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The DANG-DInGIE American

aka,,The Evil White Man

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Whut say TeeJay??

Examining the Danbury & Cooper Letters with The DANG-DInGIE American


Roy Harbin


An examination of 2 Thomas Jefferson letters that many use as validation for advocating instituting legislation prohibiting free exercise of a persons 'natural right' to act according to their beliefs and express their convictions accordingly,,in peaceful non violent fashions.

(Instigated into existance by reactions to comments made by 'michaelbrown200' in this thread at Excites Political Board: )



After getting tired of seeing the letters Thomas Jefferson wrote to Dr.Cooper and The Danbury Congregation being used so often by so many to claim that the line “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” means there can be laws made restricting an individuals exercise of their religion up to simply keeping related materials or items conveniently and conspicuously at hand,,and including whether or not they can exhibit such in their character,persona and speech,,I decided to do an 'examination' of them to see exactly what the missives say regarding the issue,,for myself.

Yeah,,as far as I can recall,,I had never read them untill about a week before this writing.(4/24/08-3:15a)

Allthough,,the way I did read stuff as a kid,,I am certain the chances that I at least skimmed through them somewhere along the way are pretty high.

Anyway,,I heard both sides of the argument,,repeatedly,,way before I actually examined them for myself and was surprised that anyone who reads them can think the wording of either allows for advocating federal laws to be made concerning religious matters,,either for,,or against any particular religion since the 'wall' would be for the express purpose of inhibiting exactly that.

To me,,Jefferson was obviously an advocate of the 'state and/or counties',,read that as 'local societal community' as opposed to 'federal government' deciding what the 'constituants' in them would consider morally and ethically appropriate for their local laws to regulate so speaking as President would force him to address it from the position of not being able to do something more than constitutional provisions allowed for.After all,,the 'religion' is in the individual minds of the people who make up the states varied offices and positions and is therefore what actually constitutes 'state'.To form and maintain such a 'wall' between 'religion and state would therefore constitute dividing an 'individual' from 'freely exercising' their religion since 'religion' invariably displays itself in character,persona,ethics and morality which influence any and all decisions made by humans,,whether it be either individually or as part of a group.

(For a better understanding of what I mean by that,,please see: )

Yet,,the reading of them brought to my attention that many may simply take someone elses word for what Jefferson 'meant' since the language he used is not only old,,but requires a larger vocabulary than is common for the average person these days.

I have been 'graced' with one of those but I have placed pertinent reference notes at the end of the Danbury 'examination' for the convenience of those with an average vocabulary that knows the value of validating a claim.(Hey,,I even had to make sure of a few.I ain't no Brainiac or nothing,,I just have a lot of space taken up in my head by words and their definitions.Thank God a human brain has like,,a gajillion terabytes of storage space,,right?)And a couple of links at the end of the Cooper one.Coopers was not couched(To word in a certain manner; phrase/v;trans/ /first definition )in quite the same verbiage(manner or style of expressing something in words; wording/ /the second definition) as the Danbury letter.

Of course,,gleaning understanding of the concepts exposed by defining the words is still a thing no one can really teach another,,and I ain't no teacher anyway,,so please just read the below and consider for yourself if anything in them indicates 'federal legislation prohibiting free exercise of natural rights in regards to social duties' as endowed by a Creator,in America,,is something Jefferson advocated


Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association

To Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge and Others, a Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association,

in the State of Connecticut. January 1, 1802.

by Thomas Jefferson


~Gentlemen, —

~ The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction.~

He is simply saying,,your 'favorable approval' made me feel good,,Or,,what you said about me satisfies me.

~ My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.~

His job calls for a loyal and ambitious approach to doing what those who he represents want him to.The more they are convinced that he is doing exactly as they want,,the happier he is to do his job.

~ Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship,~

Since he believes,,like the Danbury folks do,,that religion is a personal and private matter,,that it isn't anyones business who,,or what,,a person believes in and/or worships,,or by extension,,doesn't as the case may be,,and that person owes no person any explanation for or over it,,except their own personal highest arbiter of truth and justice,,or their plate of spaghetti.

~ that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions,~

,,and,,as they do,,laws are to regulate moral and ethical types of behaviour towards others (& vise versa),,not what is thought,,or by extension,,is said as opposed to 'done'.

