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CHAPTER VII

epistolary correspondence was, at no time subsequently to his settlement in New-York, a small affair; but now, particularly, he had many European friends, with whom, in this way, and that, as often, perhaps, as an opportunity was presented, he reciprocated affectionate attentions. The chief of these friends were in Holland, of course, as he had himself long resided in that country, and formed, while there, an intimacy with several eminent characters. He had, however, one foreign correspondent, in another part of Europe, whose name is worthy of honourable distinction in these Memoirs the celebrated Dr. John Erskine, of Edinburgh. This gentleman, in two instances at least, accompanied his letters with a present of several valuable books, as a token of personal esteem, and of pious solicitude in behalf of the Dutch Church.

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[The letters of this venerable and truly excellent divine, to Dr. L. though short, evince a liberality of Christian feeling, and a desire to promote the spread and preservation of the truth in the Dutch Church, which justly entitle them to a particular notice. They were written at an advanced age, and, seemingly, with a trembling hand. One, dated March 26th, 1784, commences thus:

"Dear Sir,

"Permit me to send you, as a mark of respect for yourself, and the worthy family from which you are descended, and of my hest wishes for the Belgic Churches, on both sides the Atlantic, a

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CHAPTER VII

About this time, the North Church being repaired, and it being desirable that there should be regularly full service in both Churches, the Consistory determined to give the Doctor a colleague, as soon as they could obtain a minister of suitable

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few Dutch books." Some of these books, the Doctor is requested to keep, and the rest, to present to any ministers or private Christians that might need them.

In another, dated December, 14th, 1784, he says "Regard to one, descended from Mr. Livingston, a successful and eminent minister in Scotland; one, too, of whom I had so pleasant accounts from my dear friend Mr. Rondal, one of the worthiest ministers of this city, disposed me to send you * * * *: not so much, that I thought they could be of great use to yourself, as probably you might be provided with the best of them, as that I supposed there might be Dutch ministers or private Christians, in country parishes, not so well provided with books, to whom you could present them. 1 now send you 8 more folios, 3 octavos, and one duodecimo, with the same view.* * * Scriptural criticism is, I am afraid, too little studied in the American states. * * * I mean not, by this, to approve the method in Holland, of introducing so much criticism into sermons. But, surely, it argues more reverence for Scripture, than transforming sermons into philosophical essays, or eloquent declamations, no way connected with a text. I should be glad to learn from you, the state of religion and theologic literature in the middle states, especially in the Dutch and German Churches. I am much concerned for the storm which seems to be threatening Holland.

"I am, dear Sir, your affectionate Brother and Servant,
"JOHN ERSKINE"






        
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