "He was a great blessing to the Dutch Church in America. He came over from Holland in the year 1720, and settled on the Raritan. He was an able, evangelical, and eminently successful preacher. He left five sons, all ministers; and two daughters, married to ministers." To this, may be added the testimony of that eminent servant of Christ, the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, respecting Mr. Frelinghuysen. In a letter to Mr. Prince, of Boston, he says, "The labours of Mr. Frelinghuysen, a Dutch minister, were much






        
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