Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO CHARLES THOMSON 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO CHARLES THOMSON1
Monticello, Janry. 29, 1817
My very Dear & Antient Friend,
—I learnt from your last letter, with much affliction, the severe and singular attack, your health has lately sustained, but its equally singular and sudden restoration confirms my confidence in the strength of your constitution of body and mind and my conclusions that neither has received hurt, and that you are still ours for a long time to come. We have both much to be thankful for in the soundness of our physical organization, and something for self approbation in the order and regularity of life by which it has been preserved. Your preceding letter had given me no cause to doubt the continued strength of your mind, and were it not that I am always peculiarly gratified by hearing from you, I should regret you had thought the incident with Mr. Delaplaine worth an explanation. He wrote me on the subject of my letter to you of Janry. 9, 1816, and asked me questions which I answer only to one Being. To himself, therefore, I replied: “Say nothing of my Religion: it is known to my God and myself alone; its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society the Religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.” It is a singular anxiety which some people have that we should all think alike. Would the world be more beautiful were all our faces alike? were our tempers, our talents, our tastes, our forms, our wishes, aversions and pursuits cast exactly in the same mould? If no varieties existed in the animal, vegetable or mineral creation, but all move strictly uniform, catholic & orthodox, what a world of physical and moral monotony it would be! These are the absurdities into which those run who usurp the throne of God and dictate to Him what He should have done. May they with all their metaphysical riddles appear before that tribunal with as clean hands and hearts as you and I shall. There, suspended in the scales of eternal justice, faith and works will show their worth by their weight. God bless you and preserve you long in life & health.
[1 ]From Collections of the N. Y. Historical Society, p. 267.