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Sunday

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SUNDAY, the Christian weelcly.festival, by theologians associated with the Jewish Sabbath (see SABBATH), while its observance is often enforced by the citation of the Fourth Com mandment in the Decalogue. While the Chris tian Church has never identified Sunday with the Jewish Sabbath, it has always quoted the Fourth Commandment as sanctioning, if not enacting, rest and relaxation from labor in one day out of every seven. When the Church was made a department of the state by the Christian emperors of Rome, the observance of Sunday was enforced by civil statute. When the Roman Empire passed away, and the office of pontif ex maximus, once held by the emperor of Rome, was claimed by the bishop of Rome, Sunday observance was enforced by ecclesiastical as well as civil law. The Third Council of Orleans 538 forbade all rural work on Sunday. Pope Gregory I made at Rome the same law as had been passed in 578 by the Council of Auxerre: *On the Lord's Day it is not permitted to yoke oxen or to perform any other work, excepting for approved reasons. Charlemagne in 813 enacted that on the Lord's Day all servile labor should be abstained from.

By the laws that obtained in England during the Saxon monarchy up to the time of Edward the Confessor (whose Sunday law is dated 1056), abstention from marketings on Sunday and from popular meetings was enforced under penalty of a fine. Equally strict was the Sun day legislation which followed the Norman Conquest. The medieval Sunday laws in Eng land were but the expansion of the Saxon laws. In 1281 A.D. John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury under Edward I, explained the Fourth Commandment as follows: *In the commandment 'remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day,) Christian worship is enjoined, to which laymen as well as clerks are bound; and here we are to know that the obligation to observe the legal Sabbath, accord ing to the form of the Old Testament, is at an end, together with the other ceremonies in that; to which in the New Testament bath succeeded the custom of spending the Lord's Day, and other solemn days appointed by the authority of the Church, in the worship of God; and the manner of spending these days is not to be taken from the superstition of the Jews, but from the canonical institutes.* A statute of the 28th of Edward III runs as follows: °Item, it is accorded and established, that showing of wools shall be made at the stable every day of .the week, except the Sun day and solemn feasts of the year.* In 1359 A.D. Islep, archbishop of Canterbury, issued the following to his clergy: *Whereas, the most excellent prince, our lord, the King of England, is now going to make an expedition in foreign parts with his army for the recovery of his right, exposing himself as a soldier to the doubtful events of war, the issue whereof is in the hand of God; we who have hitherto lived under his protection are, by the divine favor shining on us, admonished to betake our selves to prayer, as well for the safety of every one of us as for thepublic good, lest if adverse fortune should invade us (which God forbid), our confession and reproach should be the greater. But, though it is provided by sanc tions of law and canon that all Lord's days be venerably observed from eve to eve, so that neither markets, negotiations or courts, public or private, ecclesiastical or secular, be kept, or any country work done on these days, yet we are clearly to our heart's grief, informed that a detestable, nay, damnable perverseness has pre vailed, insomuch that in many places markets not only for victuals, but other negotiations (which' can scarce be without frauds and de ceits), unlawful meetings of men who neglect their churches, various tumults and other oc casions of evil are committed, revels and drunk enness, and many other dishonest doings are practised, from whence quarrels and scolds, threats and blows and sometimes murder pro ceeds on the Lord's days, in contempt of the honor of God; insomuch that the main body of the people flock to these markets, by which the devil's power is increased; whereof we strictly command you, our brother, that ye, without de lay, canonically admonish and effectually per suade, in virtue of obedience, or cause to be admonished and persuaded, those of your sub jects whom you find culpable in the premises, that they do wholly abstain from markets, courts, and other unlawful practices above described, on the Lord's days for the future; and that such of them as are come to years of discretion, do go to their parish churches to do, hear and receive what the duty of the day re quires of them; and that ye restrain all what soever that transgress and rebel in this respect, both in general and particular, with Church censures according to the Canon.*

The 27th statute of Henry VI is as follows: *Item, considering the abominable iniquities and offenses done to Almighty God and to his saints, always aiders and singular assisters in our necessities, because of fairs and markets upon their high and principal feasts, as in the feasts of the Ascension of our Lord, in the day of Corpus Christi, in the day of Whitsunday, in Trinity Sunday, with other Sundays, and also in the high feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Lady, the day of All Saints, and on Good Friday, accustomably and miserably holden and used in the realm of England: in which principal and festival days for fcreat earthly covetise, the people is more willingly vexed, and in bodily labor foiled, than in other ferial days, as in fastening and making their booths and stalls, bearing and carrying, lifting and placing their wares outward and home ward, as though they did nothing remember the horrible defiling of their souls in buying and selling, with many deceitful lies and false per jury with drunkenness and strifes, and so specially with drawing themselves and their servants from divine service; the aforesaid lord the king, by advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal and the commons of this realm of England being in the said Parliament, and by authority of the same Parliament, bath ordained that all manner of fairs and markets in the said principal feasts and Sundays and Good Fridays, shall clearly cease from all show ing of any goods and merchandise (necessary victual only excepted) upon pain of forfeiture of all the goods, aforesaid so showed.* In 1464 A.D., under Edward IV, an addition was made to the act of Henry VI, of 1448 A.D., declaring that — *Cobblers and cordwainers in the city of London, or within three miles thereof, excepting within the precincts of Saint Martins le-Grand and the palace at Westminster, were forbidden on any Sunday in the year, or on the feasts of the Nativity or Ascension of our Lord, or on the feast of Corpus Christi to com mand or cause to be sold, or place or put on any one's feet or legs, any shoes, hose or galoches, under the penalty of the forfeiture of the article and a fine of twenty shillitigs for every offense; a third part to go to the king, a third to the governors of the guild (mestier) of cordwains, and the residue to the informer.* In 1523 this act was repealed by Henry VIII (15th Henry VIII, ch. ix).

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