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Single Page Chapter IV

PAGE 154:
CHAPTER IV

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 questioned.

The dispute was now settled. The vanquished

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CHAPTER IV

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.






        
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