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3. According to the ordinary fate of those who attempt to enlighten and reform mankind, he fell an early victim to the jealousy and combination of the altar and the throne, at about thirty-three years of age, his reason having not yet attained the maximum of its energy, nor the course of his preaching, which was but of three years at most, presented occasions for developing a complete system of morals.
4. Hence the doctrines which he really delivered were defective as a whole, and fragments only of what he did deliver have come to us mutilated, misstated, and often unintelligible.
5. They have been still more disfigured by the corruptions of schismatising followers, who have found an interest in sophisticating and perverting the simple doctrines he taught, by engrafting on them the mysticisms of a Grecian sophist, frittering them into subtleties, and obscuring them with jargon, until they have caused good men to reject the whole in disgust, and to view Jesus himself as an impostor.
Notwithstanding these disadvantages, a system of morals is presented to us, which, if filled up in the style and spirit of the rich fragments he left us, would be the most perfect and sublime that has ever been taught by man.
The question of his being a member of the Godhead, or in direct communication with it, claimed for him by some of his followers, and denied by others, is foreign to the present view, which is merely an estimate of the intrinsic merits of his doctrines.
1. He corrected the Deism of the Jews, confirming them in their belief of one only God, and giving them juster notions of his attributes and government.
2. His moral doctrines, relating to kindred and friends, were more pure and perfect than those of the most correct of the philosophers, and greatly more so than those of the Jews; and they went far beyond both in inculcating universal philanthropy, not only to kindred and friends, to neighbors and countrymen, but to all mankind, gathering all into one family, under the bonds of love, charity, peace, common wants and common
aids. A development of this head will evince the peculiar superiority of the system of Jesus over all others.
3. The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. He pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man; erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.
4. He taught, emphatically, the doctrines of a future state, which was either doubted, or disbelieved by the Jews; and wielded it with efficacy, as an important incentive, supplementary to the other motives to moral conduct.
TO DOCTOR HUGH WILLIAMSON.
WASHINGTON April 30, 1803.
DEAR SIR,-I thank you for the information on the subject of navigation of the Herville contained in yours of the 10th. In running the late line between the Choctaws and us, we found the Amite to be about thirty miles from the Mississippi where that line crossed it, which was but a little northward of our southern boundary. For the present we have a respite on that subject, Spain having without delay restored our infracted right, and assured us it is expressly saved by the instrument of her cession of Louisiana to France. Although I do not count with confidence on obtaining New Orleans from France for money, yet I am confident in the policy of putting off the day of contention for it till we have lessened the embarrassment of debt accumulated instead of being discharged by our predecessors, till we obtain more of that strength which is growing on us so rapidly, and especially till we have planted a population on the Mississippi itself sufficient to do its own work without marching men fifteen hundred miles from the Atlantic shores to perish by fatigue and unfriendly climates. This will soon take place. In the meantime we have obtained by a peaceable appeal to justice, in four months, what we should not have obtained under seven years
of war, the loss of one hundred thousand lives, an hundred millions of additional debt, many hundred millions worth of produce and property lost for want of market, or in seeking it, and that demoralization which war superinduces on the human mind. To have seized New Orleans, as our federal maniacs wished, would only have changed the character and extent of the blockade of our western commerce. It would have produced a blockade, by superior naval force, of the navigation of the river as well as of the entrance into New Orleans, instead of a paper blockade from New Orleans alone while the river remained open, and I am persuaded that had not the deposit been so quickly rendered we should have found soon that it would be better now to ascend the river to Natchez, in order to be clear of the embarrassments, plunderings, and irritations at New Orleans, and to fatten by the benefits of the depôt a city and citizens of our own, rather than those of a foreign nation. Accept my friendly and respectful salutations.
P. S. Water line of the Herville, Amite, and to Ponchartrain, becoming a boundary between France and Spain, we have a double chance of an acknowledgment of our right to use it on the same ground of national right on which we claim the navigation of the Mobile and other rivers heading in our territory and running through the Floridas.
TO MR NICHOLSON.
WASHINGTON, May 13, 1803.
DEAR SIR,-I return you the letter of Captain Jones, with thanks for the perusal. While it is well to have an eye on our enemy's camp it is not amiss to keep one for the movements in our own. I have no doubt that the agitation of the public mind on the continuance of tories in office is excited in some degree by those who want to get in themselves. However, the mass
of those affected by it can have no views of that kind. It is composed of such of our friends as have a warm sense of the former intolerance and present bitterness of our adversaries, and they are not without excuse. While it is best for our own tranquillity to see and hear with apathy the atrocious calumnies of the presses which our enemies support for the purpose of calumny, it is what we have no right to expect; nor can we consider the indignation they excite in others as unjust, or strongly censure those whose temperament is not proof against it. Nor are they protected in their places by any right they have to more than a just proportion of them, and still less by their own examples while in power; but by considerations respecting the public mind. This tranquillity seems necessary to predispose the candid part of our fellow-citizens who have erred and strayed from their ways, to return again to them, and to consolidate once more that union of will, without which the nation will not stand firm against foreign force and intrigue. On the subject of the particular schism at Philadelphia, a well-informed friend says, "The fretful, turbulent disposition which has manifested itself in Philadelphia, originated, in some degree, from a sufficient cause, which I will explain when I see you. A re-union will take place, and in the issue it will be useful. Their resolves will be so tempered as to remove most of the unpleasant feelings which have been experienced." I shall certainly be glad to receive the explanation and modification of their proceedings; for they were taking a form which could not be approved on true principles. We laid down our line of proceedings on mature inquiry and consideration in 1801, and have not departed from it. Some removals, to wit, sixteen to the end of our first session of Congress were made on political principles alone, in very urgent cases; and we determined to make no more but for delinquency, or active and bitter opposition to the order of things which the public will had established. On this last ground nine were removed from the end of the first to the end of the second session of Con
gress; and one since that. So that sixteen only have been removed in the whole for political principles, that is to say, to make
room for some participation for the republicans. These were a mere fraud not suffered to go into effect. Pursuing our object of harmonizing all good people of whatever description, we shall steadily adhere to our rule, and it is with sincere pleasure I learn that it is approved by the more moderate part of our friends.
We have received official information that, in the instrument of cession of Louisiana to France, were these words, "Saving the rights acquired by other powers in virtue of treaties made with them by Spain;" and cordial acknowledgments from this power for our temperate forbearance under the misconduct of her officer. The French prefect too has assured Governor Claiborne that if the suspension is not removed before he takes his place he will remove it. But the Spanish Intendant has before this day received the positive order of his government to do it, sent here by a vessel of war, and forwarded by us to Natchez.
Although there is probably no truth in the stories of war actually commenced, yet I believe it inevitable. England insists on a re-modification of the affairs of Europe, so much changed by Bonaparte since the treaty of Amiens. So that we may soon expect to hear of hostilities. You must have heard of the extraordinary charge of Chace to the Grand Jury at Baltimore. Ought this seditious and official attack on the principles of our Constitution, and on the proceedings of a State, to go unpunished? and to whom so pointedly as yourself will the public look for the necessary measures? I ask these questions for your consideration, for myself it is better that I should not interfere. Accept my friendly salutations and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO GOVERNOR CLAIBORNE.
WASHINGTON, May 24, 1803.
DEAR SIR, The within being for communication to your House of Representatives, when it meets, I enclose it in this which is of a private character. The former I think had better