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THE CONSTITUTION, THE MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNOR, LIST OF THE
ETC., ETC., ETC.
PUBLISHED BY THE
SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH.
WRIGHT & POTTER, STATE PRINTERS,
FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The end of the institution, maintenance and administra- Objects of govtion of government, is to secure the existence of the body 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 of Body politic, how individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people its nature. 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 peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new
constitution of civil government for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring his direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights and Frame of Government, as the CONSTITUTION of the COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
PART THE FIRST.
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Com
monwealth of Massachusetts. Equality and na- Art. I. All men are born free and equal, and have certural rights of all tain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which
may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property ; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their
safety and happiness. Right and duty of II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, public religious worship. publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME
BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. Protection there. And no subject shall be hurt, molested or restrained, in his
person, liberty or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; pro vided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others
in their religious worship. Amendment, Art. [III.* As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservaXI., substituted tion of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and for this.
morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community,
but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instrucLegislature em. tions in piety, religion and morality; Therefore, to promote their happipowered to com- ness, and to secure the good order and preservation of their Government, pel provision for public worship;
the people of this Commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
* Note.—Articles of the original constitution and articles of amendment thereto which have become inoperative, by reason of subsequent amendments, are printed in smaller type and enclosed in brackets : obsolete portions of articles, in some instances confined to a sentence or single word, are covered by brackets, but allowed to stand in type uniform with the matter still in force.