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Single Page Chapter IV

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CHAPTER IV

Church, were pure and evangelical. This decided the inquiry, and convinced me, that as I already belonged to a Church, which was equal in its purity to any in the world, it was my duty to remain in it, and consecrate my future service in that connexion and denomination."

"There was another motive, which imperceptibly yet powerfully inclined me to this determination. An unhappy schism and controversy had, for several years, subsisted in the Dutch Churches in America, which, unless soon suppressed, threatened the annihilation of that whole denomination. The precise grounds of the dispute, or the best means for reconciling the contending parties, I had not then completely surveyed. The existing facts, however, were notorious and afflictive; and I understood enough to convince me of the inevitable ruin which was impending, and must soon be experienced, if those dissensions were not healed. For the restoration of peace and prosperity in this distinguished portion of the Lord's vineyard, I felt an ardent desire; and it was powerfully impressed upon my mind, that God would render me, however unworthy and unfit for that arduous work, an instrument in his hand to compromise and heal these dissensions, and raise the reputation, and establish the dignity and usefulness of the Dutch

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CHAPTER IV

Church in America. In what way these great objects were to be effected, or how the Lord would prepare, and afterwards employ me, for that purpose, I did not know, nor did this excite any diffidence or uneasiness. The point was settled in my mind, and I was fully persuaded it would be accomplished. This removed all further hesitation, and fixed my determination to abide in my own Church. The posterior dealings of Divine Providence, and the gracious fulfilment of my expectations, have afforded me abundant evidence that my choice has been crowned with the divine approbation."

The impression which it appears he had, that he would be made in some way instrumental in restoring peace to the church, and which was so strong as to fix his determination to abide in it, some probably would pronounce "the baseless fabric of a vision," or a mere whim of self-importance; but it was neither, and a single remark will be sufficient to make this evident, without adverting to the result. It would have been little less than perfect idiocy in him, if under the influence of ambition and conceit, to have selected for pursuit an object of such precarious attainment; something more obviously practicable, something environed with fewer difficulties, and not quite so contingent






        
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