Virginia, Commonwealth of (1668), enacted:
The 27th of August appointed for a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, to implore God’s mercy: if any person by found upon that day gaming, drinking, or working (works of necessity excepted), upon presentment by church-wardens and proof, he shall be fined one hundred pounds of tobacco.
The times, they do change, don't they? After all, now possessing one hundred pounds of tobacco gets you all kinds of grief!
It causes one to wonder: what aspects of life have I so adopted as true that will cause people in future times to think I was more fit for the lunatic house than real life?
This is what happens to us when we so exalt a portion of life beyond its necessary value. At the time, for whatever reason, 27 August was set as a day to stop everything else. I'm sure diligent historical work could uncover the reason, but I've got stuff to do today.
The point being that we need to be very careful determining not only that days are important for religious reasons but then enforcing on others not only the day but our own view of what they should do on it. I'm very much in favor of reduced work on Sundays, church attendance, taking the day to focus on Christ. Yet does it fall to me to demand you spend the day the same as I do?
Should I demand you not watch the Daytona 500 this weekend? Certainly not! For one, the National Anthem will be better performed than the last mega-sporting event. (MARTINA MCBRIDE!!) For two, that's between you, your family, and God. If He's ok with it, who am I to interfere?
Now, for those of us that have voluntarily associated ourselves with a church family and committed to be a member of that body, we know that puts responsibilities on us for every day of the week, including Sundays and holidays. However, I'm not going to chase you down for it.
Besides, what would I gain? 100 pounds of tobacco?
The laws of man and the fines of man make precious little sense sometimes. Better to recognize the law of God and surrender to it, accepting that it wasn't a mere fine we needed but death, and that the Lord Jesus Christ took it for us.
William J. Federer, Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced According to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001).
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