~ I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.~

,,he thinks with the highest possible respect,,with at least a little sprinkle of awe thrown in,,,the fact that all Americans agreed that no laws would be made to help or hinder,,as in have nothing to do with it,,in any way,,except as he stated previously where the 'religion' goes beyond ones self and touches adversely on another persons rights.And that act formed an uncrossable boundary protecting religion from 'legislation',,not instituting legislation concerning religion being excercised unhindered. Yes,, excercised implies actions.

~ Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.~

In keeping with what all the American people agreed they wanted for the sake of being able to act as each felt was in keeping with their own individual 'beliefs' regarding their 'religion' and how they perform it's associated duties,,he will be glad to see those desires carried out which give a person 'natural,,as in endowed' rights while that person totally believes his obligations to the community,,as determined by his beliefs can not be bound by laws,,since it is his natural right to do such.

(This does not dismiss,deny nor reject 'suitable punishment' for any behaviour which infringes on another persons 'equally natural' rights in accordance to 'social strictures'.)

~ I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man,~

He returns the nice prayers prayed for him to the 'common' God of mankind,,,

~ and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.~

,,and tells them to tell themselves and their group that he has a lot of respect for them and thinks they are pretty cool.

( Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802; from Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: Writings, New York: Library of America, 1994, p. 510. )



to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration*


approval; commendation;official approval or sanction;An expression of warm approval; praise;Official approval


strict or thorough in the performance of duty;true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.;steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant;reliable, trusted, or believed.


full of, characterized by, or due to zeal; ardently active, devoted, or diligent.


strict observance of promises, duties, etc.;loyalty;adherence to fact or detail;accuracy; exactness


having supreme rank, power, or authority;supreme; preeminent; indisputable;greatest in degree; utmost or extreme;being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc.;efficacious; potent


a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration;the outward manifestation of this feeling;a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy;to regard or treat with reverence; venerate


An act of employing or putting into play; use;The discharge of a duty, function, or office;An activity having a specified aspect;


pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations;seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious;of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society;living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation;of or pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community;noting or pertaining to activities designed to remedy or alleviate certain unfavorable conditions of life in a community, esp. among the poor;*


something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation;the binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; moral or legal obligation;an action or task required by a person's position or occupation; function;the respectful and obedient conduct due a parent, superior, elder, etc;a task or chore that a person is expected to perform:


to present formally for acceptance; make formal offer of;to offer or proffer


the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect;


a positive declaration intended to give confidence;




This one is a bit lengthy as it has the excerpts from the common-place book of Jeffersons concerning English Law.

Of course,,that is to be expected since that is what the subject matter is,,English Laws and whether or not they are based on the Christian religion.


~Letter to Thomas Cooper

Jefferson's letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, from Monticello, February 10, 1814.

~ Dear Sir, — In my letter of January 16, I promised you a sample from my common-place book,~

He's telling the fellow he is now sharing something from a book he wrote,,in accord with a previous commitment to do so.

~ of the pious disposition of the English judges, to connive at the frauds of the clergy, a disposition which has even rendered them faithful allies in practice.~

The subject of the book is 'corrupt' judges and frauds among the clergy,,in England.

Not America.

~When I was a student of the law, now half a century ago,~

That would be 50 years before 1814 while he was a student at William and Mary College.That would be 1764.

He was born in 1743.

Got a law degree in 1767.

So he wrote the book around the age of 20 or so.

(Too bad you can't become a lawyer the same way today.)

~ after getting through Coke Littleton, whose matter cannot be abridged, I was in the habit of abridging and common-placing what I read meriting it, and of sometimes mixing my own reflections on the subject.~

He's saying that the matters expounded in Coke Upon Littleton: The First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England, or, A Commentarie upon Littleton, not the name of a Lawyer onely, but of the Law it self, orginally published in 1628 by the Society of Stationers, London,are too weighty to shorten,,even though at the time he had taken to making shortened summaries of matters he had an interest in,,writing them in 'a common-place book' and in which he sometimes added a little commentary.

~ I now enclose you the extract from these entries which I promised.~

Yet,,he has enclosed some of those 'summaries/notes' pertaining to the matter anyway,,since he said he would.

