Proclamation appointing the second Wednesday a day of general thanksgiving for the peace

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Honorable and dear friends; Whereas it has always been the custom and practice in the church and among God's people when beleaguered and threatened by war, pestilence, hard times or any other emergencies and difficulties, that the superiors and regents order and institute days of humility, fasting and prayer for the purpose of preventing, impeding and mitigating the wrath, menace and visitation of the Almighty, the same is incumbent on me, pursuant to God's command, in times of emergency; so it has also been, on the other hand, always a bounden duty and custom in God's church and by his people that offerings of praise and thanks be made to God for received benefits, mercy and any notable turn of events which have been clearly impressed for a period of time with the signature of the just ( ] God [      ] both such old and neighboring allies and [      ] kinsmen, England and Netherland, have not only related for some time the sad events of the shedding of so much Christian blood, loss of trade and the nearly total ruin of such recently flourishing republics, but also their threats almost caused us to taste a bitter sauce in this country, if God had not been moved with compassion and grace, for the sake of Christ and His covenant, to bestow on us a merciful deliverance by disposing the hearts and minds of the regents and commanders on both sides in Europe not only toward the cessation of all hostilities but also toward the formation, renewal and establishment of an unbreakable and eternal alliance between Juda and Benjamyn - England and Netherland; all done to the wonderful rejoicing of those who desire and love the honor of God, the protection and promotion of His service and the welfare of their fatherland, and, on the other hand, to the notable amazement, astonishment, indeed, terror of the antichrist and all his adherents. If then God's church and His people ever have [      ] any [      ] for a quick and [      ] alteration of the menacing hand and [      ] of God, as it seemed to be manifesting itself [      ] for the ruin and destruction of His people and church; even more now, His people and church have cause to admonish one another and say, "Praise be to England's Jerusalem, Netherland's offspring praises the Lord your God because he makes fast the bolts of your gates and brings peace to your frontiers." Especially, we in this country, whose stirring to life of the menacing embryo of war were lately producing labor pains but whose moment of birth was halted by God, have more than cause to laud, praise and extol the only good God for such a sudden, unexpected and merciful turn of events; and not only on account of a merciful deliverance from a threatening war and the subsequent fear of total ruin of the good inhabitants in the countryside but also, which is no less laudable, that the only God did the same for this province and the good inhabitants who were about to become a carcass for their neighbors as a result of the interruption of water traffic which produced a scarcity of bread and other provisions; however, through the merciful providence of God they were not only sustained but blessed that the prohibition intended for their destruction became a means for their abundance, so that we [      ] from our brothers and neighbors, to the honor of God, [      ] you have thought it bad of me but [      ] that one thought good so that he might do [      ] to consider these acts of mercy and other innumerable gifts and charities of God which we have so far received from the only good and merciful God. Thus the director-general and council, moved by virtue of their office and duty, order and proclaim a general day of thanksgiving and rejoicing within this province and its dependencies on the second Wednesday in the month of August, being the 12th, to be observed by having everyone gather on the aforesaid afternoon where one is accustomed to hear the word of God, and after hearing the same to praise, laud and extol the only good and merciful God, especially for the desired peace and alliance between both republics and as well as for God's merciful protection and undeserved preservation of this province and its inhabitants; and on the hand to pray to God that He will so dispose and alter the minds on both sides that they maintain a genuine and just peace with each other but especially with God and their own consciences in a righteous improvement of life, in a genuine diligence for the word of God and the use of His holy sacraments, which are the means instituted by God in order to increase one's awareness, faith and piety. Therefore the servants of God's word are requested to formulate their sermons, prayers and offerings of thanks for this purpose, and all our subjects, who are confirmed [      ] religion, are directed to find [      ] time, where one is accustomed [      ] to offer praise, to praise the Lord, and, after God's service, to rejoice in a temperate and humble manner as each sees fit; and hereby forbidding each and everyone from the pursuit of any other endeavors on the aforesaid day, upon the penalty as previously stated. Thus done at the session of the honorable director-general and high council of New Netherland, 29 July 1654 in New Amsterdam; and was signed: P. Stuyvesant, N. de Sille, La Montangne, Cor. van Thienhooven.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 5, Council Minutes, 1652-1654 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1983).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.