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ration to bring about this desirable result. He has ventured to specify some of the means which he believes will tend to promote it, though he admits that the chief reliance must be on the direction of God, as to the proper means, and his blessing upon them. And this direction and blessing he is confident will not be withholden, when God's people shall have entered in earnest upon the work. It is not deemed necessary to make any apology for presenting this book to the public. The doctrines it advances are not new, but have had their advocates ever since the protestant church has been despoiled of her beauty and shorn of her strength by the loss of her unity. But their voice has been unheard or unheeded amidst the din of religious controversy, and the rage of party feeling. The author is persuaded that at the present time the state of the church imperiously calls for a work of the kind now presented, and that the minds of many are prepared to give it a cordial welcome, although the great mass may yet be unwilling to listen to the overture of union. A considerable change, he thinks, has manifested itself in the feelings of Christians in the course of a few months past. He believes that now, in the midst of existing distractions and divisions, the spirit of union is operating upon the hearts of God's children, and that there are now many encouragements to the immediate commencement of the work of healing the breaches of
The author is not an advocate for latitudinarian prin
ciples, and would not open the doors of the church wider than the Scriptures require, nor does he wittingly undervalue the importance of any religious truth. But he believes that aside from the cardinal doctrines of man's depravity and guilt in the sight of a holy God-the way of his pardon, and restoration to Divine favour through the blood and mediation of his Son, and the necessity of regeneration through the influence of the Holy Spiritthere is not, perhaps, any truth of the Bible more important to the prosperity of the church than the doctrine of its unity. Now is there any duty of more pressing obligation upon Christians at the present time than that of labouring and making every allowable sacrifice to termihate its divisions, and bring it back to its original unity? THE AUTHOR.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
THE author of this volume was a lawyer by profession, and died in February, 1835, at his residence in Coxsackie, N. Y. Though a man of talents, he was never ambitious of notoriety. He was always ready to do his duty, but never wished to appear conspicuous; yet his general character was well known to many friends of morality and religion in this country. To others, the following extracts of a letter may not be unacceptable:
"A memoir of Mr. Van Dyck, if justice could be done to the subject, could not fail of being in a high degree, both interesting and useful. He was a Christian of uncommon attainments in religious experience, as well as knowledge. It could truly be said of him, that he lived near to God. Sometimes for months together, in the best sense, he walked in the light of his countenance. At such seasons, divine communion was the element in which his mind habitually moved. strongly did his thoughts and desires tend upwards, that, at every cessation of professional business, or worldly cares, he found himself with God. Of such things, he was by no means very communicative. He never loved to talk of himself; he always shunned it if he could; yet at times, to an intimate friend, and for some good purpose, he was willing to declare what the Lord had
done for his soul. At the close of his life, he was in a state of perfect peace and assurance. For the last five years, scarce a momentary cloud ever obscured his prospects; yet he was no enthusiast. No man examined more carefully the ground on which he trod, or could more intelligently give a reason of his hope.
"He had habitually very exalted and endearing views of God and Christ; and was very sensitive to every thing that might effect his intercourse with them. His mind was much occupied with these great objects, and was much alive to their glory. Hence he not only abounded in prayer, but delighted in it. He loved to pray. It was a pleasure, and not a burden. The sanctuary, the social meeting, the family and the closet, all bore witness to his devotional spirit. His prayers were particularly remarkable for the confession of sin. That abominable thing was exceedingly his abhorrence; and he saw a great deal of it where ordinary Christians see but little. His sensibility on this point increased very much in his last days; yet he was not a gloomy but cheerful Christian.-Equally remarkable was he in prayer for a pleading spirit, and for a childlike simplicity of manner. Then he felt that he had no ground of reliance, but the mediation of Christ; and that here he could rest with the utmost confidence. No person could attach more importance to the divinity, atonement, and intercession of Christ, as practical doctrines, especially in prayer. Then he would dwell with peculiar interest on the infinite love and grace of God exhibited in the gospel, as encouragement to prayer, and as calculated to affect the hearts of sinners. No one could attach greater importance to the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit. The Comforter was a friend whom he most highly valued, and most tenderly loved. He never in
dulged in any thing like affectation of feeling; yet his emotions in prayer were sometimes too strong for utterance. Tears then became the best expression of what passed within. Many instances could be named.
"As to doctrinal views, he was far from being loose or unsettled. He was decidedly what is commonly called a Calvinist; though he was by no means so bigotted but that he could clearly distinguish between what was, and what was not, essential to the system. The relative importance which he ascribed to various truths, was regulated by the best standard. In this respect, as in others, he was eminently a Bible Christian. The sacred volume he studied a great deal; and that with an humble and teachable disposition. The Spirit he loved to honour in looking for his aid to understand the Scriptures. By this means, he found them an inexhaustible treasure, from which he became greatly enriched.
"Enlightened by revelation, he looked upon the progress of society with the deepest interest. He took pleasure in the fact, that in this country, from the liberal nature of our institutions, necessity was laid upon us for promoting the intellectual and moral improvement of all classes. He anticipated a time when the associations and intercouse of men, would depend more on moral worth, than artificial distinctions. He thought our aim should be to raise the people, and receive from them every wholesome influence. He looked upon mankind with the Bible in his hand; then, seeing at once their ruin, and the way of their recovery, he was anxious that the remedy should be applied without delay. Regarding the gospel as the only moral renovator of the world, he was very anxious to see its free course, both at home and abroad. For this end, he not only prayed, but laboured and expended. Few persons, in proportion to