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PAGE 268:
CHAPTER VII

the city, the ruinous state of several places of worship, which had been most wantonly abused, and among which were the Middle and North Churches the one having been first a prison and then a riding school, the other a prison, and neither exhibiting under the sacrilegious treatment it had received, much of the appearance of a house of God, as the interior had been entirely destroyed; these circumstances, together with that of the loss BOTH had sustained in the death of the late loved and excellent Laidlie, and were now forcibly reminded of, must have made the occasion one, not less of mutual condolence than of mutual congratulation.

[This much esteemed and devoted servant of Christ, died at Red Hook, in the year 1780, of a pulmonary disease.

The two Dutch ministers, though still living, did not come back to the city to reside. Mr. Ritzema, remained at Kinderhook, and Mr. De Ronde settled at Schaticoke, a place Northeast of Albany. They were both too far advanced in life to resume the responsibilities of the pastoral connexion in such a city, and the Consistory of the Church, with their accustomed liberality, granted to each an annuity of 200 during life.]

The old Church in Garden-street, being found uninjured, was, in the month of November, immediately after the Doctor's return, re-opened for

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CHAPTER VII

public worship; and the people, grateful as may be supposed, that they had one building left in which they could assemble, once more came together, and united with their pastor in a tribute of thanksgiving to the Most High, for his innumerable mercies.

[Thanksgiving is specified, not to imply that the day of their re-meeting in the sanctuary had been specially set apart for the performance of that duty, but simply, as what, under the circumstances of the occasion, it was very natural and proper it should be, a prominent part of their service. It was a Lord's day upon which the Church was re-occupied for the first time. The 11th of the following month was observed, by the recommendation of Congress, throughout the United States, as a day of Thanksgiving: and here it may not be amiss to remark, that our fathers were not backward to recognize the hand of God, in the dispensations of his providence, and to go up to his courts to render the homage due to his name. They did not grudge to lay aside their secular employments for a day, and spend that day in commemorating, by a public act of devotion, his great goodness. And it is to be feared, that the perpetuity of our invaluable political and religious privileges, is much endangered by the gross neglect, in this respect, of modern times. It is truly alarming, to see the manner in which, of late, as a people, we acknowledge the mercies of Heaven, upon days recommended by our civil rulers to be religiously kept.]

The congregation, at this time, or rather the residue of it, needed extraordinary attention; and the labour of visiting, catechising, and preaching, and






        
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