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In the early history of man laws were necessarily crude and few, because the race consisted of families and small communities or tribes only, who yielded willing allegiance to the head, or to the chief, and who adopted the leading will as their law; but as families and tribes increased in numbers until they became nations, the stronger minds among the people, felt the necessity of regulating all public human action by fixed laws, thus uniting people who spoke the same language under a common government. There can be no doubt that, for many centuries, in the early ages of the world, and among all its peoples, the leading mind and strong will of some one man, gave the law to the people of his vicinity; and if, at heart, he was a good man, and a well wisher of the people, he gave them as wise laws as his judgment dictated; while if he were evil, at heart, he gave them laws which would best promote his evil purposes.
An instance of the latter kind is seen in the history of Mahomet, who, while he recommended and enforced many wise and excellent laws, which were calculated to make his people temperate and in many respects discreet and good, yet recommended many others which debased them, because he desired to gratify his ambition for power, and his lusts.
An example of the former class of lawgivers may be seen in the great and earlier Jewish lawgiver Moses, who, having spent many years in acquiring a knowledge of the laws and government of Egypt, placed himself at the head of the Israelites, who were of his own kindred, and having led them out of the land of Egypt, gave to them a code of moral laws, which, considering the age of the world in which he lived, was the most remarkable, wise, and comprehensive
which was ever laid down for human action. His code was in the following:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; six days shall thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord. made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
The foregoing, which is called the Decalogue, and was revered by our ancestors, but is now almost forgotten by many of their descendants, was for many centuries the most complete and comprehensive law which had been given to man; but after many ages had passed, there arose a young Hebrew, greater than Moses, whose infinite and compre
hensive mind condensed the foregoing into the following two laws:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and mind, and soul, and strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self.
Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.
The latter is called The Golden Rule.
Justinian, the greatest of Roman law-givers, said: "The perfection of human duty is this: To injure no one; to do good unto all men, and to render unto every one his just dues."
The Constitution of any State is the supreme law of such State, and all persons within the State are bound, in law, and in good conscience, to maintain its provisions. Such Constitution is supposed to be the embodiment of the wisdom, the wishes, and of the supreme will, of all the people of the State, and that a strict enforcement of its provisions will protect them from wrong, and from the encroachments of tyranny and oppression. As the New Constitution of California differs much from that of any other State in the Union, and as it is the law which must govern the people of California, for some years at least, and is, for many reasons, worthy of a fair, careful and thorough examination, it is here with presented in full:
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. Adopted in Convention, at Sacramento, March 3, A. D. 1879; and ratified by a vote of the People on Wednesday, May 7,
We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
SECTION 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it.
SEC. 3. The State of California is an inseparable part of the American Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
SEC. 4. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference,
shall forever be guaranteed in this State; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness or juror on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.
SEC. 5. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.
SEC. 6. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted. Witnesses shall not be unreasonably detained, nor confined in any room where criminals are actually imprisoned.
SEC. 7. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate; but in civil actions three fourths of the jury may render a verdict. A trial by jury may be waived in all criminal cases, not amounting to felony, by the consent of both parties, expressed in open Court, and in civil actions by the consent of the parties, signified in such manner as may be prescribed by law. In civil actions, and cases of misdemeanor, the jury may consist of twelve, or of any number less than twelve upon which the parties may agree in open Court.
SEC. 8. Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment shall be prosecuted by information, after examination and commitment by a magistrate, or by indictment, with or without such examination and commitment, as may be prescribed by law. A grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county.
SEC. 9. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact. Indictments found, or information laid, for publications in newspapers shall be tried in the county where such newspapers have their publication office, or in the county where the party alleged to be libeled resided at the time of the alleged publication, unless the place of trial shall be changed for good cause.
SEC. 10. The people shall have the right to freely assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct