The part of the system, which provides that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, was adopted by a great majority of the convention, and without much debate,--however, there were some members so unfashionable as to think that a belief of the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers, and that in a Christian country it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism.

The seventh article declares, that the ratification of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the States ratifying the same.

There were some members so unfashionable as to think that a belief of the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers
It was attempted to obtain a resolve that if seven States, whose votes in the first branch should amount to a majority of the representation in that branch, concured in the adoption of the system, it should be sufficient, and this attempt was supported on the principle, that a majority ought to govern the minority;—but to this it was objected that although it was true, after a constitution and form of government is agreed on, in every act done under and consistent with that constitution and form of government, the act of the majority, unless otherwise agreed in the constitution, should bind the minority, yet it was directly the reverse in originally forming a constitution, or dissolving it—That in originally forming a constitution, it was necessary that every individual should agree to it to become bound thereby—and that when once adopted it could not be dissolved by consent, unless with the consent of every individual who was party to the original agreement—That in forming our original federal government every member of that government, that is each State, expressly consented to it;—that it is a part of the compact made and entered into in the most solemn manner, that there should be no dissolution or alteration of that federal government without the consent of every State, the members of, and parties to the original compact; that therefore no alteration could be made by the consent of a part of the States, or by the consent of the inhabitants of a part of the States, which could either release the States so consenting from the obligation they are under to the other States, or which could in any manner become obligatory upon those States that should not ratify such alterations.—Satisfied of the truth of these positions, and not holding ourselves at liberty to violate the compact, which this State had solemnly entered into with the others, by altering it in a different manner from that which by the same compact is provided and stipulated, a number of the members and among those the delegation of this State opposed the ratification of this system in any other manner than by the unanimous consent and agreement of all the States.

By our original articles of confederation any alterations proposed are in the first place to be approved by Congress.—Accordingly as the resolutions were originally adopted by the convention, and as they were reported by the committee of detail, it was proposed that this system should be laid before Congress for their approbation;—but, Sir, the warm advocates of this system fearing it would not meet with the approbation of Congress, and determined, even though Congress and the respective State legislatures should disapprove the same, to force it upon them, if possible, through the intervention of the people at large moved to strike the words "for their approbation" and succeeded in their motion; to which, it being directly in violation of the mode prescribed by the articles of confederation for the alteration of our federal government, a part of the convention, and myself in the number, thought it a duty to give a decided negative.

Agreeable to the articles of confederation entered into in the most solemn manner, and for the observance of which the States pledged themselves to each other, and called upon the Supreme Being as a witness and avenger between them, no alterations are to be made in those articles unless after they are approved by Congress, they are agreed to and ratified by the legislature of every State; but by the resolve of the convention this constitution is not to be ratified by the legislatures of the respective States, but is to be submitted to conventions chosen by the people, and if ratified by them is to be binding.

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