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Single Page Chapter VII

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CHAPTER VII

Compile, but a true and regular detail of the constitution of the Reformed Dutch Church in America, As our charters and our discipline refer us to the Synod of Dort, we must show that we build upon that basis, with such deviations as time and circumstances have rendered unavoidable. We have two sources from whence we draw our present constitution, one, the Synod of Dort; and the other, the resolutions and fundamental articles agreed upon by our Churches, and ratified by the Classis of Amsterdam, in the name of the Synod of North Holland. From these and some subsequent acts of our own Synod, our discipline is formed. If we mention these sources in the head or title, and then proceed to exhibit one regular system, without any circumlocutions or repetitions, it will appear more simple and connected, and will be better understood, than a large translation, and explanatory notes, could possibly make it. To this end, suppose a title like this was made. "The Constitution and Form of Government of the Reformed Dutch Church in America, as established in the Synod Nat: of Dort, 1618 19; and agreed upon in the Assembly held at New-York, 177172, by and with the approbation of the Classis of Amsterdam,and finally ratified in Synod, held at New-York, October, 1791." This, or something shorter, which may comprehend these ideas, will justify us in making such extracts

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from each of these sources, as shall, altogether, bring forward one complete system. This will show to the world what our present constitution is, and sufficiently prove our connection and adherence to the Synod of Dort. I wish to know your ideas upon the subject. Please to drop me a line."

Under date of August 1st, 1791, he says, "I have not yet been able to pay much attention to the business respecting our church government, but I will endeavour to draw out soon, the whole sketch, agreeably to our mutual views, and will send it up for your inspection."

Again he says, under date of August 20th: "I am so slow in my progress with the Acts of Dordrecht, that I know not whether I shall be able to accomplish your expectations."

The sketch, however, was prepared and submitted to the Synod; but not being in a finished state, was again put into the hands of the committee, for revisal: And in November, he wrote again "I will try, as the Lord shall give me strength, to attend to our constitution, and prepare a fair and accurate copy, for the approbation and final decision of Synod. The notes and observations you mention, must be attended to also; but they must be short and guardedly worded. I wish you would draw






        
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