* So long ago as May 26, 1725, the General Court passed the following Resolve, which it is thought proper to insert at large. It is in these words, "At a Great and General Court or Assembly for his Majesty's Province of Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, begun and held at Boston, upon Wednesday May 26, 1725. the following Resolve pass'd both Houses, and was consented to by his honor the lieutenant Governor, viz.
Upon serious consideration of the great distresses that many of the ministers of the gospel within this province labour under with respect to their support or maintenance, their salaries being generally paid in the public bills of credit of this province, altho' many of the ministers contracted with their people in the time when Silver Money passed in payment; and the necessaries of life, such as cloathing, provisions, together with labour and other things, now demand so much more of the bills of credit than heretofore;
Resolved, That it is the indispensable duty of the several towns, precincts and parishes of this province, to make such additions to the salaries or main|tenance of their respective ministers, as may honourably support and encourage them in their work; and therein to have regard as well to the time of the contract between the minister and people, and the s•ec•e therein mentioned, as to the great and growing difference in the value of the bills of credit, seem what they have sometimes been. And this could do therefore most earnestly recommend the speedy and chearful practice of this duty, to the several congregations and religious assemblies within this province: And that this resolve be publick to read on the next Lord's day after the receipt thereof, in the afternoon before the congre|gation be dismiss'd; and at the anniversary meeting of the several towns or precincts in the province in the month of March next.
By order of the great and general court or assembly.
Jos••h W•lla••, Sec•▪"
Previous to the above resolve, and that justice might be done between man and man, it was enacted by government in the year 1698, that the execu|tive courts, upon the forfeiture of the penalty annexed to any agreement, covenant, contract, or other specialties—should chancer the forfeiture, and enter up judgment for the just debt and damages.—In the year 1741, the judges of the respective courts, in case of a depreciation of the emitted bills, were particularly impowered "to give judgment for so much silver as the true debt appears to be, and in want thereof for so much in said province bills, with the addition of so much more as will make amends for the depreciating said bills from their present stated value, or the value at which such other bills should be stated." In the years 1744, and 1747, additional care was taken by the General Court to prevent oppression by means of the depreciation of their emitted bills.
It will not, I believe, be disowned by any, who have made themselves ac|quainted with the character of those who constituted our General Courts in the years above specified, that they were men of wisdom, integrity, public virtue, and political skill. The specimens they have given of this, in the laws I have refer'd to, are well worthy of notice; and should like laws, which are now more loudly called for than in those times, be made by the present governing powers, I doubt not but they would carry with them effectual relief to thousands of Widows, Orphans, and others, who have been the great sufferers in this day of difficulty and distress, not hav|ing had it in their power, in common with almost all sorts of persons, to help themselves.
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