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the young man, (for he has satisfactorily vindicated himself in his pamphlet,) as to make his history the occasion of illustrating that liberty of conscience which is the birth right of every man-of exposing the wickedness of exalting human standards of faith to that place which belongs only to the word of God, and of proving, that a student of divinity does not alienate his liberty of conscience, nor submit himself to the authority of human creeds, by his entrance into a theological school.

The chief actors in this history are a body of men, unknown in the former days of our church, and to this day unknown in any other church. The body is numerous, composed of ministers exclusively, (laymen rot being permitted a place among them,) diffused through the whole extent of the church, and embodying the talent and influence of the ministry, of sufficient power, in ordinary cases, to command the vote of even the General Synod; and, at all events, sufficient to protect them from being arraigned before the tribunal of the public, by any clergyman of our denomination, who cannot be supposed to feel indifferent to the weight of influence possessed by the Board, nor to be desirous of provoking the resentment of a body so powerful. As a layman of the church, I am exempt from much of the danger to which a clergyman would be exposed, in attempting to call in question, the correctness of deeds performed by men so high in authority, as the Board of Superintendants.

The students in the Theological School cannot be licensed in the Dutch Church to preach the Gospel, without a previous examination by the professors of the Institution, in the presence of the Board of Superintendants. The board has not the power to license; this right belonging exclusively to classis and Synod. But the classis or Synod may not even examine a student, with a view to licensure, without the previous consent of the Board, who hold an annual meeting in the Theological Hall at New Brunswick, for the purpose, among others, of attending to the examination of the students, conducted by the professors of the Seminary. At their annual meeting, in July 1827, Mr. Leonard B. Van Dyck having, with three

other students, completed his term of study in the School, was examined, and rejected by the Board. He subsequently applied to the Presbytery of Columbia, and was licensed by that body. Enraged at this, the Board called an extra meeting of its own members, at the city of New-York, in November, of the same year, and in accordance with suggestions in the Magazine of the Reformed Dutch Church, they, at that meeting, passed resolutions highly censuring the presbytery for licensing Mr. Van Dyck, charging them with having violated the articles of correspondence between the two churches, and requiring them to revoke the license; while they denounce him as guilty of irregular and unchristian conduct; and issue a printed circular letter to the Dutch Churches, warning them against receiving into their pulpits, this dangerous Presbyterian candidate. The Presbytery of Columbia, not rendering obedience to the command of the Board, an extra meeting of the General Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church was called, and was held at the city of Albany, in the month of April, 1828. At that meeting, the Synod refer the matter to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, to decide whether the Presbytery of Columbia, in licensing Mr. Van Dyck, had not violated any of the Articles of Correspondence between the two churches.


The General Assembly convened at Philadelphia, in the month of May, and decided that the Presbytery of Columbia had not violated any of the articles of correspondence. This decision not having been communicated to the General Synod of the Reformed Dutch church, no further proceedings have taken place in that body.

The documents which give an official history of this case, will be found in the Appendix, to which the reader is referred. A more particular and detailed relation of facts is purposed to be given in the following pages, accompanied with such inferences as, in my view, are not only authorized, but obvious and unavoidable.


Mr. Van Dyck's connections and character.-Entrance into the seminary.-Dr. Milledoler becomes professor of didactic theology. His dealings with Mr. Van Dyck previous to the meeting of the board.-Persecution no new thing.-Examples from history.

LEONARD B. VAN DYCK was born of parents who are both members of the Reformed Dutch church, and whose respective ancestors, for time immemorial, had been attached to the same church. His connections are respectable, and have evinced their love for the church of their fathers by generous contributions to the funds of the theological school, and by their active support of the institutions of the gospel in the places where they severally reside. He himself became a member of the Dutch church at the early age of fourteen; and thenceforward exhibited a life influenced by the principles of the gospel. His habits were correct, and his whole demeanour unexceptionable, throughout his academical and collegiate course. At the age of eighteen, he entered the theological school, under circumstances deemed very favourable to the acquisition of that knowledge which is necessary to qualify a man for the ministry of the gospel. Possessing respectable talents, an inquiring, independent, but not obstinate mind, and calculated to please the generality of teachers, his friends contemplated with pleasure his future progress and prospects. When he entered the seminary, Dr. Livingston was the teacher of didactic theology. Mr. Van Dyck enjoyed the benefit of his fatherly instructions for only a short period, when the school and the church were called to mourn his death. This bereavement made room for Doctor Milledoler, under whose

