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[467] day. The iron strictness with which Sunday must be kept, made every Puritan look on that occasion as if two fast-days had met in one. The hour of rising was remarkably late; and nothing like hurry was seen in the house. Nature found a relief in this. When the milking was over, and “the chores done,” the quiet breakfast gathers the sober family around the table, where the usual provisions are spread, and where, at the end of the meal, the mother surprises her sons with a fresh-baked apple-pie, smoking from a two-quart earthen dish. This argument, addressed to the stomach, the children readily comprehend; and each one takes his slice in his hand, and, without winking, proceeds to business. Breakfast being finished, the morning worship is now to be offered. The father takes the family Bible; calls his little daughter to look over him as he reads; and then, in slow and reverent tone, reads two or three chapters from the New Testament. Careful not to kneel and not to sit, the family all stand up while the father, in extemporaneous prayer, thanks the Giver of every good for his bounties, confesses his sins with humility and penitence, asks for pardon through a divine Redeemer, supplicates for the new heart and new life of the gospel, and prays for the heavenly guidance. In these general expressions, he does not forget to thank God especially for the religious freedom enjoyed in America, and to implore that Popery, Episcopacy, and all other heresies, may be for ever kept out of his true church here. There is now an hour before it will be necessary to start for meeting; and this hour is occupied by the children in committing to memory a few verses from the Bible, or a hymn from Sternhold and Hopkins, or a page from the Catechism. The mother spends the hour in teaching her little daughter some Christian history, or telling her the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. The father hears the other children say their lessons, and acts as the superintendent of this first and best of Sunday schools. The hour has now arrived for the whole family to leave for the meeting-house; and, whether it be in this plantation or the next, there is no apology available for absence from public worship. God's command, and the penalties of the statute-law, decide this case without equivocation. If the weather be fair, the children walk, be the distance one mile or three. Each one is dressed in the full Sunday attire, and feels it of paramount importance not to tear or soil it. They all keep together. The father mounts

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