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[418] of monopolies was prohibited, except of new inventions
Chap. X.} 1641
profitable to the country, and that for a short time. Every married woman was protected against bodily correction or stripes by her husband, and had redress, if at his death he should not leave her a competent portion of his estate. Of other nations, professing the true Christian religion, all fugitives from the tyranny or oppression of their persecutors, or from famine or wars, were ordered to be entertained according to that power and prudence that God should give; so that the welcome of the commonwealth was as wide as sorrow. On slavery this was the rule: ‘There shall never be any bond slavery, villanage, or captivity amongst us, unless it be lawful captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us; and these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of God, established in Israel concerning such persons, doth morally require.’

The severity of the Levitical law against witchcraft, blasphemy, and sins against nature, was retained; otherwise, death was the punishment only for murder, adultery, manstealing, and false witness wittingly to take away any man's life. In the following year rape was also made a capital crime.

With regard to the concerns of religion, all the people of God who were orthodox in judgment and not scandalous in life, had full liberty to gather themselves into a church estate; to exercise all the ordinances of God; and from time to time to elect and ordain all their officers, provided they be able, pious and orthodox. For the preventing and removing of error, ministers and elders of near adjoining churches

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