20 SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT,
relapsing into quietness and repose. There was something both soothing and dignified in the solemnity with which this period was then observed. Labour and revelry were alike laid aside, and a pause of silence announced the approach of that day, which the Creator consecrated.
It seemed like the deference of a reflecting spirit, conscious that its habitual vocations were earthly, and unwilling, without purifying itself from their defilement, to rush into those services, which, to be acceptable, are required to be holy. It was like the change of garments of the Levitical priesthood, ere they entered the Sanctuary. Our puritanic fathers then said to their worldly cares, as Abraham to his servants at the base of Mount Moriah, "abide ye here, while I go yonder and worship."
They maintained that, if according to scripture, the evening and the morning constituted the first day, the Sabbath embraced the preceding evening within its ap pointed limits. So strictly did they enjoin the sanctification of Saturday night, that it might be said of them in that season, as it was of the Egyptians during their tempest of hail, "he who feared the word of the Lord, made his servants, and his cattle flee into their house." The penal laws, which guarded the observance of the Sabbath among our ancestors at the first settlement of this country, had relaxed in their severity. Still, to travel on that day was considered an offence, meriting close examination from those vested with authority and ending in restraint, unless the sickness or distress of distant relations sanction-