صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of any one man, family, or class of men: therefore, the people alone have an incontestible, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the fame, when their protection, fafety, profperity, and happiness require it.

[ocr errors]

VIII. In order to prevent those who are vested with authority from becoming oppreffors, the people have a right, at fuch periods, and in fuch manner as they fhall establish by their Frame of Government, to cause their public officers to return to private life; and to fill up vacant places by certain and regular elections and appointments.

IX. All elections ought to be free, and all the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, having fuch qualifications as they fhall establish by their Frame of Government, have an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected for public employments.

X. Each individual of the fociety has a right to be protected by it, in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, confequently, to contribute his fhare to the expence of this protection;

protection; to give his perfonal fervice, or an equivalent, when neceffary: but no part of the property of any individual can, with juftice, be taken from him, or applied to public ufes, without his own confent or that of the reprefentative body of the people: in fine, the people of this Commonwealth are not controulable by any other laws than thofe to which their conftitutional representative body have given their confent. And whenever the public exigencies require that the property of any individual should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compenfation therefor.

XI. Every fubject of the Commonwealth ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his perfon, property or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; compleatly, and without any denial; promptly, and without delay; conformably to the laws.

XII. No fubject shall be held to answer for any crime or offence, until the fame is fully and plainly, fubftantially and formally, described


to him; or be compelled to accufe, or furnish evidence against himself. And every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favourable to him; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defence by himself or his counfel, at his election. And no subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, defpoiled, or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the


And the legislature shall not make any law, that shall subject any perfon to a capital or infamous punishment, excepting for the government of the army and navy, without trial by jury.

XIII. In criminal profecutions, the verification of facts in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the greatest fecurities of the life, liberty and property of the citizen.

XIV. Every fubject has a right to be fecure. from all unreasonable searches, and seizures, of his perfon, his houfes, his papers, and all his poffeffions. All warrants, therefore, are con


trary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in a warrant to a civil officer, to make fearch in all fufpected places, or to arreft one or more fufpected perfons, or to feize their property, be not accompanied with a special defignation of the perfons or objects of search, arreft, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be iffued, but in cafes and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.

XV. In all controverfies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more perfons, except in cafes in which it has heretofore been otherways used and practised, the parties have a right to a trial by a jury; and this method of procedure fhall be held facred, unless, in causes arifing on the high feas, and fuch as relate to mariners wages, the legislature shall hereafter find it neceffary to alter it.

XVI. The liberty of the prefs is effential to the security of freedom in a State; it ought not, therefore, to be reftrained in this Commonwealth.

XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. Andas in time


of peace armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the confent of the legislature; and the military power fhall always be held in exact fubordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

XVIII. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are abfolutely neceffary to preferve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and reprefentatives: and they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magiftrates, an exact and conftant obfervance of them, in the formation and execution of all laws neceffary for the good adminiftration of the Commonwealth.

XIX. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to affemble to confult upon the common good; give instructions to their Representatives; and to request of the Legislative body, by the way of addresses, petitions or remonftrances, redrefs of the wrongs done. them, and of the grievances they suffer.

XX. The

« السابقةمتابعة »