Petition of rev. Messrs. Megapolensis and Drisius against coventicles and for a qualified person to preach in Middelburgh

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To the honorable lord director general and councilors of New Netherland.

The clergy of this city remonstrate with all due humility that they have been warned by various persons living in Middelborch, belonging to this province, that after the departure and in the absence of Mr. Moore, the former minister there, some inhabitants of the same place and unqualified persons undertake to hold conventicles and gatherings, and assume teaching of the doctrine, of which there is nothing else to be expected than strife, confusion, and disorder in the church and administration; not only in those places but also as a bad example for others belonging to this province.

Therefore, we request that provision might be made therein by virtue of your honors’ authority; and because Mr. Moore is absent a capable person be appointed temporarily who on Sundays can observe some form of the divine service, with readings from the bible and from some other edifying and orthodox author, among the inhabitants of those places until such time that your honors issue further orders. Which doing, etc. (was signed:) Johannis Megapolensis, Samuel Drisius.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 6, Council Minutes, 1655-1656 (Syracuse: 1995). A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.