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before the 2d day of March, 1867, for any debt contracted pre vious to the 4th day of April, 1864, except debts of the character mentioned in either of the above first three exceptions.
Sec. 3. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to interfere with the sale of property aforesaid, or any portion thereof, by virtue of any mortgage, deed of trust, pledge or other security thereon.
Sec. 4. The General Assembly is hereby prohibited from passing any law staying the collection of debts, commonly known as “stay laws;" but this section shall not be construed as prohibiting any legislation which the General Assembly may deem necessarv to fully carry out the provisions of this article.
Sec. 5. The General Assembly shall, at its first session under this Constitution, prescribe in what manner and on what conditions the said householder or head of a family shall thereafter set apart and hold for himself and family a homestead out of any property hereby exempted, and may, in its discretion, determine in what manner and on what conditions he may thereafter hold, for the benefit of himself and family, such personal property as he may have and coming within the exemption hereby made. But this section shall not be construed as authorizing the General Assembly to defeat or impair the benefits intended to be conferred by the provisions of this article.
Sec. 6. An act of the General Assembly, entitled "An act to exempt the homesteads of families from forced sales,” passed April 29, 1877, and an act entitled “An act to stay the collection of debts for a limited period," passed March 2, 1866, and the acts amendatory thereof, are hereby abrogated.
Sec. 7. The provisions of this article shall be construed liberally, to the end that all the intents thereof may be fully and perfectly carried out.
Church Property. Sec. 8. The rights of ecclesiastical bodies in and to church property conveyed to them by regular deed of conveyance shall not be affected by the late civil war, nor by any antecedent or subsequent event, nor by any act of the Legislature purporting to govern the same, but all such property shall pass to and be held by the parties set forth in the original deeds of convey. ance, or the legal assignees of such original parties holding through or by conveyance, and any act or acts of the Legisla ture in opposition thereto shall be null and void.
Heirship of Property. Sec. 9. The children of parents one or both of whom were slaves at and during the period of cohabitation, and who were recognized by the father as his children, and whose mother was recognized by such father as his wife, and was cohabitated with as such, shall be as capable of inheriting any estate whereof such father may have died seized and possessed as though they had been born in lawful wedlock.
Future Changes in the Constitution. Section 1. Any amendment or amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in the Senate and House of Delegates, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes taken thereon, and referred to the General Assembly to be chosen at the next general election of Senators and members of the House of Delegates; and shall be published for three months previous to the time of making such choice. And if in the next General Assembly so next chosen as aforesaid such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people in such manner and at such times as the General Assembly shall prescribe; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the Constitution.
Sec. 2. At the general election to be held in the year 1888, and in each twentieth year thereafter, and also at such time as the General Assembly may by law provide, the question, “Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?" shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified voting at such election shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the General Assembly, at its next session, shall provide by law for the election of dele. gates to such convention: Provided, that no amendment or revision shall be made which shall deny or in any way impair the right of suffrage or any civil or political right as conferred by this Constitution, except for causes which apply to all per sons and classes without distinction.
SCHEDULE. That no inconvenience may arise from the changes in the Constitution of this State, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared that
Section 1. The common law and the statute laws, now in force not repugnant to this Constitution shall remain in force until they expire by their own limitation or are altered or repealed by the Legislature.
Sec. 2. All writs, actions, causes of actions, prosecutions, and rights of individuals and of bodies corporate and of the State, and all charters of incorporation, shall continue; and all indictments which shall have been found, or which may hereafter be found, for any crime or offense committed before the adoption of this Constitution, may be proceeded upon as if no change had taken place. The several courts, except as herein otherwise provided, shall continue, with the like powers and jurisdiction, both in law and in equity, as if this Constitution had not been adopted, and until the organization of the judicial department of this Constitution.
Sec. 3. That all fines, penalties, forfeitures and escheats accruing to the State of Virginia under the present Constitution and laws shall accrue to the use of the State under this Constitution.
Sec. 4. That all recognizances, bonds, obligations and all other instruments entered into or executed before the adoption of this Constitution, to the people of the State of Virginia, to any State, county or township, or any public officer or public body, or which may be entered into or executed under existing laws, "to the people of the State of Virginia,” to any such officer or public body, before the complete organization of the department of government under this Constitution, shall remain binding and valid; and rights and liabilities upon the same shall continue, and may be prosecuted as provided by law. All crimes and misdemeanors and penal actions shall be tried, punished and prosecuted as though no change had taken place, until otherwise provided by law.