The Flushing Remonstrance, Dec 27, 1657…..Tune: Jolly Miller
(Words adapted from text by John Haigis, 7/6/14)

You have sent to us your strict command
To withhold hospitality
To those people known as Quakers
Who are supposed to be
Seducers of the people
Who are clearly in the wrong
But we find we can’t condemn them
Since to God we all belong

It is certain that offenses will come
But woe to them by whom they do
We are answering the Lord’s command
And the meaning that is true
And the law that is written in the heart
Designed for the good of all
The works of God will surely stand
And the works of man will fall  

In this matter of our conscience
Betwixt God and our own souls
We are not insensible of the law
But we feel God’s law controls
We are told that we are not to judge
Lest we all be judged as well
We are bound to do good to all men
And of God’s great mercy tell

The law of Love, Peace, and Liberty
In the states extending to
Jews and Turks and Egyptians
And others of that crew
Who are considered Sons of Adam
A reason Holland’s glory shines
Condemns hatred, war and bondage
For today and for all time

In whatever form or title
A child of God to us shall come
Whether Baptist or Presbyterian
Or Independent son
We shall look for that of God in them
And unto all others do
As we desire to be done to us
The Law of God that’s true

So if any to us will come in Love
We shall not do them wrong
But will welcome them as our Lord commands
And will raise a welcome song
We humbly ask your pardon
As God is in his heaven
We are the citizens of Vlushing
The year sixteen fifty seven    
In Neuew Amsterdam, the Dutch Reformed Church was THE only approved religion. The people of Vlushing
(Flushing, now Queens) were told NOT to give hospitality to Quakers who were known seducers of the
people. Their 1657 protest was one of the first expressions of religious freedom in our nation and was, I
believe, a precursor to the "Petitioners are allowed Freedom of Conscience" in the 1673 enabling document
of the
Court of Upland on the Delaware River. The full text of the Remonstrance is below
This is a song, written by John Haigis, based on that text
Freedom of Conscience, The Flushing Remonstrance (1657)
This is the actual text of the Remonstrance

Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant,
December 27, 1657

Right Honorable

You have been pleased to send unto us a certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or
entertain any of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the
people. For our part we cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against
them, for out of Christ God is a consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Wee desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be
condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the law to do good
unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. And though for the present we seem to be
unsensible for the law and the Law giver, yet when death and the Law assault us, if wee have our advocate
to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this
world can neither attach us, neither excuse us, for if God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn
there is none can justifye.

And for those jealousies and suspicions which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy
and Ministerye, that cannot bee, for the Magistrate hath his sword in his hand and the Minister hath the
sword in his hand, as witnesse those two great examples, which all Magistrates and Ministers are to follow,
Moses and Christ, whom God raised up maintained and defended against all enemies both of flesh and spirit;
and therefore that of God will stand, and that which is of man will come to nothing. And as the Lord hath
taught Moses or the civil power to give an outward liberty in the state, by the law written in his heart designed
for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass
definitive sentence of life or death against that man which arises up against the fundamental law of the States
General; soe he hath made his ministers a savor of life unto life and a savor of death unto death.

The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are
considered sons of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty,
extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage. And because our Saviour sayeth it is
impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend
one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent,
Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we
desire all men should doe unto us, which is the true law both of Church and State; for our Saviour sayeth this
is the law and the prophets.

Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon
them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our
consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man.
And this is according to the patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States
General, which we are not willing to infringe, and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine,
your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Vlishing.

Written this 27th of December in the year 1657, by mee.
Edward Hart, Clericus

Additional Signers

Tobias Feake        Nathaniell Tue
The marke of William Noble        Nicholas Blackford
William Thorne, Seignior        The marke of Micah Tue
The marke of William Thorne, Jr.        The marke of Philip Ud
Edward Tarne        Robert Field, senior
John Store        Robert Field, junior
Nathaniel Hefferd         Nich Colas Parsell
Benjamin Hubbard        Michael Milner
The marke of William Pidgion        Henry Townsend
The marke of George Clere        George Wright
Elias Doughtie        John Foard
Antonie Feild        Henry Semtell
Richard Stocton        Edward Hart
Edward Griffine        John Mastine
John Townesend        Edward Farrington                     
    (more)