Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

A Puritan Thanksgiving

[from Wonder-working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England. 1654.]

HERE again the admirable Providence of the Lord is to be noted, that whereas the Country is naturally subject to drought, even to the withering of their summer's fruits, the Lord was pleased, during these years of scarcity, to bless that small quantity of land they planted with seasonable showers, and that many times to the great admiration of the Heathen. For thus it befell: The extreme parching heat of the sun (by reason of a more constant clearness of the air than usually is in England) began to scorch the herbs and fruits, which was the chiefest means of their livelihood. They beholding the Hand of the Lord stretched out against them, like tender-hearted Children, they fell down on their knees, begging mercy of the Lord for their Saviour's sake, urging this as a chief argument, that the malignant adversary would rejoice in their destruction, and blaspheme the pure Ordinances of Christ, trampling down his Kingly Commands with their own inventions; and in uttering these words, their eyes dropped down many tears, their affections prevailing so strong, that they could not refrain in the Church Assembly. Here admire and be strong in the Grace of Christ, all you that hopefully belong unto him, for as they poured out water before the Lord, so at that very instant, the Lord showered down water on their gardens and fields, which with great industry they had planted, and now had not the Lord caused it to rain speedily, their hope of food had been lost; but at this these poor worms were so exceedingly taken, that the Lord should show himself so near unto their prayers, that as the drops from Heaven fell thicker and faster, so the tears from their eyes by reason of the sudden mixture of joy and sorrow. And verily they were exceedingly stirred in their affections, being unable to resolve themselves which mercy was greatest, to have a humble begging heart given them of God, or to have their request so suddenly answered.

The Indians hearing hereof, and seeing the sweet rain that fell, were much taken with Englishmen's God, but the Lord seeing his poor people's hearts were too narrow to beg, his bounties exceeds toward them at this time, as indeed he ever hitherto hath done for this Wilderness People, not only giving the full of their requests, but beyond all their thoughts, as witness his great work in England of late, in which the prayers of God's people in New England have had a great stroke. These people now rising from their knees to receive the rich mercies of Christ, in the refreshed fruits of the Earth; behold the Sea also bringing in whole ship-loads of mercies, more being filled with fresh forces for furthering this wonderful work of Christ. And indeed this year came in many precious ones, whom Christ in his grace hath made much use of in these his Churches and Commonwealth, insomuch that these people were even almost over-balanced with the great income of their present possessed mercies. Yet they address themselves to the sea-shore, where they courteously welcome the famous servant of Christ, grave, godly and judicious Hooker, and the honored servant of Christ, Mr. John Haynes, as also the Reverend and much desired Mr. John Cotton, and the Rhetorical Mr. Stone, with divers others of the sincere servants of Christ, coming with their young, and with their old, and with their whole substance, to do him service in this desert wilderness. Thus this poor people having now tasted liberally of the salvation of the Lord every way, they deem it high time to take up the cup of thankfulness, and pay their vows to the most high God, by whom they were holpen to this purpose of heart, and accordingly set apart the 16th day of October (which they call the eighth month, not out of any peevish humor of singularity, as some are ready to censure them with, but of purpose to prevent the Heathenish and Popish observation of days, months and years, that they may be forgotten among the people of the Lord). This day was solemnly kept by all the seven Churches, rejoicing in the Lord, and rendering thanks for all their benefits.

~Captain Edward Johnson (Born in Kent, England, about 1600. Died at Woburn, Mass,, 1972.)


I believe "the Rhetorical Mr. Stone" is a reference to my ninth great-grandfather, Rev. Samuel Stone (born in Hertford, England 30 July 1602; died at Hartford, Connecticut 20 July 1663).


Sporting Dude said...

Look at that. Captain Edward Johnson my nine times namesake great-grandfather wrote about your nine times great-grandfather, Rev. Samuel Stone.

And here I am writing to you.

T.K. said...

And, Dude!, through the miracle of modern communication via internet and iPhone, I rolled out of bed laughing so bright and early this Sunday morning, thanks to you!

I'll bet our granddaddies never foresaw that!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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