minister; so that he was competent to
combine the humane doctrines of the common law with the principles of natural right and equality, as deduced from the Bible
After mature deliberation, his ‘model,’ which for its liberality and comprehensiveness may vie with any similar record from the days of Magna Charta
, was adopted as ‘the body of liberties of the Massachusetts
All the general officers
of the jurisdiction, including governor, deputy governor, treasurer
, assistants, military commander, and admiral, if there should be a naval force, were to be chosen annually by the freemen of the plantation, and paid from the common treasury.
The freemen in the several towns were to choose deputies from among themselves, or elsewhere as they judged fittest, who were to be paid from the treasury of the respective towns, and to serve ‘at the most but one year; that the country may have an annual liberty to do in that case what is most behooveful for the best welfare thereof.’
No general assembly could be dissolved or adjourned without the consent of the major part thereof.
The freemen of every town had power to make such by-laws and constitutions as might concern the welfare of the town, provided they be not of a criminal nature, nor repugnant to the public laws of the country; and that their penalties exceed not twenty shillings for one offence.
They also had power to choose yearly selectmen ‘to order the prudential occasions of the town according to instructions to be given them in writing.’
Life, honor, and personal liberty and estate, were placed under the perpetual protection of law. To every person, whether inhabitant or foreigner, was