~ They were written at a time of life when I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.~

Here,,he is reminding Cooper that he wrote it when he was 'young',,

~ This must be the apology, if you find the conclusions bolder than historical facts and principles will warrant. Accept with them the assurances of my great esteem and respect.~

,,so,,if Cooper doesn't agree,,then take the fact that Jefferson was young as a reason and an 'aplogetic excuse' for any disagreement discovered.


~Common-place Book

873. In Quare imp. in C. B. 34, H. 6, fo. 38, the def. Br. of Lincoln pleads that the church of the pl. became void by the death of the incumbent, that the pl. and J. S. each pretending a right, presented two several clerks; that the church being thus rendered litigious, he was not obliged, by the Ecclesiastical law to admit either, until an inquisition de jure patronatus, in the ecclesiastical court: that, by the same law, this inquisition was to be at the suit of either claimant, and was not ex-officio to be instituted by the bishop, and at his proper costs; that neither party had desired such an inquisition; that six months passed whereon it belonged to him of right to present as on a lapse, which he had done. The pl. demurred. A question was, How far the Ecclesiastical law was to be respected in this matter by the common law court? ~

As can be seen here,,once you get past the 'legaleeze',,a question of which has dominance,,religious,,or secular law.

In this case,,it being England,,the entire matter was rooted in and revolved around 'British laws of the time' and the disparate claims made regarding their formation and foundations.

~and Prisot C. 3, in the course of his argument uses this expression, "A tiels leis que ils de seint eglise ont en ancien scripture, covient a nous a donner credence, car ces common ley sur quel touts manners leis sont fondes: et auxy, sin, nous sumus obliges de conustre nostre ley; et, sin, si poit apperer or a nous que lievesque ad fait comme un ordinary fera en tiel cas, adong nous devons ces adjuger bon autrement nemy," &c. It does not appear that judgment was given. Y. B. ubi supra. S. C. Fitzh. abr. Qu. imp. 89. Bro. abr. Qu. imp. 12. Finch mistakes this in the following manner: "To such laws of the church as have warrant in Holy Scripture, our law giveth credence," and cites the above case, and the words of Prisot on the margin. Finch's law. B. 1, ch. 3, published 1613. Here we find "ancien scripture" converted into "Holy Scripture," whereas it can only mean the ancient written laws of the church. It cannot mean the Scriptures, 1, because the "ancien scripture" must then be understood to mean the "Old Testament" or Bible, in opposition to the "New Testament," and to the exclusion of that, which would be absurd and contrary to the wish of those |P1323|p1 who cite this passage to prove that the Scriptures, or Christianity, is a part of the common law.~

Here Jefferson was explaining how Prisot,,using French,,arives at the conclusion that there was no judgement given.And how Finch made a mistake which many take as definitive and leads to a false conclusion that,,due to it's inherent logic flaws could not be suitable to advance the case that English laws are rooted in Judeo-Christian teachings.

~2. Because Prisot says, "Ceo [est] common ley, sur quel touts manners leis sont fondes." Now, it is true that the ecclesiastical law, so far as admitted in England, derives its authority from the common law. But it would not be true that the Scriptures so derive their authority.~

He states plainly here that the whole matter is in reference to 'religious' law being synonymous with 'common law' in England,,so far as it is admitted.

~ 3. The whole case and arguments show that the question was how far the Ecclesiastical law in general should be respected in a common law court. And in Bro. abr. of this case, Littleton says, "Les juges del common ley prendra conusans quid est lax ecclesiae, vel admiralitatis, et trujus modi."

Here he brings in the 'unabridgable' Littleton.

~4. Because the particular part of the Ecclesiastical law then in question, to wit, the right of the patron to present to his advowson, was not founded on the law of God, but subject to the modification of the lawgiver, and so could not introduce any such general position as Finch pretends. Yet Wingate [in 1658] thinks proper to erect this false quotation into a maxim of the common law, expressing it in the very words of Finch, but citing Prisot, wing. max. 3. Next comes Sheppard, [in 1675,] who states it in the same words of Finch, and quotes the Year-Book, Finch and Wingate. 3. Shepp. abr. tit. Religion. In the case of the King v. Taylor, Sir Matthew Hale lays it down in these words, "Christianity is parcel of the laws of England." 1 Ventr. 293, 3 Keb. 607. But he quotes no authority, resting it on his own, which was good in all cases in which his mind received no bias from his bigotry, his superstitions, his visions above sorceries, demons, &c.~

He runs down how the 'error' trickled down intil it became distilled as,,"Christianity is parcel of the laws of England." by Hale in King vs Taylor and points out how he feels that Hale had a fine mind when it wasn't listeneing to superstitons and bigotries.

