answered. An answer was, accordingly, prepared
and submitted; and the reader may learn the result
of this affair from a paragraph in another of Dr.
Laidlie's letters, dated December, 1767. It is as
follows: — "You know how strangely poor Mr. De
Ronde has behaved for some time past. He
strongly supported, or rather has kept alive the
otherwise dying dissensions in our congregation;
but the Dutch party having brought the affair before the Governor and Council, and the Consistory
being desired to give in an answer to several complaints lodged before said Board by the Dutch
party, the Consistory accordingly gave in an answer, out of mere complaisance; and the Governor and Council decided the matter by declaring
it was not cognizable by them, a declaration not
very honourable for the Board who made it, and by
which the last finishing blow was given to all the
hopes of the Dutch party. This has made them
all very calm."
The liberty has been taken to present the preceding extracts from the private letters of Dr.
Laidlie to his young friend, to confirm the representation which has been made of this unhappy
dispute. The truth of such testimony cannot be
The dispute was now settled. The vanquished
party were treated with tenderness, and for many
years after, or until the number remaining became
very small, they maintained service in the Old
Church, in the language for the preservation of
which they had so long and so strenuously contended; but English preaching was no more opposed.
It need scarcely be added, that the influence of
these occurrences was felt in many congregations,
and led, at length, to a general disuse of the Dutch
language in the public worship of God; and, if the
dispute be viewed as having had ultimately so extensive and important an influence upon the Church
at large, the narrative which has been given of all
that related to it, will not be thought, it is hoped,
to have been too protracted or minute.
The introduction of the English language into the
Dutch Church in this country, was so closely connected in its consequences with all her best interests,
that no person can hesitate to admit it was
one of the most auspicious and remarkable events
which can be found recorded in her history.