James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Frederick C. Schaeffer, 3 December 1821

To Frederick C. Schaeffer

Montpr. Decr. 3. 1821

Revd. Sir

I have recd. with your letter of Novr. 19: the copy of your address at the ceremonial of laying the Corner Stone of St. Mathews Church in N. York.

It is a pleasing & persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence; and of cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with Sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction to which the genius & courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Cæsar & what is due to God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the U.S. is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting Usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious & civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, & to political prosperity. In return for your kind sentiments I tender assurances of my esteem & my best wishes.

J. M.

Draft (DLC).

Index Entries