IN compiling the following historico-biographical
Memoir, the Author has endeavoured to make a legitimate use of every
accessible source of information. From the Sessional Register of the
Scottish Church, which is fortunately complete and in excellent
preservation, the leading facts in the History are principally derived.
Many collateral particulars in this part of the work, as well as in the
subjoined Notices, have been obtained from documents equally authentic,
and hitherto in a great measure unexplored. The Author's original
intention was merely to give an account of the Church, with which he has
the honour to be connected; but frequent mention being necessarily made
of the other English Congregations in the Netherlands, he considered
that historical sketches of the Sister Churches in this country, might
be acceptable. It may be proper to observe that, in most cases, these
Notices are the result of a minute personal examination of the several
Consistorial and Vestry Records.
Eagerly does the Author seize this occasion of
assuring the members of the Scottish Consistory
and Congregation at Rotterdam, how much he
appreciates the Christian friendship, which, collectively and
individually, they have extended towards him; and
of gratefully acknowledging the encouraging interest which they, as well
as others on the Continent, have taken in this little work. He gladly
embraces this opportunity also of tendering his warmest acknowledgments
to his respected brethren, the British ministers in the Netherlands, for
the prompt and handsome manner in which they
granted access to the Records of their respective charges. To those
gentlemen entrusted with the keeping of the Minutebooks and papers of
the discontinued churches in Holland, the Author's best thanks are due.
Invariably has he taken care to quote his authority, whether printed, or
manuscript: and his specific obligations to the promoters of his
undertaking, will be observed in the course of the work. He cannot,
however, omit mentioning, with becoming gratitude, the valued services
of a much respected friend, who, as the Author's
residence abroad prevented his superintending the press, undertook the
task of correction. He alludes to the Rev. THOMAS MURRAY,
M. A. of Edinburgh; whose learning, talents, and sound
principles, are well known by his Literary History
of Galloway, Life of Samuel Rutherford, and other
publications. The Rev. HEW SCOTT,
M. A. assistant minister at Cockpen, must likewise be ranked
among the kind contributors to the present volume.
Much time has been devoted by Mr. Scott, in examining and
making important extracts from the Records of our Synods,
Presbyteries, and Kirk-Sessions. It is to be hoped that, receiving due
countenance, he will prosecute his laudable design of furnishing, what
is a great desideratum, an illustrative catalogue of the established
clergy of Scotland, since the period of the Reformation.
An engraved portrait of the Rev. Alexander Petrie,
from an original painting in the possession of Consistory;
together with views of the old and present Scottish Churches at
Rotterdam, executed by three of the most eminent Dutch artists, will, it
is presumed, be regarded as no unwelcome accompaniment.
The writer indulges the hope, that this first
at tempt to preserve some memorials of our Continental Churches, will
meet with a favourable reception; especially from such as venerate the
distinguished worthies who, in the days of persecution, sought in
Holland a safe and honourable retreat. The names
of many of these pious and learned refugees, will
be found to occupy a prominent place in the succeeding pages. To such as
are, or whose relations have been, connected by office or otherwise,
with our churches in the United Provinces, the present work, with all
its imperfections, may perhaps be regarded with peculiar interest.
To the illustrious family of Orange, the hereditary
patrons of our Presbyterian churches in this country, and to the
Netherlands Government, whose munificence, uninfluenced by political
changes, has always been generously extended to our religious
iristitutions, the unfeigned respect and gratitude of every true-hearted
Briton will ever be most cheerfully rendered.
The Brief View given of
the Dutch Ecclesiastical establishment has been drawn
up, chiefly from the obliging communications and suggestions of
several highly respectable individuals, particularly the Rev. Mil. VAN
DER TUUK, editor of a standard work
on the affairs of the Netherlands Reformed Church; the Rev. DR.
YPEY, emeritus, professor of Theology and
Ecclesiastical History in the University of Groningen ; and the Rev.
MR. DE VRIES of this city.
In the Appendix are inserted several original and
curious documents, illustrative of the text.
346, Wine Haven,
ROTTERDAM, October 6, 1832.
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