What did the first Sunday law enacted in America, that of Virginia, in 1610, require?

Answer

"Every man and woman shall repair in the morning to the divine service and sermons preached upon the
Sabbath day, and in the afternoon to divine service, and catechizing, upon pain for the first fault to lose
their provision and the allowance for the whole week following. For the second, to lose the said allowance
and also be whipped; and for the third to suffer death." -- Articles, Laws, and Orders, Divine, Politique,
and Martial, for the Colony in Virginia: first established by Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, Lieutenant-General,
the 24th of May, 1610.
NOTE - These are the original Sunday laws, after which all the Sunday laws of Europe and
America have been modeled. Church attendance is not generally required by the Sunday laws of the
present day, nor was it required, in terms, by the earliest Sunday laws; but that is and ever has been the
chief object of all Sunday legislation from Constantine's time on, and it is as much out of place today as it
ever was.
 


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Questions & Answers are from the book Bible Readings for the Home Circle