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CHAPTER VI

consequence of its being proposed in them to form a connexion with Princeton College, and of the neglect of the Classis to order a convention of the Churches, to deliberate upon the plan, the reference had proved abortive.

Subsequently, and but a short time before the Doctor came back to his native country, the Classis was appointed by the Synod of North Holland, through his influence with this rev. body, a committee, with plenary power to do whatever they might judge would be conducive to the interests of the American Church, and between the clerical members of the Classis and the Doctor, there existed a perfect understanding in relation to the plan which, after his return, should be offered to the consideration of his brethren. This plan, thus privately approved, it is probable was the old one new-shaped, the obnoxious article mentioned above being omitted; or it embraced the same cardinal principles, which there was reason to believe would, when understood, be generally viewed as unexceptionable, and as constituting a suitable basis for a union of parties.

The Doctor now found, upon conferring with pious and influential men of both parties, as he observes in the paragraph of his letter just quoted,

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CHAPTER VI

that the bitter spirit, which had so much prevailed, begun to subside, or that the severity of temper and violence, which had heretofore marked the controversy, were no longer to be seen, and a desire for the adoption of some project that would give satisfaction to all concerned, appeared to be cherished; he, therefore, ventured to hint at one. He did not at once exhibit that which he had provided, but in a modest and discreet manner, endeavoured first to learn the sentiments of those with whom he conversed, with respect to the great objects it contemplated, and then to remove objections, if any were made, in order to prepare the way for its acceptance.

By this prudent procedure, he soon became convinced that the articles in his possession would be favourably received by the Church, and that it was expedient to adopt some measure, without delay, for the purpose of laying them formally before it. He accordingly suggested to his Consistory, that as they had not engaged on either side of the unhappy dispute, their influence, if used, could probably procure a general convention, and proposed that letters, stating the object in view requesting the attendance of every minister belonging to the Church, and of one elder from every congregation, and fixing the time and place of meeting, should be






        
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