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בס"ד

The Christian Sabbath,

As Sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Though Judge Bell in his decision gave it as his opinion that the Sunday was merely a legal institution—(we pass by Judge Coulter’s views as not meriting any notice, since he places it on Christian grounds which are not tenable under the constitution of the commonwealth, as we have proved)—and therefore liable to be repealed at any time: we nevertheless find that our apprehension as regards its enforcement have already been realized, since persons have been seized and imprisoned for working on a day which their conscience tells them is profane, and which they are nevertheless told they must not profane by labour. There is tyranny in this, and a tyranny the more galling as there is no redress, the majority not likely being willing to repeal a law, which, though evidently against the spirit of the constitution, has been sanctioned by the Supreme Bench in deference to popular clamour. But public opinion may undergo a change for the better before long, and then this odious distinctive law will vanish from the statute book, and with it the favouring of one religion above the other, a measure never contemplated by the fathers of the commonwealth. We quote from the Sabbath Recorder of October 12th:—

“Doings in Pennsylvania.”

“From a letter written by one of the German Seventh-day Baptists of Snowhill, Pa., we learn that soon after the decision of the Supreme <<414>>Court at Harrisburg, the Sheriff came and took property of Jacob Specht and Peter Fyock, which was sold to pay their fines for working on Sunday, together with the costs attending their prosecution. Three other men, Andrew Monn, David Monn, and John Burger, having no property upon which a levy could be made, would have suffered themselves to be taken to jail, except that their bail was responsible for the money. The fines and costs of the last three amounted to about twelve dollars each; those of the first two were more, but we do not know exactly how much. Probably one hundred dollars will not more than cover the expenses attending the prosecution of these five men for working on Sunday.

“We farther learn, that during harvest, six persons were informed against for taking in wheat on Sunday. Two of them, being boys, were discharged by the Justice; but against the other four judgments were given. One of the parties has taken his case up to court; the other three were to have gone to jail on third-day of last week.

“After the above transaction, but little work was done in public on Sunday until the 2d inst., when a man and three boys picked apples, and were informed upon. If judgment is given against them, they will probably go to jail, as they have no property upon which the officers can lay hands.

“—What a record of transactions in the State of Pennsylvania in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight! A band of peaceable and conscientious citizens, who believe that the fourth commandment requires them to rest on the seventh day and work on the first day, and act accordingly, are watched with inquisitorial strictness, and subjected to fines and imprisonment whenever a wicked law can be so construed as to apply to them. And what is worst of all, this kind of persecution, begun by base men for purposes of revenge, and sanctioned and approved by men calling themselves Christians, and even Christian ministers! Tell it not in the Vatican, lest our boasts of religious freedom be held in contempt! Tell it not among the heathen, lest they despise Christianity, and be emboldened to persecute and slay its advocates!”