Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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Single Page Chapter V

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Faculty for a whole day, he must produce and prepare himself to defend the next day, against the adverse arguments of the professors, two short discourses, the subjects of which are to be selected for him, the one from the Old Testament, and the other from the New. And he must answer, and write, and defend, altogether in the Latin language. Nor is this all, another dissertation is then to be prepared, and published in Latin, which he must publicly support before the whole university.

Though by no means a person of the firmest nerve, Mr. Livingston ventured these appalling trials, and having passed the first with approbation, he was permitted to prepare for the second. Accordingly, in the course of the next winter, he wrote a dissertation upon the Sinai covenant ("De Foedere Sinaitico,") and sent it to the press. But he was now about to leave a country in which he had spent many happy hours, and formed many tender connexions and the thought of separating from his beloved friends the anxiety attending his preparations for a return and possibly, too, some little dread of the public exhibition itself, for no one of any modesty and sensibility could look forward to such a trial without dreading it, produced a depression of spirits, that he could not then shake off, and led him to abandon his

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design of appearing before the university. Under the influence of his present feelings, he suddenly stopped the printing of his dissertation, when he had received the first proof, and commenced a hasty travel to visit his friends in different places, for the last time, and bid them an affectionate adieu.

From his notes of the incidents of this period, it would appear, that he went first to Amsterdam; chiefly for the purpose of applying for ordination. The Classis met on the 2d of April, and at this meeting, they approved his call [Another call was presented to him from one of the Churches in Amsterdam, but as it was not his intention to remain in Hclland, the call was respectfully declined], invested him with the ministerial office, and consigned him to the Church of New-York. This important business done, he begun in earnest the performance of the painful duty which the prospect of his departure, as not far off, imposed upon him; and while at Rotterdam, thus engaged, he received a letter from an Amsterdam friend, censuring his conduct in relation to the theological degree, and strongly urging him to the final step necessary to its acquisition.

That Mr. Livingston had no ambition, or that he was not at all desirous of distinction, nor gratified when it was bestowed, is not pretended. We


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