~ The power of these over him is exemplified in his hanging of the witches. So strong was this doctrine become in 1728, by additions and repetitions from one another, that in the case of the King v. Woolston, the court would not suffer it to be debated, whether to write against Christianity was punishable in the temporal courts at common law, saying it had been so settled in Taylor's case, ante 2, stra. 834; therefore, Wood, in his Institute, lays it down that all blasphemy and profaneness are offences by the common law, and cites Strange ubi supra. Wood 409. And Blackstone [about 1763] repeats, in the words of Sir Matthew Hale, that "Christianity is part of the laws of England," citing Ventris and Strange ubi supra.~

He makes his reasonings for such known by citing the mans 'pogrom' against 'strange people' and how 'the idea' was nourished through additions and repetitions until it became considered moot for a court to even consider any other way of dealing with the matter 40 years after the first mistake occured.

~4. Blackst. 59. Lord Mansfield qualifies it a little by saying that "The essential |P1324|p1 principles of revealed religion are part of the common law." In the case of the Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 1767. But he cities no authority, and leaves us at our peril to find out what, in the opinion of the judge, and according to the measure of his foot or his faith, are those essential principles of revealed religion obligatory on us as a part of the common law.

He gives a kudo to Mansfield while making it left handed by pointing out that Mansfield still left it too vague to be of much use.

~Thus we find this string of authorities, when examined to the beginning, all hanging on the same hook, a perverted expression of Prisot's, or on one another, or nobody. Thus Finch quotes Prisot; Wingate also; Sheppard quotes Prisot, Finch and Wingate; Hale cites nobody; the court in Woolston's case cite Hale; Wood cites Woolston's case; Blackstone that and Hale; and Lord Mansfield, like Hale, ventures it on his own authority.

This was a re-iteration,,plainer and more succinct,,of the previous 'trickle down' illustration which culminates in another 'individual' stating such authoritatvely without any logical validation

~In the earlier ages of the law, as in the year-books, for instance, we do not expect much recurrence to authorities by the judges, because in those days there were few or none such made public. But in latter times we take no judge's word for what the law is, further than he is warranted by the authorities he appeals to. His decision may bind the unfortunate individual who happens to be the particular subject of it; but it cannot alter the law. Though the common law may be termed "Lex non Scripta," yet the same Hale tells us "when I call those parts of our laws Leges non Scriptae, I do not mean as if those laws were only oral, or communicated from the former ages to the latter merely by word. For all those laws have their several monuments in writing, whereby they are transferred from one age to another, and without which they would soon lose all kind of certainty. They are for the most part extant in records of pleas, proceedings, and judgments, in books of reports and judicial decisions, in tractates of learned men's arguments and opinions, preserved from ancient times and still extant in writing." Hale's H. c. d. 22. Authorities for what is common law may therefore be as well cited, as for any part of the Lex Scripta, and there is no better instance of the necessity of holding the judges and writers to a declaration of their authorities than the present; where we detect them endeavoring to make law where they found none, and to submit us at one stroke to a whole system, no particle of which has its foundation in the common law.~

He describes how illogical the matter is based simply on Hales 'conradictory' assertion regarding how 'laws' are judged to be sound based on 'precedent' as well as 'written records',,Lex Scripta.

~For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law, or lex non scripta, and commences that of the statute law, or Lex Scripta. This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here, then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it. If it ever was adopted, therefore, into the common law, it must have been between the introduction of Christianity and the date of the Magna Charta. But of the laws of this period we have a tolerable collection by Lambard and Wilkins, probably not perfect, but neither very defective; and if any one chooses to build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost, it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.~

Who can argue with that logic?

But,,what does it have to do with America?

