Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from [Thomas Dill], 2 May 1801

From [Thomas Dill]

May the 2d Anno Domini 1801

Dear Sir,

Your office & Calling is weighty & Important Indeed, O how much need you have of Divine pure wisdom & knowledge & understanding from god to Instruct & Counsel & direct you how to do Justly & love mercy & walk humbly with & before god & how to Execute Righteous & Just Judgment & in all your thoughts & words & Actions & motions & ways walk and Conduct, to Study & promote & Confirm promulgate And Establish the good of the common wealth in general throughout the whole American States & who is Sufficient for such a task & burden & Charge; as this to Rule & govern under god Justly & Righteously in the fear of the Great & Gracious Almighty Sovereign of the whole Universe In Such a way & manner as to be a terror to Evil Doers; & a praise to them that do well & ever to follow after Righteousness & fulfill the honourable place & Station & Relation of a Nursing father in pressing it strongly upon the Citizens in those Neighbouring American States; to do to Others as they would have others do to them; & for every man to Speak the truth at all times & in all places one to Another; & to live in love & unity & good will and Concord & harmony; furthering the wealth and outward Estate & welfare of one another, forgiving & lending freely one to another without grudging & let every man look upon the things of others as well as their own things; & always to provoke one Another to love god who is love & to love one another as themselves, & God the lord above all things else And as all the American States & the citizens; therein as under your Inspection O Strive with all your might & power to Get the people to love god for God is love & to love one another; & loose the bands of wickedness & undo the heavy burdens; and let the oppressed go free & that ye break every yoke & Deal your bread to the hungry & bring the poor that are cast out to thy house & when thou seest the Naked that thou Cover him & that thou hide not thyself from thy own flesh Never forget nor Neglect, poor widows & orphans & poor pilgrims & strangers & sojourners in the land—This commanded Duty we have from gods own mouth in the 58th Chaptr of Isaiah the 6th 7th & 8th verses; & the Rich men of this world God does not allow to wrong & Rob & oppress the poor the hireling & to pray for grace free saving regenerating grace heart purifying & soul sanctifying grace & salvation for one another from god in & through christ Jesus the lord these things is surely our duty in order to Qualify & make us worthy good citizens & Rulers so that we may enjoy the Smiles of heaven & that we may be Careful & watchful Against offending or breaking the peace with other Neighbouring Nations there is an Absolute Necessity for the punishment of profane cursing & swearing Drunkenness & Sabbath breaking And Stealing, & Cheating defrauding And exortion Avarice or covetousness luxury lasciviousness Intemperance Gluttony Extortion & Injustice & pride & vain glory; It is a great Evil to pamper the body too much in excessive eating & drinking & the Setting up of Idol Gods in the heart, when god has said thou Shalt have no other gods before me, that Righteousness & Justice & peace & love & equity may encrease & grow Spread & Abound throughout our American States; we must fear the god of heaven & keep his commands every Day as a Rule of life carefully and his everlasting gospel as a Rule of faith & practice; & in so doing we shall be a happy people both Rulers & ruled governors & governed & presidents & citizens & people Noble & Ignoble Laiyety commonality & Congress Assemblys & must observe these things herein mentioned; from

A poor Afflicted Sickly bruised Reed

RC (DLC); addressed: “To President Jefferson these with Care”; franked; endorsed by TJ as received 22 May and so recorded in SJL.

The author of the above was probably Thomas Dill of western Pennsylvania. He wrote TJ again in 1803 and 1806, signing his name both times and adding to the signature on the latter document “A poor Sickly bruised Reed.” He addressed his 1806 letter from Canonsburg and described himself as a “Stranger & Sojourner in pensylvania” (Dill to TJ, 7 Oct. 1803 and 5 Mch. 1806).

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