Wordservice.org home


    State Constitutions

New Yorks original constitution is written in a slightly different manner than the rest of the thirteen original colonies. Most of the other constitutions directly acknowledge that their frame of Government and their choice of  leaders is to be directly founded on the principles laid out in the Bible. New York instead uses the term "the laws of nature and natures God" and the "common law" of England and Great Briton to describe the laws and principles on which their state is to be founded. The term "the laws of nature and nature's God" was and still is a descriptive term of the Bibles teachings on how things naturally work, how human beings are to relate, right and wrong and government. English common law was governing principles and the statuary law that had developed in Great Briton over the proceeding centuries based on the laws of nature and natures God.  Of course the kings of England using their imperial church constantly violated these laws which caused much blood letting over those centuries in that land. In reality the revolutionary war was a continuation of those wars that sought to establish a rule of law found in the Bible verses the rule of men as exemplified in Kings. These terms show the religious nature and religious understanding  the representative of New York had in writing their original constitution. No different than the other states constitutions who's language is a little bit more direct.

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;" 

XXXV. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same. That such of the said acts, as are temporary, shall expire at the times limited for their duration, respectively. That all such parts of the said common law, and all such of the said statutes and acts aforesaid, or parts thereof, as may be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of Christians or their ministers, or concern the allegiance heretofore yielded to, and the supremacy, sovereignty, government, or prerogatives claimed or exercised by, the King of Great Britain and his predecessors, over the colony of New York and its inhabitants, or are repugnant to this constitution, be, and they hereby are, abrogated and rejected. And this convention doth further ordain, that the resolves or resolutions of the congresses of the colony of New York, and of the convention of the State of New York, now in force, and not repugnant to the government established by this constitution, shall be considered as making part of the laws of this State; subject, nevertheless, to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State may, from time to time, make concerning the same.

XXXVIII. And whereas we are required, by the benevolent principles of rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes have scourged mankind, this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed, within this State, to all mankind: Provided, That the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

XXXIX. And whereas the ministers of the gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function; therefore, no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall, at any time hereafter, under any presence or description whatever, be eligible to, or capable of holding, any civil or military office or place within this State.

To view the entire constitution follow this hyperlink.

The Constitution of New York 1777

© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2013

Background by: Wendy's Backgrounds and More