~ Another cogent proof of this truth is drawn from the silence of certain writers on the common law. Bracton gives us a very complete and scientific treatise of the whole body of the common law. He wrote this about the close of the reign of Henry III., a very few years after the date of the Magna Charta. We consider this book as the more valuable, as it was written about fore gives us the former in its ultimate state. Bracton, too, was an ecclesiastic, and would certainly not have failed to inform us of the adoption of Christianity as a part of the common law, had any such adoption ever taken place. But no word of his, which intimates anything like it, has ever been cited. Fleta and Britton, who wrote in the succeeding reign (of Edward I.), are equally silent. So also is Glanvil, an earlier writer than any of them, (viz.: temp. H. 2,) but his subject perhaps might not have led him to mention it.~

More 'reasons' that buttress the assertion that IF such were the case,,someone,,especially a few of the above,,would most certainly have mentioned the event.

~ Justice Fortescue Aland, who possessed more Saxon learning than all the judges and writers before mentioned put together, places this subject on more limited ground. Speaking of the laws of the Saxon kings, he says, "the ten commandments were made part of their laws, and consequently were once part of the law of England; so that to break any of the ten commandments was then esteemed a breach of the common law, of England; and why it is not so now, perhaps it may be difficult to give a good reason." Preface to Fortescue Aland's reports, xvii. Had he proposed to state with more minuteness how much of the scriptures had been made a part of the common law, he might have added that in the laws of Alfred, where he found the ten commandments, two or three other chapters of Exodus are copied almost verbatim. But the adoption of a part proves rather a rejection of the rest, as municipal law. We might as well say that the Newtonian system of philosophy is a part of the common law, as that the Christian religion is.~

He points out here that,,since only some parts were included then all un-included parts are not accepted.Of course,,he is referring to the 'laws of the Saxon kings' at this point.

~ The truth is that Christianity and Newtonianism being reason and verity itself, in the opinion of all but infidels and Cartesians, they are protected under the wings of the common law from the dominion of other sects, but not erected into dominion over them.~

This statement of his not only makes it plain how the laws of England 'protect Christianity' and others yet places none in any superior position than another,,but,,it also actually displays T.J.'s own personal understanding of the truth of the matter.I suppose in a 'more perfect world' this line would end any debate over his beliefs regarding Christianity.

~ An eminent Spanish physician affirmed that the lancet had slain more men than the sword. Doctor Sangrado, on the contrary, affirmed that with plentiful bleedings, and draughts of warm water, every disease was to be cured. The common law protects both opinions, but enacts neither into law. See post. 879.~

Now,,that is rather intriguing.T.J.'s uses medical practices as an analogy for 'religious' practices.

All of the following convinces me,,based on what's wrote,,that the 'English system' got highjacked to further the 'persecution' of certain persons for some other reason than 'justice,and equity' like perhaps an overbalanced zeal for adhering to their own particular religious convictions.

