[23–24 December 1784]
I. Rel: not within purview of Civil Authority. tendency of Estabg. Christianity 1. to project of Uniformity 2. to penal laws for supportg. it. ————— Progres[s] of Gen: Assest. proves this tendency ————— difference between estabg. & tolerating errour—
II. True question not—Is Rel: necesy.? are Religs. Estabts. necessy. for Religion? no. 1. propensity of man to Religion. 2. Experience shews Relig: corrupted by Estabt. 3. downfal of States, mentioned by Mr. H[enry]. happened where there was Estabts. 4. Experience gives no model of Gel. Asst? 5. Case of Pa. explained—not solitary. N. J. See Const: of it. R. I. N. Y. D. ————— factions greater in S. C. 6. Case of primitive Christianity. of Reformation of Dissenters formerly.
III. Decl: Rig[hts]. 7. Progress of Religious Liberty
IV. Policy. 1. promote emigrations from State 2. prevent [immigration] into it as asylum
V. Necessity of Estabts. inferred from State of Conty. ————— true causes of disease
|1. War||common to other States &|
|2. bad laws||produce same complts. in N. E.|
Ms (DLC). Written by JM on the outer cover of a letter “Favd. by Colonel Taylor,” otherwise unidentified, with a later endorsement by JM: “Debate on the Bill for Religious Assessment.”
1. Editor Hunt assumed that JM prepared these outlines (A and B) as a single document. There is nothing to substantiate this assumption and the notes in Madison, Writings (Hunt ed.) description begins Gaillard Hunt, ed., The Writings of James Madison (9 vols.; New York, 1900–1910). description ends , II, 88–89, imply a unity that probably never existed. The circumstances make it likely that JM spoke on this subject several times, but the outline he used initially is uncertain.