The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
MORAL PRINCIPLES / ESPOUSED BY JESUS CHRIST / COMPARED TO ANCIENT
I rejoice that you have undertaken the task of comparing the moral
doctrines of Jesus with those of the ancient Philosophers. You are so
much in possession of the whole subject, that you will do it easier
and better than any other person living. I think you cannot avoid
giving, as preliminary to the comparison, a digest of his moral
doctrines, extracted in his own words from the Evangelists, and
leaving out everything relative to his personal history and character.
It would be short and precious. With a view to do this for my own
satisfaction, I had sent to Philadelphia to get two testaments (Greek)
of the same edition, and two English, with a design to cut out the
morsels of morality, and paste them on the leaves of a book, in the
manner you describe as having been pursued in forming your Harmony.
But I shall now get the thing done by better hands.
to Joseph Priestly (Doctor), 29 January 1804