The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
MORAL PRINCIPLES / CALVINISTS
The wishes expressed in your last favor, that I may continue in life
and health until I become a Calvinist at least in his exclamation of,
mon Dieu! jusqu'a' quand!" would make me immortal. I can
never join Calvin in addressing his God. He was indeed an
atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was daemonism.
If ever man worshipped a false God, he did. The being described in his
five points, is not the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore, the
Creator and benevolent Governor of the world; but a daemon of
malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no God at
all, than to blaspheme Him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin.
Indeed, I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to
atheism by their general dogma, that, without a revelation, there
would not be sufficient proof of the being of a God. Now one-sixth of
mankind only are supposed to be Christians: the other five-sixths
then, who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation, are
without a knowledge of the existence of a God!
to John Adams, 11 April 1823