Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Canby, 1 February 1803

From William Canby

1st of 2nd. mo. 1803—

Esteemed friend Thomas Jefferson—

having cause to acknowledg thy friendly disposition freedom of access, & excellent Natural Capacity, I have a desire to salute thee in this way—wishing thy increas of Spiritual or Divine Life, which is only to be attained thr’o inward Communion with that which is Divine, as like communicates with its like, & seeing “no Man knoweth the Father but the Son & he to whom the Son will Reveal him” it is therefore Necessary to submit to that inward manifestation of the Truth which, as sure as there is a divine Being or Prinicple, must wait upon & be communicated to his Offspring, if they will but wait upon & Nourish it. obedience to whose operation wou’d Reduce Nature in the day of his power to great a child like simplicity, so as thankfully to receive the Truth in the love of it. farewell

Wm. Canby

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 27 Feb. and “postmark Baltimore” and so recorded in SJL.

freedom of access: Canby and Dorothy Ripley met with TJ at the President’s House in May 1802 to seek his approval of a proposal to institute a school for African American girls in the capital (Vol. 37:506–7).

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