It is ordered, and by this Court declared; that every person within this Jurisdiction, whether Inhabitant or other shall enjoy the same justice and law that is general for this Jurisdiction which we constitute and execute one towards another, in all cases proper to our cognizance without partialities or delay.
Massachusetts, The Book of General Laws and Libertyes, "Body of Liberties" (1641)
quoted in William B. Allen, Let the Advice Be Good, 4.
This passage brings tears to my eyes because of its noble and simple beauty. These men aspired to render equal justice under law, a rare aspiration in this world, and one realized in few places today. "Have Faith in Massachusetts" said Calvin Coolidge, "In the general results, there is no place on earth where the people secure, in a larger measure, the blessings of organized government, and nowhere can those functions more properly be termed self-government."