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indicted for selling goods on Sunday, contrary to the ordinance of the Council. The case coming before the Court of Appeals of South Carolina, the Court, holding the ordinance to be constitutional, spoke as follows:
"If the legislature or the City of Charleston were to declare that shops within that State or city should be closed and that no one should sell any goods, wares, or merchandise on the 4th of July or 8th of January in each year, would any one believe such a law was unconstitutional? It would not be pretended that religion had anything to do with that day. What has religion to do with a similar regulation on Sunday? It is, in a political and social point of view, a mere day of rest. Its observance as such is a mere question of expediency."
The case of Frolickstein vs. The Mayor of Mobile (40 Alabama Reports, p. 725) was that of a Jew who was fined for selling goods on the Christian Sabbath. In regard to it the Supreme Court of Alabama said:
"The legally-constrained abstinence from certain worldly employments on the first day of the week cannot be justified on the ground that such abstinence is enjoined by the Christian religion.
The legislation on the subject of abstaining from worldly employments on the first day of the week must be referred to the police power of the State. It has its sanction in the teaching of experience that the general welfare and good of society
require a suspension of labor and business one day in seven and that the day should be of uniform observance. The exercise of the power to enforce this theory of the public good would not infringe the constitution, whether the day designated should be the Christian or Jewish Sabbath."
In the case of Bloom vs. Richards (2 Ohio State Reports, p. 387) the Supreme Court of Ohio said :—
"Thus the statute upon which the defendant relies, prohibiting labor on the Sabbath, could not stand for a moment as the law of this State if its sole foundation was the Christian duty of keeping that day holy and its sole motive to enforce the observance of that duty. . . We are, then to regard the statute under consideration as a mere municipal or police regulation, whose validity is neither strengthened nor weakened by the fact that the day of rest it enjoins is the Sabbath Day.
It was within the constitutional competency of the general assembly to require the cessation of labor and to name the day of rest. It did so by the act referred to, and, in accordance with the feelings of a majority of the people, the Christian Sabbath was very properly selected. But, regarded merely as an exertion of legislative authority, the act would have had neither more nor less validity had any other day been adopted."
So also, in the case of McGatrick vs Wason (4 Ohio State Reports, p. 566) the same Court held as follows:
"The act does not to any extent rest upon the ground that it is immoral or irreligious to labor on the Sabbath, any more than upon any other day. It simply prescribes a day of rest from motives of public policy and as a civil regulation.
Thus the day of rest prescribed is the Christian. Sabbath. Yet so completely does the act rest upon grounds of public policy that.. it would be equally constitutional and obligatory did it name any other day, and it derives none of its force from the fact that the day of rest is Sunday."
The general conclusion deducible from these. judicial authorities in reference to the construction of Sabbath legislation as well as from the character of the legislation itself, is that laws interdicting labor upon "the first day of the week," and prohibiting other things inconsistent with the quiet and order of the day, have nothing to do with the Christian Sabbath as a religious institution. They neither prescribe nor enforce any religious observance. They could not do this without conflict with those provisions found in all our State constitutions which guarantee religious freedom and equality to the people. They do not put the stamp of the state upon the Sabbath as a divine institution, or upon that religious system which, by its moral force, creates and perpetuates the Sabbath and of which it is so important an instrument. The Christian Sabbath is much older than the legisla tion that relates to it. Our forefathers brought it
with them when they came to this country, and by common consent established it as a religious institution. They observed it as such, and taught their children to imitate their example. "The first day of the week," hence, came to be regarded as a sacred day, being set apart to special religious services, and to this end involving cessation from ordinary labor. If the country had been settled by Jews or was now mainly populated by Jews, Saturday, and not Sunday, would be the day marked by these characteristics. The great numerical preponderance of Christians in this country fixes the day in the usage of the people, and constitutes the reason why Sunday, rather than any other day, is the day of established usage.
Sabbath legislation finds the usage in existence, made up of the two elements of rest and religious observances. Passing by the latter element altogether, in the sense of leaving it to be regulated by the individual conscience, it places the seal of its authority upon the rest element-not for religious reasons, not to favor any system of religion in distinction from some other system, but for the twofold purpose of securing a regularly recurring period of rest and protecting those who religiously observe the day from the annoyance and disturbance which might otherwise exist. This is the whole theory of Sabbath legislation in this country, as expounded by courts and as it appears in the statutes themselves. The commands of the law on the subject are negative, and not positive; prohi
bitions of certain things, and not requirements of things to be done. One might keep the Sabbath very perfectly in the legal sense, and yet be a gross Sabbath-breaker in the religious sense. The law seeks to secure the former and does not seek to prevent the latter. It holds that a Sabbath of rest and general quietude is, on the ground of public policy, a good municipal regulation. This is just what and all that it attempts to effect.
There can be no greater mistake in logic than that which reasons from the rest element of the legalized Sabbath to the religious element, over which law exercises no jurisdiction and in respect to which determines no questions. The two elements in legal contemplation are entirely distinct and have no relation to each other except that of coincidence as to the day. With the creed of the Christian as to the religious observance of the Sabbath the law has nothing to do, any more than it would have if the period of rest were fixed on some other day of the week.
Hence, if the Seventh-day Baptist or the Jew complains of the law, because he keeps Saturday as holy time and wishes to work on Sunday, the answer is that the law cannot reasonably appoint two days of rest in one week, and that it has selected and should select the day which corresponds with the prevalent usage of the people. Let the mass of the people become Seventh-day Baptists or Jews, and then it would be very proper for the law to change its day of rest from Sunday to Satur