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«I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives» - Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was a private man, and nowhere more so than in religious matters. A believer in the «eternal divorce» of religious opinion from civil authority, he was just as wary of the curtailment of individual freedom of conscience by the tyranny of public pressure, castigating the tyrants with clean hands who «altho' the laws will no longer permit them... to burn those who are not exactly of their Creed, ... raise the Hue and cry of Heresy against them, place them under the ban of public opinion, and shut them out from all the kind affections of society.» Afraid of any undue influence on other people's opinions, and jealous of any interference with his own much abused tranquility and reputation, this man who was «in a sect of my own» refrained till the end of his life from any public disclosure of his beliefs in divine matters. However, his silence did not extend to those among his closer friends whom he suspected to be receptive to his unorthodox opinions, and in addition to his correspondence with them, time -seconded by the efforts of the editors of the present volume- has preserved for us two remarkably revealing documents : «The Philosophy of Jesus», which he composed in 1804, and «The Life and Morals of Jesus», which produced about fifteen years later. These two pamphlets, the former in English, and the latter in four languages (Greek, Latin, French and English), evince Jefferson's enduring dedication to what he believed to be the restoration of Christ's authentic life and message.Read more ›