~879. Howard, in his Contumes Anglo-Normandes, 1.87, notices the falsification of the laws of Alfred, by prefixing to them four chapters of the Jewish law, to wit: the 20th, 21st, 22d and 23d chapters of Exodus, to which he might have added the 15th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, v. 23, and precepts from other parts of the scripture. These he calls a hors d'oeuvre of some pious copyist. This awkward monkish fabrication makes the preface to Alfred's genuine laws stand in the body of the work, and the very words of Alfred himself prove the fraud; for he declares, in that preface, that he has collected these laws from those of Ina, of Offa, Aethelbert and his ancestors, saying nothing of any of them being taken from the Scriptures. It is still more certainly proved by the inconsistencies it occasions. For example, the Jewish legislator Exodus xxi. 12, 13, 14, (copied by the Pseudo Alfred § 13,) makes murder, with the Jews, death. But Alfred himself, Le. xxvi., punishes it by a fine only, called a Weregild, proportioned to the condition of the person killed. It is remarkable that Hume (append. 1 to his History) examining this article of the laws of Alfred, without perceiving the fraud, puzzles himself with accounting for the inconsistency it had introduced. To strike a pregnant woman so that she die is death by Exodus, xxi. 22, 23, and Pseud. Alfr. § 18; but by the laws of Alfred ix., pays a Weregild for both woman and child. To smite out an eye, or a tooth, Exod. xxi. 24-27. Pseud. Alfr. § 19, 20, if of a servant by his master, is freedom to the servant; in every other case retaliation. But by Alfr. Le. xl. a fixed indemnification is paid. Theft of an ox, or a sheep, by the Jewish law, Exod. xxii. 1, was repaid five-fold for the ox and four-fold for the sheep; by the Pseudograph § 24, the ox double, the sheep four-fold; but by Alfred Le. xvi., he who stole a cow and a calf was to repay the worth of the cow and 401 for the calf. Goring by an ox was the death of the ox, and the flesh not to be eaten. Exod. xxi. 28. Pseud. Alfr. § 21 by Alfred Le. xxiv., the wounded person had the ox. The Pseudograph makes municipal laws of the ten commandments, § 1-10, regulates concubinage, § 12, makes it death to strike or to curse father or mother, § 14, 15, gives an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, strife for strife, § 19; sells the thief to repay his theft, § 24; obliges the fornicator to marry the woman he has lain with, § 29; forbids interest on money, § 35; makes the laws of bailment, § 28, very different from what Lord Holt delivers in Coggs v. Bernard, ante 92, and what Sir William Jones tells us they were; and punishes witchcraft with death, § 30, which Sir Matthew Hale, 1 H. P. C. B. 1, ch. 33, declares was not a felony before the Stat. 1, Jac. 12. It was under that statute, and not this forgery, that he hung Rose Cullendar and Amy Duny, 16 Car. 2, (1662,) on whose trial he declared "that there were such creatures as witches he made no doubt at all; for first the Scripture had affirmed so much, secondly the wisdom of all nations had provided laws against such persons, and such hath been the judgment of this kingdom, as appears by that act of Parliament which hath provided punishment proportionable to the quality of the offence." And we must certainly allow greater weight to this position that "it was no felony till James' Statute," laid down deliberately in his H. P. C., a work which he wrote to be printed, finished, and transcribed for the press in his life time, than to the hasty scripture that "at common law witchcraft was punished with death as heresy, by writ de Heretico Comburendo" in his Methodical Summary of the P. C. p. 6, a work "not intended for the press, not fitted for it, and which he declared himself he had never read over since it was written;" Pref. Unless we understand his meaning in that to be that witchcraft could not be punished at common law as witchcraft, but as heresy. In either sense, however, it is a denial of this pretended law of Alfred. Now, all men of reading know that these pretended laws of homicide, concubinage, theft, retaliation, compulsory marriage, usury, bailment, and others which might have been cited, from the Pseudograph, were never the laws of England, not even in Alfred's time; and of course that it is a forgery. ~

His logic is flawless.His conclusion irrefutable.Those laws were never the laws of England,,not even in Alfreds time.

~Yet palpable as it must be to every lawyer, the English judges have piously avoided lifting the veil under which it was shrouded.~

This is plainly stating the obvious,,and it again makes it plainly obvious the matter concerns England and it's laws,,not American laws.

~ In truth, the alliance between Church and State in England has ever made their judges accomplices in the frauds of the clergy; and even bolder than they are.~

Here,,he couldn't have said any thing else which would have made it more plain that his subject is English law,,English Churches,,the alliance,,and complicity of each in the matter of fraud over religious laws being 'parcel' of British jurisprudence,,unless it's the very last line below.

~ For instead of being contented with these four surreptitious chapters of Exodus, they have taken the whole leap, and declared at once that the whole Bible and Testament in a lump, make a part of the common law; ante 873: the first judicial declaration of which was by this same Sir Matthew Hale. And thus they incorporate into the English code laws made for the Jews alone, and the precepts of the gospel, intended by their benevolent author as obligatory only in foro concientiæ; and they arm the whole with the coercions of municipal law. In doing this, too, they have not even used the Connecticut caution of declaring, as is done in their blue laws, that the laws of God shall be the laws of their land, except where their own contradict them; but they swallow the yea and nay together. Finally, in answer to Fortescue Aland's question why the ten commandments should not now be a part of the common law of England? we may say they are not because they never were made so by legislative authority, the document which has imposed that doubt on him being a manifest forgery.~

Yet,,just to make sure none reading this misses the point,,he said:

'Finally, in answer to Fortescue Aland's question why the ten commandments should not now be a part of the common law of England? we may say they are not because they never were made so by legislative authority, the document which has imposed that doubt on him being a manifest forgery.'

So,,how could anyone,,considering the letter was all about 'corruption' among judges and clergy in Britain,,honestly claim,,,this letter has anything whatsoever to do with Jeffersons thoughts regarding American laws,,,secular or ecclesiastical and whether there should be any form of seperation of them?




created on: 10/30/07

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