Skip to main content

Fast Facts

Media: 13 reels of 35mm microfilm
Format: silver halide
Coverage Dates: 1822-1891

Intended For

Get Started

CONTACT US

  • Download a short description
  • Share

Overview

The life of Henry Jackson Van Dyke, Sr. tells more than the story of one individual. He was noted in the first part of his ministry as a conservative advocate of denominational particulars, a fierce opponent of abolitionism, and a loyal friend of the South. Late in his career, Van Dyke worked for a broad church where theological tolerance would reign. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Van Dyke began his clerical career as pastor of the New School Second Church in Bridgeton, New Jersey, formed by dissidents from the Old School First Church. In time he decided he was an Old School pastor after all and moved on to an Old School ministry at the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York, where he served the balance of his long career. Van Dyke‘s conservative views put him in opposition to the Second Great Awakening of religious revivalism sweeping the U.S. at the time. These spiritual and political awakenings, which ultimately led to the abolitionist and suffragist movements, attempted to wring social change from scripture. In contrast, Van Dyke believed with all his heart - and for most of his life - that social change was not the mission of the church.

The Lectures and Sermons collection reflects the extent to which Van Dyke‘s beliefs changed (in some cases greatly, in others not at all) during the course of his ministry. Perhaps his most famous sermon, delivered in 1860, excoriated abolitionism as “the chief cause of...the danger that threatens our country.” Muted for most of the Civil War, he nonetheless published a pamphlet in 1864 taking vigorous exception to the Emancipation Proclamation. Following the war, the American Presbyterian Church began a process of reconciliation - Old and New School, North and South. As a conservative with ties to Southern churches, Van Dyke played an important role in mediating the Presbyterian General Assembly dispute of the 1870s. By the end of his life, he was able to declare, “If we cannot have liberty and orthodoxy, let us have liberty and go without orthodoxy.” In Moorhead‘s words, he had become the “conservative apostle of a broad church.” All the sermons and lectures in the ProQuest collection have been microfilmed from Van Dyke‘s handwritten originals, including both outlines and complete texts. Together they help historical researchers trace the evolution of American Protestant thought during a century marked by disputes over the very concept of polity, both doctrinal and political.

  • Content Type: silver halide

Our Products

Historic Literary Criticism

Historic Literary Criticism is a collection of over 20,000 historical contemporary reviews, essays and commentary related to more than 500 influential authors from the 17th-early 20th century.

Learn More

ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination

ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination takes responsibility for preserving and disseminating graduate research for our university and college partners.

Learn More

Intota™

Intota -- Discovery, Management and Assessment for a Transformed Library.

Learn More

Blog

Important Maintenance to Improve ProQuest Products

On January 16, 2016, ProQuest will be upgrading its systems infrastructure to improve performance, security, and overall reliability of your products.

Learn More

3 Women Who Lead Teach Us How to Inspire Others

What do Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, and Jane Goodall have in common?

Learn More