Friday, April 6, 2007

Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania 1682

I Constitution

"Considering that it is impossible that any People or Government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God's, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar's; and also perceiving that disorders and Mischiefs that attend those places where force is used in matters of faith and worship, and seriously reflecting upon the tenure of the new and Spiritual Government, and that both Christ did not use force and that he did expressly forbid it in his holy Religion, as also that the Testimony of his blessed Messengers was, that the weapons of the Christian warfare were not Carnall but Spiritual..."

"Therefore, in reverence to God the Father of lights and spirits, the Author as well as object of all divine knowledge, faith and worship, I do hereby declare for me and myn and establish it for the first fundamental of the Government of my Country; that every Person that does or shall reside therein shall have and enjoy the Free Possession of his or her faith and exercise of worship towards God, in such way and manner as every Person shall in Conscience believe is most acceptable to God and so long as every such Person useth not this Christian liberty to Licentiousness, that is to say to speak loosely and prophainly of God, Christ or Religion, or to Committ any evil in their Conversation [lifestyle], he or she shall be protected in the employment of the aforesaid Christian liberty by the civill Magistrate..."

William Penn

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