reply to post by soficrow
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
2, That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.
These are the great points on which he endeavored to reform the religion of the Jews. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.
1. That there are three Gods.
2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing.
3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its faith.
4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn
them; no virtues of the latter save.
Now, which of these is the true and charitable Christian? He who believes and acts on the simple doctrines of Jesus? Or the impious dogmatists, as
Athanasius and Calvin? Verily I say these are the false shepherds foretold as to enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but to climb up some other
way. They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teaching a counter-religion made up of the deliria of crazy imaginations, as foreign from
Christianity as is that of Mahomet. Their blasphemies have driven thinking men into infidelity, who have too hastily rejected the supposed author
himself, with the horrors so falsely imputed to him. Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole
civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and
conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the
United States who will not die an Unitarian.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Waterhouse, (26 June 1822), published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, Federal Edition, Paul
Leicester Ford, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904, Vol. 12, pp. 241–243.
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. He who follows
this steadily need not, I think, be uneasy, although he cannot comprehend the subtleties and mysteries erected on his doctrines by those who, calling
themselves his special followers and favorites, would make him come into the world to lay snares for all understandings but theirs. These metaphysical
heads, usurping the judgment seat of God, denounce as his enemies all who cannot perceive the Geometrical logic of Euclid in the demonstrations of St.
Athanasius., that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three nor the three one.
Letter to William Canby (18 September 1813).
I believe this man was a Christian.
The true meaning of the word.
Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance-Albert Einstein