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Single Page Chapter VII

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with honour to himself, and advantage to the Church.

An appointment made under circumstances so clearly expressive of the Divine will in the case, Doctor Livingston could not decline: he accordingly declared his acceptance of the same, and a time was fixed for his inauguration.

[To show the progress of ecclesiastical organization in the Dutch Church, it ought to be noticed here, that this Convention resolved to distinguish their several assemblies by the names usually given to such judicatories. For particular reasons, at the adoption of the Articles of Union, they were simply denominated "the Particular and General Assembly:" henceforth, every Particular Assembly was to be called a Classis, and the General Assembly, a Particular Synod, There were, at the commencement of the war, and probably also at its close, between 7O and 80 congregations in the state of New-York, and about 40 in New-Jersey: of the former, three Classes were constituted; of the latter, two, which were to meet ordinarily twice every year. The Particular Synod was to be a delegated body, consisting of two ministers, and two elders, from each Classis; and to meet once a year: and it would seem that it was now further resolved to have a third judicatory, composed of all the ministers of the Church, with each an elder, and one elder from every vacant congregation; which should be called the General Synod, and meet once every third year. The statement is made upon the authority of a paper of Dr. L.'s, which has been referred to before, containing a few detached observations relative to the Dutch Church. The observations appear to have been penned about the year 1792.]

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On the 19th of May, 1785, in compliance with the request of the General Synod, the name which the Convention had now assumed, he delivered his inaugural oration in Latin, before them, in the Old Dutch Church in Garden Street. This discourse, the subject of which was, "The truth of the Christian Religion," was afterwards pubhshed. Some apposite remarks, in his prologue, upon the happy termination of the revolutionary contest, and the importance of religion to the nation being made, he passed on to a general view of all religion, true and false, and showed the foundation of that which is true. He treated next of natural and revealed religion; and, having briefly noticed the insufficiency of natural religion for the salvation of sinners, as also the necessity of a revelation, he exhibited a few of the principal arguments which prove that the Books of the Old and New Testament contain a divine revelation, and then urged, to the close of the discourse, a number of other arguments to confirm his proposition, which it is scarce necessary to add, he satisfactorily established.

The Doctor had a good talent for letter-writing, and his extensive acquaintance with ministers and other persons, distinguished for learning and piety, both at home and abroad, furnished him almost daily, with occasions for its employment. His


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