In his first Inaugural
Address in 1801, President Thomas Jefferson stated:
Let us, then,
with courage and confidence pursue our own federal and republican
principles....enlightened by a benign religion, professed,
indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them including
honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man;
acknowledging and adoring an overriding Providence, which by
all its dispensation proves that it delights in the happiness of man
here and his greater happiness hereafter. With all these blessings,
what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still
one thing more, fellow citizens a wise and frugal government.., which
shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own
pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the
mouth of labor the bread it has earned.... And may that Infinite
Power which rules the destinies of the universe, lead our councils to
what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and
Jefferson, while being the 3rd President (1801-1809), On March 23,
1801, Thomas Jefferson wrote from Washington, D.C. to Moses
Christian Religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the
clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and
simplicity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others
most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human
Jefferson, on April 21, 1803, wrote to Dr. Benjamin Rush, (also a signer
of the Declaration of Independence):
are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very
different from the anti-christian system imputed to me by those who
know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I
am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself.
I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished any one to
be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all
On June 17,
1804, in a letter to Henry Fry, Thomas Jefferson Writes:
the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines
of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been
On March 4, 1805, in
his Second Inaugural Address, President Thomas Jefferson declared:
I shall now enter on
the duties to which my fellow-citizens have again called me, and shall
proceed in the spirit of those principles which they have approved.... I
shall need, therefore, all the indulgence I have heretofore
need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our
forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them
in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life, who
has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His
wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in
supplications that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants,
guide their councils and prosper their measures, that whatever they do
shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship
and approbation of all nations.
In matters of religion I have
considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution
independent of the powers of the General Government. I have
therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious
exercise suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution
found them, under the direction and discipline of state and church
authorities by the several religious
Jefferson, March 4, 1805, offered this National Prayer for Peace:
God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly
beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy
favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable
ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence,
discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil
way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the
multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
A more beautiful or precious
morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that
I am a real Christian; that is to say, a disciple of the
doctrines of Jesus.
(Lives of the Presidents of the United
States, Abbott and Conwell, p. 142)
Of all the systems of
morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation,
none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.
(Thomas Jefferson's writings Vol. 8, p. 377)
The doctrines which flowed from
the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but
thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on
them. (Thomas Jefferson's writing's Volume 14,
Had the doctrines of Jesus been
preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized
world would now have been Christians. (Tyronne Edwards, D.D. The
New Dictionary of Thoughts, a Cyclopedia of Quotations, p.
I have always said, I always will
say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better
citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. Tyronne Edwards,
D.D. The New Dictionary of Thoughts, a Cyclopedia of Quotations, p.
doctrines of Jesus are simple and tend to the happiness of man.
2. There is only one
God, and He is all perfect.
3. There is a future
state of rewards and punishment.
4. To love God with
all the heart and thy neighbor as thyself is the sum of all. These are
the great points on which to reform the religion of the Jews. (The
Life of Jefferson, by Shmucher)
No one sees
with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason in its
advance toward rational Christianity, and my opinion is that if
nothing had ever been added to what flowed from His lips, the whole
world would at this day been Christian... Had there never been a
commentator there never would have been an infidel. I have
little doubt that the whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of
our Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also.
(Library of American Literature, Volume 3, p.
The precepts of
philosophy and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only.
[Jesus] pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man, erected his
tribunal in the regions of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the
fountain head. (William Linn, The Life of Thomas Jefferson, 1834, p.
On September 11,
1804, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Abigail Adams: "Nothing in the
Constitution has given them [federal judges] a right to decide for the
Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them....But, the
opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are
constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own
sphere of action, but for the legislature and the executive also, in
their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic
quotes from: America's God and Country by William J.