Honorable, Right Beloved :
Considering on the one side the manifold mercies and goodness of God which His bounty, from time to time not only hath exhibited, but also continued to this young budding Province, whereof there have been no few proofs— the sudden and unexpected changing of a dreaded war into an acceptable peace vouchsafed unto us last year, since which time God’s mercies and blessings have not failed us, neither in our outgoings nor our incomings, nor in the departure nor return of divers vessels and persons wherein the good people of this Province were, generally, interested; Whereunto is also to be added God’s blessing, generally, in the advancement, prosperity, and settlement not only of the State, in general, but also of each individual in particular, which ought to move every one to grateful acknowledgment and thankfulness, sensible that this, alone, is the right key to open unto us the further treasures of God’s merciful favor and blessings.
Considering, on the other hand, the resolution and order of the Supreme Magistracy of this Province to be undertaken and executed under God’s guidance for the further benefit and security of this Colony; whereunto then, first of all, God’s especial blessing, aid, and countenance should be, with humble heart and earnest prayer, besought; the Director General and Supreme Council of this Province have, before all things thought necessary to ordain and prescribe a day of general Fasting, Prayer and Thanksgiving which shall be observed every where, throughout this Province, on Wednesday next, being the 25th of this Month of August, in the fore and afternoon of that day, publicly to preach at the usual place, God’s word, after hearing which to laud and praise the Allgood God for His general and particular blessings, favors and benefits exhibited and continued towards this Province and the good people thereof; on the other side, to pray God with humble hearts that he would please not only to continue the same, but also (which is the principal object of this Order) especially to beseech the Good God to bless the projected expedition, solely intended for the greater security and advancement of this Province; to prosper it for the honour of His name and to bring it to the wished for issue, considering that all undertakings, counsels, and projects are idle and vain which have not God’s Holy blessing. Therefore the Servants of God’s word are requested to form Texts, Prayers and Thanksgiving to this purpose, and all subjects professing the Reformed Religion are charged to attend the same, at the appointed time, at the place where God’s word is usually preached in order, with each other, to praise and thank the Allbeneficent God for received gifts and to pray for his blessing as well over the country and good people thereof in general, as especially over the proposed expedition.
Likewise that He would please to take under His Merciful Protection the Director General, Councillors, and other High and Inferior Officers with their Men and Ships, and their undertaking in such wise to bless that all may result to His holy name’s honor; to the establishment of his holy Gospel and to the advantage of this province and the good People thereof. For the better observance and attention thereof, the Director General and Council forbid all common business on that day, such as ploughing, sowing, mowing, fishing, hunting etc., as well as all games of tennis, ballplaying, tapping, and drinking on pain of arbitrary correction.
This done in the Assembly of the Hon’ble Lords Director General and Supreme Council, holden in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland the 16 August. 1655 P. Stuyvesant
Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens, 1653-1655