Strangers have observed with surprise the quietness which reigns within the city limits on the Sabbath day. The streets have a cleaner, fresher look, and with the exception of the Bowery and Chatham street, are closed to trade. The wharves are hushed and still, and the river and bay lie calm and subdued in the light of the Sabbath sun. Everybody seems trying to look as neat and as clean as possible. The cars run on Sunday, as in the week. This is necessary in so large a city, as without them many persons would be unable to attend church, their houses being miles away from their places of worship.

                     CHURCH GOING.

In the morning, the various churches are well filled, for New Yorkers consider it a matter of principle to attend morning service. The streets are filled with persons hastening to church, the cars are crowded, and handsome carriages dash by, conveying their wealthy owners to their only hour of prayer.

The churches are nearly all above Bleecker street. Trinity, St. Paul's, the old Dutch Church in Fulton street, and a few seamen's bethels along the river, are the only places of worship left to the dwellers in the lower part of the city, who are chiefly the poor and needy. Little or no care is taken of this part of the population, and yet it would seem good missionary ground. Trinity tries hard to draw them into its fold, but no one else seems to care for them.

The up-town churches are well filled in the morning. The music, the fame of the preacher, the rank of the church in the fashionable world, all these things help to swell the congregation. They are generally magnificent edifices, erected with great taste, and at a great cost. They crowd into fashionable neighborhoods, being often located so close to each other that the music of one will disturb the prayers of the congregation of the other. The plea for this is that the old down town locations were out of the way for the majority of the congregations. Many of the new sites, however, are quite as hard to reach. The pews rent for sums far beyond the purses of persons of moderate means, so that the majority of New Yorkers are compelled to roam about, from church to church, in order to hear the gospel at all. At the majority of the churches, strangers are welcome, and are received with courtesy, but at others they are treated with the utmost rudeness if they happen to get into some upstart's pew, and are not unfrequently asked to give up their seats.

There are intellectual giants in the New York pulpit, but they are very few. The majority of the clergy are men of little intellect, and less oratorical power. They are popular, though, with their own cures, and the most of them are well provided for. They doubtless understand how to 
    "Preach to please the sinners, 
     And fill the vacant pews."

                     SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

Morning service over, an early dinner follows. Then everybody thinks of enjoying himself if the weather is fine, or of sleeping the afternoon away if the day is too wet to go out. The cars are filled with personsen route for the Park to pass a pleasant afternoon - the drives of that beautiful resort are filled with the elegant equipages of the fashionables, and the churches are comparatively deserted. Almost every livery hack, buggy, or other vehicle in the city, is engaged for Sunday, several days beforehand, and the poor horses have no mercy shown them on that day.

The low class theatres and places of amusement in the Bowery and adjacent streets are opened toward sunset, and vice reigns there triumphant. The Bowery beer gardens sell lemonade and soda water, and such beverages as are not prohibited by the excise law, and the orchestra and orchestrions play music from the ritual of the Roman Catholic church.

The excise law forbids the sale of spirituous or malt liquors on the Sabbath, and the bar rooms are closed from midnight on Saturday until Monday morning. The police have orders to arrest all persons violating this law. There is no doubt, however, that liquor can be obtained by those who are willing to incur the risk necessary to get it; but as the majority do not care to take this trouble, the North river ferries are thronged on Sunday, by persons going over to New Jersey for their beer, wine, and stronger drinks. There is no Sunday law in that State, and Jersey City and Hoboken are only five minutes distant from New York.

At night the churches are better attended than in the afternoon, but not so well as in the morning. Many ministers will not open their churches for afternoon service, because they know they cannot fill a dozen pews at that time. Their congregations are driving in the Park - the young men, perhaps, in Hoboken, after lager.

Sunday concerts are now becoming a feature in New York life. These are given at the principal halls of the city, and the music consists of selections of sacred gems from the master pieces of the great composers. The performers are known all over the land for their musical skill, and the audiences are large and fashionable. No one seems to think it sinful thus to desecrate God's holy day, and it must be confessed that these concerts are the least objectionable Sunday amusements known to our people.

The reason of all this dissipation on the Sabbath is plain. People are so much engrossed in the pursuit of wealth, that they take no time in the week for rest or amusement. They wait for Sunday to do this, and grudge the few hours in the morning that decency requires them to pass in church.

                     THE EXCISE TRIALS.

Scarcely a Sunday passes without numerous arrests being made for violations of the excise law. These cases are tried before the Board of Excise Commissioners, who, if the offence be sufficiently gross, take away the license of the accused party, or punish him according to the terms of the law. Some queer pictures of humanity are exhibited at these trials.