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THE CONSTITUTION, THE MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNOR,
NAMES OF PERSONS, ETC., ETC.
18 Post OFFICE SQUARE.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
PREAMBLE. The end of the institution, maintenance, and administra- Objects of tion of government, is to secure the existence of the body government politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquillity their natural rights, and the blessings of life : and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity, and happiness.
The body politic is formed by a voluntary association Body politic, of individuals : it is a social compact, by which the whole how formed people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.
We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peace
ably, without fraud, violence, or surprise, of entering into
Right and duty of public relig
PART THE FIRST.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
ARTICLE I. natural rights
All men are born free and equal, and have of all men. certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights ; among
which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defend-
II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in
SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the
public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship. Amendments, III. [As the happiness of a people, and the good order
upon piety, religion, and morality; and as these cannot
institution of the public worship of God, and of public Legislature
instructions in piety, religion, and morality: Therefore, compel provi: to promote their happiness, and to secure the good order worship; and preservation of their government, the people of this
commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with
and to enjoin attendance
the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin thereon. upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.
Provided, notwithstanding, that the several towns, par- Exclusive right ishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious socie-sous teachers ties, shall, at all times, have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance.
And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of option as to public worship, and of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, tages may be if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the etc. public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid towards the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised.
And every denomination of Christians, demeaning them- All denominaselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, protected. shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no Subordination subordination of any one sect or denomination to another of one sect to shall ever be established by law.]
IV. The people of this commonwealth have the sole Right of self and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, secured. sovereign, and independent state ; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America, in Congress assembled.
V. All power residing originally in the people, and Accountability being derived from them, the several magistrates and etc. officers of government, vested with authority, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are their substitutes and agents, and are at all times accountable to them.
VI. No man, nor corporation, or association of men, Services ren. have any other title to obtain advantages, or particular and exclusive privileges, distinct from those of the com
peculiar privi. munity, than what arises from the consideration of ser- leges, heredivices rendered to the public ; and this title being in absurd and nature neither hereditary, nor transmissible to children,
dered to the public being the only title to
tary offices are