hay, or selling moral or philanthropic publications.1 There is, therefore, no liberty of conscience allowed to the people of this country, under the laws thereof, in regard to the observance of a Sabbath day.2 In addition to these startling facts, within the last five years a religious combination has been formed in this land, styling itself ‘the American and Foreign Sabbath Union,’ whose specific object it is to impose the Sabbatical yoke yet more heavily on the necks of the American people. In a recent appeal made for pecuniary assistance by the Executive Committee of that Union, it is stated that the Secretary (Rev. Dr. Edwards) has visited twenty of the United States, and travelled more than thirty thousand miles, addressing public bodies of all descriptions, and presenting reasons why, as a nation, we should keep the Sabbath,—all secular business, travelling, and amusement be confined to six days in a week, —and all people assemble on the Sabbath, and worship God. Justin Edwards. A ‘permanent (?) Sabbath document’ has been prepared by the Secretary; and ‘what has already been done will put a copy of this document into more than three hundred thousand families.’ Still greater efforts are to be made by the ‘Union’ for the furtherance of its object. That this combination is animated by the spirit of religious bigotry and ecclesiastical tyranny—the spirit which banished the Baptists from Massachusetts, and subjected the Quakers to imprisonment and death, in the early settlement of this country —admits of little doubt. It is managed and sustained by those who have secured the enactment of the penal laws against Sabbath-breaking (all that the spirit of the times will allow), and whose disposition it manifestly is, if they can increase their power, to obtain the passage of yet more stringent laws against those who do not ‘esteem one day above another,’ but esteem ‘every day [alike]’—who are not willing that any man shall judge them ‘in respect of a holy day, or the new moon, or the Sabbath’—and who mean to ‘stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and not to be entangled again ’
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1 Allusion is here made to the case of Charles C. Burleigh, who in February, 1847, was twice put in jail in West Chester, Pa. (the second time for six days), for selling anti-slavery books on Sunday (Lib. 17.54, 59; Penn. Freeman, Mar. 25, 1847). For the conviction of a Seventh-Day Baptist farmer for working, in Pennsylvania, on Sunday, see Lib. 18: 119.
2 The last sentence originally read, ‘. . . observance or non-observance of the first day of the week as a holy day.’
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