Letter to Editor, 22 January 1840

<5> I believe that all men are bound to sustane  and uphold the respective Governments in which  they reside while protected in their inherent and  in alienable rights by the Laws of such Govern ments and that Sedition and rebellion are un becoming every Citizen thus proteted and should  be punished accordingly and that all Governme nts have a right to enact such laws ass in their  own judgements are best calculated to secure the  public interest at the same time <however> holding sacred  the freedom of concience
<6> I believe that every man should be honoured  in his station Rulers and magistrates as such be ing plalaced [placed] for the protection of the inocent and  the punishment of the guilty and that to the Laws  all men owe respect and deference as with out them  peace and harmony would be supplanted by anar chy and confusion terror human Laws being in stituted for the express purposs of regulating our  interests as individuals and Nations between—  man and man and divine laws given of heav en prescribing rules on spiritual concerns for—  faith and worship both to be answered by man  to his maker
<7> I believe that rulers states and and govern ments have a right and are bound to enact  Laws for the protection of all Citizen in the free  exercise of their religious belief But I do not be lieve that they have a right in justice to deprive  Citizens of this privalege or proscribe them in their  opinions so long as a regard and reverence are is  Shown to the Laws and such religious opinions  do not justify Sedition nor conspiracy
<8> I do not believe that the commission of crime  should be punished according to the nature of the  offence that murder treason Robbery theft and the  breach of the general peace in all respects should  be punished according to their criminalty and their  tendancy to evil among men by the Laws of that Gov ernment in which the offence is committed and for  the public peace and tranquility all men should step  forward and use their ability in bringing the offenders  aggainst good laws to justice punishment
<9> I do not believe it just to mingle religious in fluence with civel government whereby one reli [p. [2]]
JS, letter, Brandywine, PA, to the editor of The Chester County Register and Examiner, 22 Jan. 1840; unidentified handwriting with signature of JS; four pages; private possession.