The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1

70

Constitutive Acts

The moment has arrived to apply these principles, and to open the eyes
of tile Mexicans to the torrent of light which they send forth. They have
declared, that neither force, prejudices, nor superstition shall be the regulators
of their government. They have declared, with a philosophical
wriler, that, after having verified with Newton the secrets of nature, defined
with Rousseau and Montesquieu the principles of society, and fixed
their basis, extended with Columbus the superficies of the known globe,
arrested with Franklin the lightning of the clouds, and given it direction,
and given, with other creating geniuses, an indestructible life and unlimited
extension to the productions of man. Finally, that after having
united by a thousand ties, of commerce and social relations, they can no
longer tolerate any other government than that which is analogous to
such an order, created by so great and so precious acquisitions. The
elevation of character which the American people has acquired, does not
permit them again to bend their knees before despotism and prejudice,
always fatal to the welfare of nations.
But in the midst of this progress of civilisation, our country requires
of us great sacrifices and a religious respect for morality. Your representatives
inform you, that if you wish to place yourself on a level with
the happy republic 6f our neighbors to the North, it is necessary, that
you should elevate yourself to the lofty height of civic and moral virtues,
which characterise that singular people. This is the sole basis of
true liberty, and the best guarantee of your rights, and the permanency
of your Constitution. The faithful observance of promises, the love of
labor, the education of youth, respect for your fellow men, these, Mexicans,
are the sources whence your own happiness and that of your descendants
must emanate. WTithout these virtues, without due obedience
to law and authority, without a profound respect for our admirable religion,
we will in vain possess a code of liberal maxims; in vain boast
of good laws, and in vain proclaim a sacred liberty.
The General Congress also expects from the patriotism and activity
of the authorities and corporations of the Federation. as well as from
the individuals of the States, that they will use their best endeavors to
establish and to consolidate our new-born institutions. But if instead
of confining themselves to the sphere of their attributes, they endeavour
to go beyond it: if instead of setting an example, by a just observance
of the constitution and general laws, they endeavor to elude their accomplishiment
by interpretations and subterfuges, the offspring of our
scolastic education: in such an event we already renounce the right of
being free, and succumb easily to the caprice of a tyrant national or
foreign, who will introduce among us the peace of the sepulchre and ths
calm of a prison.
To you, therefore, legislators of the states, it belongs to develop the
system of our fundamental law, the corner stone of which is the exercise
of public and private virtue. The wisdom of your laws will shine
forth in their justice and utility; and their accomplishment will be the
result of a severe vigilance on the manners. Inculcate, therefore, on
your constituents the eternal rules of morality and public order; teach
them religion without fanaticism, the love of liberty without exaltation;
the most inviolable respect for the rights of others, which is the
foundation of human associations. Marats and Robespierres have elevated
themselves among their fellow citizens by proclaiming these prin(70)

Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed September 15, 2014.