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PREFACE.

Mo

OST of the following regulations are mere temporary expedients, devifed, indeed, with fincere intention to promote the happiness of the new fettlement in its infant ftate; but fubject, nevertheless, either to be entirely fet afide, rejected in part, or altered on revifion, according to the prevailing fentiment, from time to time, of the majority of the fettlers, after mature deliberation in their common Council; because they themselves will certainly be the most competent judges of their own fituation and affairs; and, of course, will be beft able to propose the most effectual temporary measures and expedients for their own fafety and welfare.

But whatever alterations they may hereafter think neceffary, or more conducive to their happiness or profit, they must be careful not to adopt any regu

lations

lations that are at all inconfiftent with the fundamental principles of the Common Law of England; because the majority of the fettlers have been fent out at the expence of the British Government, which is reftrained by the fundamental and unalterable principles of the British state, from eftablishing or promoting any form of government, even in the moft diftant part of the world, that is at all inconfiftent with its own excellent conftitution either in church or ftate: and therefore it is not only the Common Law of England which the fettlers ought, of right, to adoptand retain; but, for the fame reason, they must be careful alfo not to establish any Religion that is inconfiftent with the religious Eftablishment of England, though, as individuals, they are certainly entitled to a perfect liberty of confcience, and to a free exercife of their feveral modes of worship in private affemblies; but not as public, or equal establishments. For the Common Law of England, and the established Religion of England, are really more clofely connected together

than

than is either generally conceived by the good people of England at large, or than is ordinarily apprehended even by the learned profeffors themfelves, of the two excellent establishments; both of them being built on the very fame principal foundations which were laid by THE LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, for the correction and limitation of all other foundations, viz. NATURAL AND REVEALED RELIGION. Let not the meanest and most ignorant member of the new fettlement defpair of obtaining a fufficient comprehenfion of all that is neceffary for him to know, either of the only Religion, or of the only civil Polity which the government of England may lawfully favour and eftablith, if he will but fincerely endeavour to exert and improve his natural knowledge of Good and Evil, and to compare and difcern Right from Wrong, and Truth from Falsehood. For fuch a manly exertion of natural reafon or confcience is properly NATU RAL RELIGION, the first foundation of our Common Law, that by which we are required to difcern justice from injuftice,

equity

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