The Shame And the Sorrow

Church and Sunday in Old New York,
page 16 of 16

Third, all candidates for ministry in the Dutch Reformed church were obliged to go to Holland for ordination; this was a great expense, and often kept congregations without a minister for a long time. The entire discipline of the church — all the Courts of Appeal — was also in the Fatherland.

In order to obtain relief from the last-named hampering condition, a few ministers in America devised a plan, in 1737, to secure church-organization in New York. It took the slow-moving Classis of Amsterdam ten years to signify approval of this plan, and a body was formed, named the Cœtus. But this had merely advisory powers, and in less than ten years it asked to be constituted a Classis with full ecclesiastical powers. From this step arose a violent and bitter quarrel, which lasted fifteen years, — until 1771, — between the Cœtus party, the Reformers, and the Conferentie party, the Conservatives. The permission of the Classis of Amsterdam for American church independence was finally given on condition of establishing a college for the proper training of the ministry of the Dutch Reformed church. The Cœtus party obtained a charter from George III. for a college, which, called Queens College, was blighted in its birth by the Revolution, but lived with varying prosperity until its successful revival, under the name of Rutgers College, in 1825.


:: Previous Page :: Next Page ::

Books & articles appearing here are modified adaptations
from a private collection of vintage books & magazines.
Reproduction of these pages is prohibited without written permission. © Laurel O'Donnell, 1996-2006.