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General Court of Massachusetts,
IN THE YEAR
THE CONSTITUTION, THE REARRANGEMENT OF THE CONSTITU-
1920, ETC., ETC.
32 DERNE STREET."
FORM OF GOVERNMENT
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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 politie, of 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 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;
PART THE FIRST.
of all men.
See amendments, Arts.
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Equality and
Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have , natural rights
certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among
obtaining their safety and happiness.
SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the 12 Allen, 129. universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or
restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipXLVI and
ping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the
public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship. Art. XI, substi
III. [As the happiness of a people, and the good order tuted for this. and preservation of civil government, essentially depend
upon piety, religion, and morality; and as these cannot
institution of the public worship of God, and of public
commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with
of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such
And the people of this commonwealth have also a right Legislature
Provided, notwithstanding, that the several towns, par- Exclusive right ishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious socie- gious 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, taxes 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 common- protected. wealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: 8 Met. 162. and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to of one sect to another 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, so verament 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 renhave any other title to obtain advantages, or particular public being and exclusive privileges, distinct from those of the com- peculiar privimunity, than what arises from the consideration of services rendered to the public; and this title being in absurd and nature neither hereditary, nor transmissible to children,
leges, hereditary offices are