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public schools. The whole matter must be regulated by the consciences of the teachers and inhabitants of the districts, and by the general consent of the community. Statute law and school committees' regulations can enforce neither the use nor the disuse of such devotional exercises. (Ch. 2, sec. 8.) School committees may, indeed, recommend, but they can go no further. It is believed to be the general sentiment of the people of Rhode Island that this matter shall be left to the conscience of the teacher. (Pub. Schools Acts, with Rem. 1857, pp. 98, 99.) No book should be introduced into any public school by the committee containing any passage or matter reflecting in the least degree upon any religious sect, or which any religious sect would be likely to consider offensive. (Id. p. 42.) While a committee, on the examination of teachers, should not endeavor to inquire into the peculiar religious or sectarian opinions of a teacher, and should not entertain any preferences or prejudices founded on any such grounds; they ought, nevertheless, and without hesitation, to reject every person who is in the habit of ridiculing, deriding, or scoffing at religion ; for such a habit may well be supposed to betray a want of that liberality which the State encourages in religious concernments, and an incapacity to teach in the magnanimous spirit of its laws. (Id. p. 36.)

SEC. 2. CONNECTICUT. —- Although this State may have a record not altogether so clean and so free from the spirit of religious intolerance as that of Rhode Island, yet it would be very unjust to judge Connecticut

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at this day by its ancient colonial laws. (Ch. 2, sec. 4.) The history of the original colonies of which this State was formed, as well as the action of the General Assembly, after the union of these colonies, clearly establish the fact that a good common school education has ever been considered the birthright of every child of the State. In 1641, a free school was ordered to be set up in NewHaven, and “the pastor, Mr. Davenport, together with the magistrates, was directed to consider what allowance should be paid to it out of the common stock.” This is supposed to have been the first small beginning of the American system of free school education. form, the duty of educating the whole community has been recognized in Connecticut ever since. (Com. School Acts of Conn. 1864, p. 2.) All the laws of every State must be made and executed in accordance with the letter and spirit of its constitution; for that is the fundamental law, and contains the principles upon which the government of the State is founded. On examining the Constitution of Connecticut, (adopted in 1818,) we find that the Rhode Island idea of religious liberty has been almost wholly adopted in that instrument. “The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this State, provided that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State," (Const. of Conn. art. 1, sec. 3;) but it is, nevertheless, held and declared to be “the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the Universe,” (Id. art. 7, sec. 1;) and perhaps Connecticut teachers can constitutionally be required to so worship. Sec. 3.

MASSACHUSETTS.—The Constitution of this State says : “No subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate for worshiping God in the manner and seasons most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments: provided he doth not disturb the public peace or obstruct others in their religious worship.” (Const. of Mass. art. 1, sec. 2.) But “it is the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the Universe." (Ib.) “The public worship of God, and instructions in piety, religion, and morality, promote the happiness and prosperity of a people, and the security of a republican government.” (Const. of Mass. Amend. art. 11.) It would seem, therefore, that the teachers of Massachusetts might constitutionally be required not only to worship God, as in Conecticut, but to do this “publicly and at stated seasons.” The school committees are prohibited by statute (Gen. Statutes, tit. xi. ch. 38, sec. 27) from directing any schoolbooks calculated to favor the tenets of any particular sect of Christians to be purchased or used in any of the town schools. It seems to be the settled policy of the State, however, to require the use of the Bible in the public schools; in fact, since the statute of 1855, "the

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daily reading of some portion of the Bible, in the common English version,” is made obligatory. As Connecticut claims the honor of having established the first free school on the continent, so Massachusetts claims that “she, first of all, established a system of public instruction, and supported it by the essential and distinctive characteristics of a State the right and duty of taxation.” (Sec. Rep. 1861, p. 57.) Neither Massachusetts nor Connecticut, however, can dispute with Rhode Island the honor of having been the first “ to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained with a full liberty in religious concernments." (Ch. 2, sec. 8.) Rhode Island's “ foundation of happiness to all America” has certainly been adopted to a considerable extent in Connecticut and Massachusetts; but the former gives religious liberty to those only who worship God, and the latter gives it only to those who worship God “publicly and at stated seasons.”

SEC. 4. MAINE.—This State has adopted the principal features of the Rhode Island theory of religious liberty, at least in substance. No religious test can be required as a qualification for any office or trust. (Const. of Me. art. 1, sec. 3.) It seems, however, that a rule of school, requiring every scholar to read from the Protest ant version of the Bible, may be enforced. (38 Maine, 376.)

SEC. 5. NEW-HAMPSHIRE.—After setting forth some principles that harmonize perfectly with those advanced in Rhode Island, the Constitution of this State asserts and maintains as follows: “As morality and piety, rightly grounded on evangelical principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society by the institution of the public worship of the Deity, and of public instruction in morality and religion; therefore, to promote these important purposes, the people of this State have a right to empower, and do hereby fully empower, the Legislature to authorize, from time to time, the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies, within this State, to make adequate provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers, of piety, religion, and morality." (Const. of N. H. part 1, art. 6.)

SEC. 6. VERMONT.-To a declaration of religious liberty amounting to about the same in substance as that which is maintained in Rhode Island, the Constitution of this State adds the following: "Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.” (Ch. 1, art. 3.)

SEC. 7. NEW-YORK. – The “lively experiment” of Rhode Island has, it is thought, been fully adopted by the Empire State, and is, at least in substance, incorporated in the Constitution. " The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without

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