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THE CONSTITUTION, THE MESSAGES OF THE GOVERNOR,
OF NAMES OF PERSONS,
ETC., ETC., ETC.
PUBLISHED BY THE
SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The end of the institution, maintenance and administra- Ohjects 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, individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole Its nature. people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws
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,
, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit and solemn compact with each other; and of forming
for the common
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 MASSACHU
PART THE FIRST.
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Com
monwealth of Massachusetts. Equality and ART. I. All men are born free and equal, and have cernatural rights of all men. 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 II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in of . ious worship society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the
SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the Protection universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested or retherein.
strained, in his person, iiberty 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; provided he doth not disturb the public
peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship. Amendment, [III.* As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preserstituted for this. vation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and
morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a com
munity, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of Legislature em public instructions in piety, religion and morality; Therefore, to pro
. pel provision for mote their happiness, and to secure the good order and preservation public worship; of their Government, 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 mainte
* 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.