THE decision of the General Term of the City Court that a contract for streamer transportation to be carried out on Sunday is void, emphasizes the fact that Sunday is more than a merely civil day, and that the purpose of the Sunday law of the State of New York is to recognize that day as more than a holiday. The courts would not think of voiding a contract made for service to be rendered on the Fourth of July or on Thanksgiving Day. A transportation company failing to furnish transportation on either of those days, as stipulated, would be mulcted in heavy damages. This shows that Sunday stands alone and pre-eminent among days in our civil statutes; and that, because of its religious character.
BUT perhaps the most peculiar feature of this decision is that while the transportation company was released from its contract because of the moral character of the day, there was no redress for the men who had expended their money to go on the excursion. It thus appears that in the eyes of the courts of this State and city, the observance of Sunday is a matter of much more importance than honesty between man and man.
When the Saviour, the Son of God, was asked which was the great commandment in the law, he replied: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Lord Jesus Christ thus placed the two divisions of the law on an equality, as is also done in James 2:10, where it is declared that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all;” for he has broken the divine law. But the courts of New York are more wise(?), and in their attempt to administer the divine law, as construed by the law-makers of the State, have ascertained that though a steamboat company defraud some Germans who do not regard the first day of the week, yet, if by so doing the company refuses to run its boast on Sunday it is guiltless!