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jnain to the church of England for ever." A preceding articlede* clared, "That there ought to be no forfeiture of any part of the estate of any person for any crime except murder, or treason against the state, and then only on conviction and attainder. la the A5th section of the form of government, it is expressly appointed, that every person before entering on any office of trust or profit, shall subscribe a declaration of his belief in the christian religion, Virginiah<ith not introduced its form of government with any declaration of general principles; nor made mention of any either toleration or test. The executive power is divided between the governor, the council of state and the county courts, or venerable 'juilections of justices of peace. The delegates and senate may be of this rank. The governor's share of the executive is trifling. The county courts, or justices of the peace, beside the authority of recommending to the governor candidates} on vacancies in their own body, officers for the militia, and nominating the sheriffs and coroners, are to appoint the clerks of the several county courts in the commonwealth. For these reasons the constitution is charged with involving in it a system for perpetuating an aristocracy. It is thought,, however, to- be alterable at pleasure by subsequent legislatures, i-n a* much as the electors of" the delegates and representatives who.formed the convention in 1176, had no idea of independence and a permanent republic, and could not mean to vest in the convention any authorities other than those of the ordinary legislature.

North-Carolina, in the declaration of rights, maintains " That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God., according to the dictates of their own conscience; and yet establishes it as an article in the form of government, "That no person who shall deny the being of a God, or the truth of the Protestant Religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testament, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department of the state.'.'

By the South-Carolina constitution, among the qualifications of electors for members of the house of representatives or senate is that of " acknowledging the being of a God, and belief in a future state of rewards and punishments." It also prescribes—■ "That no person shall be eligible to sit in the house of representatives, unless he be of the Protestant religion; and that the governor, the lieutenant-governor, privy council and senate, shall be of the same religion. The 38th article provides—"That all petsons and religious societies, who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to, be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated." It


then proceeds, "The Christian Protestant religion shall'be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be the established religion of the state; and all denominations of Christian Protestants, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges."

The constitution of Georgia declares—" That all persons whatever, shall have the free exercise of their religion, provided it be not repugnant to the peace and safety of the state ; and. shall not, unless by consent, support any teacher or teachers, except those of their own profession :" but it requires that the. representativives, who are the legislature of the state, and who elcct out of their own.body the governor and executive council, should be of the Protestant religion. ■. ,.. •

Some of the constitutions declare—" That no, clergyman, or preacher of the gospel of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office within the state." SuGh clergymen as are paid by, and so are the servants of the state, may be justly excluded : but if they only enjoy the common protection of the state, it ought to have been left to their fellow-citizens whether to electthem into places, and to themselves whether to accept; which neither the prudence of the one, nor the sacred duties .of the other, will permit, unless upon some very extraordinary occasion. ,, , .

The constitutions are so formed, that the inhabitants in common have a right to vote for representatives, though not to vote for several in different towns, and places. Jn a few states every freeman of the full age of 21 years, having resided in the state for the space of one whole year before the day of ejection, and paid public taxes during that time, enjoys the right of an elects u ln jnost, he must be worth thirty or forty-five pounds sterling, .Certain states have provided for the establishment and perpetuating of an equal representation, in proportion to the numbers of freemen inhabiting the counties, cities, towns and districts. . ,;» . • The

Tke following extracts from an Act for establishing Religious ■■ freedom, passed in the assembly of Virginia in the beginning • of 1786, is added, in expectation of gratifying the curiosity, if not the taste, of most readers,

"WELL aware, that Almighty God hath created the mind free.: that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments ©r burthens, orhy civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habit* of hypocrisy, and are a departuie from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either;—That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, (who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed domieion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as alone true and infallible, <snd as such endeavoring to impose them on others) hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all times ;—That, to compel a man to furnish Contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which 1 he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;—That even the forcing a man to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to .righteousness; and is withdrawing from the ministry, those temporal rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitted labors for the instruction of mankind ;—That our civil fights have no dependence on our religious opinions, anymore Shan on. our opinions in physic or geometry ;—That, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being culled to offices of trust and emolument, unless he professes or renounces this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; and tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it. is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldlv honors and emoluments, those who will externally conform to it:—That though indeed those are criminal who do not withstand such temptations, yet neither are those innocent who lay them in their way ;—That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to .restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition Vol, III. C 3 of

ef their ill tendency, Is a dangerous fallacy; which, at once, fTe^* stroys all religious liberty; because he, being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and

, will approve or condemn the sentiments of others, only as they shall agree with, or differ from his own ;—That it is time enoughr for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interpose when principles break out in overt acts against peace and good oider:—And finally, that truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself: that she is the proper and sufficient antag,enist to error, and can have nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons,.

free argument and debate—errorsceasing to be dangerous, when it is permitted freely to contradict them.

"Be it therefore enacted by the general assembly, that n» man shall be compelled to support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever;, nor shall be forced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his-religious opinion or belief: but that all-, men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, theirepinions in matters of religion: and that the same, shall in 7Ur wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their, civil capacities-*'

"And though we well know that this assembly, elected &y the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have nopower to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies? constitutedwith powers equal to our own; and that, therefore, to declare this act irrevocable, would be of. no effect in law ; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted,. are of the natural rights of mankind; and that if any act shall, be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operatiorij.such act will be an infringement olnatural right."

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37ie United states in congress assembled, finding, that the articles ""•of the cmifederation would not enable them to surmount those, *} '' national embarrassments with which they were attended, at ■length recommended to the several governments the appointing V of delegates to forma special convention at Philadelphia. Most r of them complied, and elected gentlemen of distinguished characier to represent them. When the delegates met in June "''=1187, floctor Franklin proposed his excellency George Washing ton for president; and he was unanimously, chosen. Jfter ~ several months close and free deliberation, the following pub''•• locations made their appearance, excepting tlieparts included ^' yrithinthecrotchet&.


WE the people of the UNITED STATES, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for tire "i/hited States ^AMERICA.

{Legislative Powers. J ... ... .ARTICLE I.

-UtiL r.> ~ \' fThe House of Refresemt,atives4; .■. , .v


ALL legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and house of representatives.


The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained tc- the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.


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