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I. Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their religious Profeffion and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits, and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons, inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall confefs and acknowledge One Almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World ; and profess him or themselves obliged to live quietly under the civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious Perfuafion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious Perfuafion.
And that all Persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, shall be capable (notwithstanding their other Perswafions, and Practices in Point of Conscience and Religion) to serve this Government in any Capacity, both legislatively and executively, he or they folemnly promifing, when lawfully required, Allegiance to the King as Sovereign, and Fidelity to the Proprietary and Governor, and taking the Attests as now established by the Law made at Newcastle in the Year one Thousand and feven Hundred, entitled, An Ad direčting the Attests of several Officers and Ministers, as now amended and confirmed by this present Asembly,
II. For the well governing of this Province and Territories, there ihall be an Assembly yearly chofen, by the Freemen thereof, to consist of four Persons out of each County, of moft Note for Virtue, Wildom and Ability, (or of a greater Number at any Time, as the Governor and Assembly shall agree) upon the first Day of O&ober for ever; and shall fit on the fourteenth Day of the fame Month, at Philadelphia, unlefs the Governor and Council for the Time being, shall fee Caufe to appoint another place within the faid Province, or Territories: Which Affembly shall have Power to chufe a Speaker, and other their Officers; and fhall be Judges of the Qualifications and Elections of their own Members ; fit upon their own Adjournments; appoint Comni tees; prepare Bills in order to pass into Laws; impeach Criminals, and Fedress Grievances; and shall have all other Powers and Privileges of an Assembly, according to the Rights of the free-born Subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the King's Plantations in America.
And if any County or Counties, fhall refuse or neglect to chuse their respective Representatives as aforesaid, or if chosen, do not meet to ferve in Assembly, thofe who are fo chofen, and met, shall have the full Power of an Assembly, in as ample Manner as if all the Reprefentatives had been chofen and met, provided they are not less than two Thirds of the whole Number that ought to meet.
And that the Qualifications of Electors and Elected, and all other Matters and Things relating to Elexions of Representatives to serve in Affemblies, though not herein particularly exprefTed, Ihall be and remain as by a Law of this Government, made at Newcastle in the Year One Thoufand Seven Hundred, entitled, An Act to ascertain the Num-. her of Members of Asimbly, and to regulate the Elections.
III. That the Freemen in each respective County, at the Time and Place of meeting for electing their Representatives to serve in Afsembly, may, as often as there fhall be Occasion, chufe a double Number of Persons to present to the Governor for Sheriffs and Coroners, to serve three Years, if so long they behave themselves well; out of which respective Elections and Presentments, the Governor shall nominate and commissionate one for each of the said Offices, the third Day after fuch Presentment, or else the first named in such Presentment, for each Office as aforesaid, fhall stand and serve in that Office for the Time before respectively limited; and in case of Death or Default, fuch Var' cancies shall be supplied by the Governor, to serve to the End of the said Term. :
Provided always, that if the said Freeinen shall at any Time neglect or decline to chufe a Person or Perfons for either or both the aforesaid Offices, then and in such case, the Perfons that are or shall be in the respective Offices of Sheriffs or Coroners, at the Time of Election, thall remain therein, until they shall be removed by another Election as aforesaid.
And that the Justices of the respective Counties fhall or may nominate and present to the Governor three Persons, to serve for Clerk of the Peace for the faid County, when there is a Vacancy, one of which the Governor shall commissionate, within ten Days after such Presentment, or else the first nominated fhall serve in the said Office during good Behaviour.
IV. That the Laws of this Government shall be in this Stile, viz. By the Governor, with the Gonsent and Approbation of the Freemen in general Ajem
bly met; and shall be, after Confirmation by the Governcr, forthwith recorded in the Rolls-offices and kept at Philadelphia, unless the Governor and Assembly shall agree to appoint another Place *
V. That all Criminals shall have the same Privileges of Witnesses and Council as their Profecutors.
VI. That no Person or Persons fhall or may; at any Time hereafter, be obliged to anfwer any Complaint, Matter or Thing whatsoever, relating to Property, before the Governor and Council, or in any other Place, but in ordinary Course of Justice, unless Appeals thereunto shall be hereafter by Law appointed.
VII. That no Person within this Government shall be licenced by the Governor to keep an Ordinary, Tavern, or House of publick Entertainment, but such who are firft recommended to him, under the Hands of the Justices of the respective Coun. ties, figned in open Court; which Justices are and shall be hereby impowered, to suppress and forbid any Person, keeping fuch Publick-house as aforefaid, upon their Misbehaviour, on such Penalties as the Law doth or shall direct; and to recommend others from Time to Time, as they shall see Occasion.
VIII., If any Person, through Temptation or Melancholy, shall destroy himself, his Eftate, real and personal, shall notwithstanding descend to his Wife and Children, or Relations, as if he had died a natural Death ; and if any Person should be destroyed or killed by Casualty or Accident, there shall be no Forfeiture to the Governor by Reason thereof.
And no Act, Law or Ordinance whatsoever, fhall at any Time hereafter, be made or done, to alter, change or diminish the Form or Effect of this Charter, or of any part or Clause therein, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, without the Consent of the Governor for the Time being, and fix Parts of seven of the Assembly met.
But because the Happiness of Mankind depends so much upon the enjoying of Liberty of their Consciences as aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly declare, promise and grant, for me, my Heirs and Affigns, that the first Article of this Charter, relating to Liberty of Confcience, and every part and Clause therein, according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, Ihall be kept and remain without any Alteration, inviolably for ever.
And Lastly, I the said William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Territories thereunto belonging; for myself, my Heirs and Affigns, have folemnly declared, granted and confirmed, and do hereby folemnly declare, grant and confirm, That neither I, my Heirs or Affigns, shall procure or do any Thing or Things, whereby the Liberties in this Charter contained and expressed, nor any Part thereof, shall be infringed or broken : And if any Thing fhall be procured or done, by any person or Persons, contrary to these Presents, it shall be held of no Force or Effect.
In Witness whereof, I the said William Penn, at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, have unto this present Charter of Liberties fet my Hand and Broad Seal, this twenty-eighth Day of O&tober, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred ; and One, being the thirteenth Year of the Reign of King WILLIAM the Third, over" England, Scotland, France and Ireland, &c. and the twenty-first Year of my Government.
And notwithstanding the Closure and Test of this present Charter as aforesaid, I think fit to add this following Proviso thereunto, as Part of the