tuition, as professor of didactic theology, Mr. Van Dyck spent the residue of his term. Until Doctor Milledoler entered the institution, there had not been the least difficulty or unpleasant occurrence between Mr. Van Dyck and his teachers.

When his term of study had expired, and the examination of the students at the annual meeting of the Board of Superintendants was at hand, Dr. Milledoler requested him with the other students to disclose to him their views of the doctrines they had been taught. A small pamphlet under the signature of Q., lately published, evidently by one of the members of the Board, and apparently a friend and confidant of Dr. Milledoler, intimates that the Doctor's request was prompted by his suspicion of the unsoundness of Mr. Van Dyck's creed. Be this as it may, the request was made; and it was complied with on the part of Mr. Van Dyck, by a written declaration of his sentiments. [See Appendix.] While in that communication, he avows his belief that both as to existence and mediatorship, Jesus Christ is eternal, he expresses his doubt whether the term Son of God, when applied to him, denotes a natural or official relation; and in regard to the Holy Spirit, he expresses a doubt whether his procession denotes his natural or official relation; so that he could not say that he believed from rational conviction, that Christ is the natural Son of God, or that the procession of the Holy Spirit is either eternal or natural. He declares his belief in the doctrines of imputation and substitution; and that he adopts the distinction between natural and moral inability, explaining what he understands by that distinction. He gives some views in relation to the atonement, for which the reader is requested to refer to the Appendix, in which he appears to hesitate between the views of those who maintain its general, and those who advocate its limited character.

Dr Milledoler, having examined this communication, pronounced it to contain material errors. Mr. Van Dyck, on hearing this, and finding by conversation with Dr. Milledoler and the other professors, that his paper was misunderstood, proposed to Dr. Milledoler that he would take back that paper and write another. To this the Doctor not only consented, but urged Mr. Van Dyck to write a second paper; at

the same time delivering him the first. The second paper was written and delivered to Dr. Milledoler. [See Appendix, No. 2.] In this paper he declares his belief in the divinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that between these persons there is a real distinction, but what the nature of that distinction is, he does not know. He repeats in substance the same sentiments as in the first paper on the subject of imputation, substitution, and moral inability, and that, in regard to the atonement, he hesitates between the views of Hopkinsian and Calvinistic divines.

When Mr. Van Dyck delivered this second paper to Dr. Milledoler, he was surprised, as every reader will be, to hear him demand the redelivery to him of the first paper. request so strange startled the student, as well it might, and prompted him to inquire why he made it. The answer was, that he wanted the first paper to justify his conduct. What the conduct of the Professor had been in relation to that paper; whether he had already been making representations of this case to some of the choice friends of orthodoxy, in or out of New-Brunswick; or whether he had already transmitted copies of the paper to individual members of the Board, and adjured their aid in disposing of the heretic, and therefore wanted the paper itself to bear him out in his representations; or how else he could need the paper to justify his conduct, we must even submit to be ignorant, or indulge in conjecture only, unless the Doctor shall see fit to make a voluntary disclosure. The mystery is not at all lessened by the fact that, when this request was made to deliver the first paper to Dr. Milledoler, he had a copy of it in his possession. It seems as though he had copied it as soon as he received it. The paper must have been deemed of vast importance; much more so than the student dreamed, when in the ingenuousness of his soul, he had written and delivered it to his teacher, whom he had every reason to presume would act the part of a friend, and not that of an inquisitor. As has just been mentioned, at the time he demanded the first paper he had a copy of it. He had copied it before he delivered it to Mr. Van Dyck; for we find Mr. Van Dyck refusing to deliver him the paper, and yet the Doctor sends a copy of the same paper to the Board of


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