It is the 6th of June 2020. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org, I'm Dan van Voorhis.
The year was 1657. We spent some time adjacent to this year a few days ago. We saw the interregnum of Cromwell after the English civil wars, leading up to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. In 1657 Cromwell had Miles Sindercombe and his band of levelers killed for preaching a revolution. Cromwell's new House of Lords, introduced in this year, helped to petition Cromwell to take the crown, which he refused.
In a bit of shocking news. 1657 saw an alliance of the French and English. The Spanish were getting a bit rowdy, and their navy was growing. After helping to smash the Spanish navy, the English were given Dunkirk, that famous French harbor town. However, Charles II of England would sell it back to the French a few years later.
Speaking of the French, it was a year of first for them. 1657 saw the fountain pen and stockings manufactured for the first time. Of course, French writing and fashion would rule much of the coming century. Also, in France, coffee was introduced. The French coffeehouses would become hotbeds for the future enlightenment.
Back across the channel in England in the same year, hot chocolate was first introduced. It feels like there is a good metaphor between coffee in France and hot chocolate in England: something about English cuisine being suited for children without taste.
Many noteworthy books were published this year. Peter Heylin published the first cosmography in English. The massive book of maps and history was the first in English, and the first to accurately describe the distant island called Australia.
Christian Huygens also wrote his "On Reasoning in Games of Chance," a work recognized by many as the first book on probability theory. Huygens wrote, "I believe that we do not know anything for certain, but everything probably."
Richard Baxter also published his "A Call to the Unconverted." 1657 also saw the publication of the "Flushing Remonstrance." This text was a remarkable document, as written by Dutch citizens of Flushing, New Amsterdam. They petitioned Governor Stuyvesant to give their Quaker brethren the freedom of worship in the colony. It is one of the first statements of not just religious tolerance, but actual religious freedom. It would be a while before religious freedom would be a reality. But it was in this context, in this year of 1657, and on this day, that the first Lutheran pastor arrived in the colonies, Johann Gutwasser pastor to New Amsterdam.
Until 1643 there had been a negligent Lutheran presence in the new world. By 1649 there were enough to justify a call for a pastor to come from the old world to minister to them.
The Lutherans on the Hudson were a diverse bunch. They were Dutch and German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Polish. When asked about what nationality they would like the pastor to be, they replied that the Dutch language was the only known to all the immigrants and so the word was sent to the Netherlands to send the first Lutheran pastor to the colonies.
The Dutch West India Company put pressure on the New York merchants as they depended on new customers and thus new inhabitants. Many believed the relaxation of religious laws would help grow the region
However, the Dutch Reformed, led by Mayor Stuyvesant, wondered that if allowing a Lutheran minister might not lead to in their words: papists and Mennonites wanting the same rights
The law stated that anyone preaching, or at a service, public or private, that was not part of the Dutch Reformed church would be fined and could be jailed
Nevertheless, with the specter of religious freedom on the horizon, the Lutherans sent for a pastor, Johann Guttwasser, a newly ordained minister from the Netherlands.
However, his arrival was shocking enough to the Reformed authorities that they created more ordinances aimed at keeping the Lutheran from meeting, even privately. For two years, pastor Gutwasser hid out in friendly homes and barns, trying to stay under the radar until more religious tolerance was granted. He waited in vain and left for the Netherlands at the end of two years. It would take the taking of New Amsterdam by the English for religious tolerance to allow the Lutherans to call a pastor, which they finally did, but not until 1669.
The reading for today comes from the German poet Angelus Silesias, a sestet from a man who published a collection of poems and hymns in this year, 1657. This work is from "The Book f Angelus Silesius," translated By Frederick Franck."
Christ was born a man for me,
for me he died.
Unless I become [one
His birth is mocked
His death denied
This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 6th of June 2020 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.
The show is produced by a man who could explain the early French coffee roasting method, and why his, which you can find at gillespie.coffee is superior, the renaissance man Christopher Gillespie. The show is written and read by Dan van Voorhis. You can catch us here every day. And remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true. Everything is going to be ok.