In Specht v. The Commonwealth, 8 Pa. St. 313, it was held, affirming the previous decision of Commonwealth v. Wolf, 3 S. & R. 47, that the Pennsylvania Lord's Day Act was not at variance with the provision in the State constitution, declaring the right of freedom of conscience in religious matters, and a conviction, under the act, of one of the sect called the Seventh Day Baptists was therefore sustained, the decision being based upon the ground of a day of rest being necessary to the welfare of society, and that the mere prohibition of secular occupation did not interfere with the right of conscience. The case of Cincinnati v. Rice, 15 Ohio, 225, was decided upon a clause in the local statute, exempting persons who conscientiously kept holy the seventh day, and a somewhat similar provision is found in the Massachusetts statute.
But although a bond may be void because executed on Sunday, so that, as a bond or contract, no suit can be maintained upon it, yet in a suit founded on the previous liability of the defendant, the bond may be regarded as an acknowledgment of that liability, as there is nothing to prevent a man from acknowledging the truth on Sunday, and consequently nothing to prevent its being given in evidence against him: Lea v. Hopkins, 7 Pa. St. 492; and in any case in which such a defence is set up, it is necessary that the statute be specially pleaded: Fox v. Mensch, 3 W. & S. 444; unless of course where local statutory or other rules of pleading have varied this general principle.-R.
See Smith v. Bean, 15 N. H. 577; Flagg v. Millbury, 4 Cush. 243; Nason v. Dinsmore, 34 Me. 391; Goss v. Whitney, 24 Vt. 187; Sumner v. Jones, lb. 317; Hooper v. Edwards, 18 Ala. 280; Hilton v. Houghton, 35 Me. 143; Stackpole v. Symonds, 23 N. H. 229; Rainey v. Capps, 22 Ala. 288; Slade v. Arnold, 14 B. Mon. 287; Murphy v. Simpson, lb. 419; Hill v. Sherwood, 3 Wis. 343; Hussey v. Roquemore, 27 Ala. 286; Goss v. Whitney, 27 Vt. 272. An agreement to publish an advertisement in a newspaper issued on Sunday is void: Smith v. Wilcox, 25 Barb. 341, 24 N. Y. 353. A promise to pay a debt on Sunday will not take the case out of the Statute of Limitations: Bumgardner v. Taylor, 28 Ala. 687. The Court will leave parties who swapped horses on
Sunday by a farmer for the hire of a labourer, is valid. The Court decided, in the first place, that a farmer was not a person within the meaning of the statute at all, for that the meaning of the words "tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer, or other person whatsoever," was to prohibit the classes of persons named and other persons ejusdem generis, of a like denomination; and they did not consider a farmer to be so (c). And, secondly, they held that even if the farmer were comprehended. within the class of persons prohibited, the hiring of the servant could not be considered as work done in his ordinary calling, for, said Mr. J. Bayley, " those things which are repeated daily or weekly in the course of trade or business are parts of the ordinary calling of a man exercising such trade or *business; but the hiring of a servant for a year does not come within the meaning of those words."
(c) R. v. Silvester, 33 L. J. (M. C.) 79.
Sunday without remedy: Jordan v. Moore, 10 Ind. 386. When both parties to a contract violate the law in making it, the law will not aid either to set it aside: Greene v. Godfrey, 44 We. 25. The fact that a contract is signed on Sunday does not avoid it, unless it be delivered on Sunday: Sherman v. Roberts, 1 Grant, 261; Merrill v. Downs, 41 N. H. 72; Smith v. Foster, lb. 215; Tucker v. Mowrey, 12 Mich 378. A contract not void at common law nor expressly avoided by any statute, and which has been fully executed by the parties binds them although made on a Sunday. The delivery of a deed on Sunday is sufficient to pass the title: Shuman v. Shuman, 27 Pa. St. 90.-S.
In Dale v. Knepp, 98 Pa. St. 389, it was held (following Allen ». Duffy, 43 Mich. 1, and disapproving Catlett v. Trustees, 62 Ind. 305), that an agreement to subscribe for the erection of a church edifice is a work of charity, and may therefore be enforced, though made on Sunday. In Rogers v. W. U. Tel. Co., 78 Ind. 109, Elliott C. J., said, "Courts can not declare, as matter of law, that the business of telegraphy is a work of necessity. There are, doubtless, many cases in which the sending and delivery of a message would be a work of necessity within the meaning of our statute. But we cannot judicially declare that all contracts for the transmission of telegraphic messages are to be deemed within the statutory exception. Whether the contract is within the exception must be determined, as a question of fact, from the evidence in each particular case."
The former of the two points decided in this case furnishes a very good exemplification of the celebrated rule of construction as applied to statutes, namely, that ■where an Act mentions particular classes of persons, and then uses general words, such as "all others" the general words are restrained to persons of the like description with those specified (d). And, therefore, where a statute (e) recites that the Lord's day is much broken and profaned by carriers, waggoners, carters, wainmen, butchers, and drovers of cattle, and then enacts that those persons (naming them) shall not, by themselves, or any other, travel upon the Lord's day, and the Lord's Day Act contains the words previously recited, it has been determined that the owner or driver of a stage coach is not included within the words "other persons whatsoever," forbidden to exercise his calling on the Lord's day. The same construction was put upon the Lord's Day Act in a subsequent case, that of Peate v. Dicken (f), where it was decided, first, that an attorney was not within the description of persons intended by the statute; and secondly, that if he were, an agreement made on Sunday to become personally *respon-sible for the debt of a client, could not be said to fall within his ordinary calling.