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Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Mathew Carey, 11 Nov. 1816 [Quote]

You ask if I mean to publish any thing on the subject of a letter of mine to my friend Charles Thompson? certainly not. I write nothing for publication, and last of all things should it be on the subject of religion. on the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind,...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 11 Jan. 1817 [Quote]

one of our fan-colouring biographers , who paints small men as very great, enquired of me lately, with real affection too, whether he might consider as authentic, the change in my religion much spoken of in some circles. now this supposed that they knew what had been my religion before, taking...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Vine Utley, 21 Mar. 1819 [Quote]

I never go to bed without an hour, or half hour’s previous reading of something moral whereon to ruminate in the intervals of sleep. but whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun. I use spectacles at night, but not necessarily in the day, unless in reading small print.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas B. Parker, 15 May 1819 [Quote]

were I to be the founder of a new sect, I would call them Apiarians, and, after the example of the bee, advise them to extract the honey of every sect. my fundamental. principle would be ... that we are to be saved by our good works which are within our power, and not by our faith which is not...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Greenleaf, 5 July 1819 [Quote]

presents his compliments to mr Greenleaf and his thanks for the pamphlet on grammar which came to hand yesterday. the torpor of age and drudgery of letterwriting give him little time to read, and little power of profiting by the advances & improvements in every branch of science. he rejoices...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 31 Oct. 1819 [Quote]

I too am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing every thing rational in moral philosophy which Greece & Rome have left us. Epictetus indeed has given us what was good of the Stoics; all beyond, of their doctrines dogmas, being hypocrisy and...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 13 Apr. 1820 [Quote]

among the sayings & discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 13 Apr. 1820 [Quote]

But while this Syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in it’s true and high light, as no imposter himself, but a great Reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with him in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of spiritualism: he...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Jacob De La Motta, 1 Sept. 1820 [Quote]

Th: Jefferson returns his thanks ... for the eloquent discourse on the Consecration of the Synagogue of Savannah ... it excites in him the gratifying reflection that his own country has been the first to prove to the world two truths, the most salutary to human society, that man can govern...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 2 Nov. 1822 [Quote]

in our village of Charlottesville there is a good degree of religion with a small spice only of fanatacism. we have four sects, but without either church or meeting house. the Court house is the common temple, one Sunday in the month to each. here episcopalian and presbyterian, methodist and...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 8 Dec. 1822 [Quote]

the pure and simple unity of the creator of the universe is now all but ascendant in the Eastern states; it is dawning in the West, and advancing towards the South; and I confidently expect that the present generation will see Unitarianism become the general religion of the United States.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 8 Dec. 1822 [Quote]

man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder is the sport of every wind. with such persons gullability which they call faith takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, 8 Jan. 1825 [Quote]

I am anxious to see the doctrine of one god commenced in our state. but the population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one Preacher well. I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by myself, altho I know there are many around me...