Aug 04 2013

Weird History: Thomas Jefferson Got Mail Just Like Mikey Gets!

Late last night I was checking my MRFF email, as I do every night, even on the weekends, to see if anything important had come in. There was one email whose subject line said simply “Dear Mr. Weinstein,” so I opened it to see if it was a real email or just something from one of the crazies. It turned out to be just another of the many emails that come into MRFF on an almost daily basis from people who are trying to save Mikey’s soul, so I ignored it as usual.

It was late at night, but I wasn’t tired, so I decided to stay up and do a little more work before going to bed. I had a couple of Jefferson letters that I needed to look up for the writing I’m going to be doing today, so I figured I’d do that to get it out of the way. As I was looking for the letters I needed, I stumbled upon an anonymous letter that Jefferson, who kept track of all of his correspondence, from the important to the ridiculous, had put in the category of “anonymous religious letter.” Curious about what this letter was, I of course had to read it, even though it had nothing to do with what I was researching.

What immediately struck me about this anonymous letter to Jefferson was that it sounded uncannily similar to the ”Dear Mr. Weinstein” email I had just read a few minutes earlier.

I saw that Jefferson had received several other letters from this same anonymous Christian who was trying to save his soul, so I naturally had to go and read those, too.

So, for the “some things never change” file, here is the “Dear Mr. Weinstein” email, followed by four letters from the anonymous Christian who was quite similarly trying to save Thomas Jefferson’s soul two hundred years ago.


From: New Hope AG <[email protected]>
Subject: Dear Mr. Weinstein…
Date: August 3, 2013 4:39:47 PM MDT
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>


ETERNITY: Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, is 5.5 miles high. If you could remove only one teaspoon of dirt from Mount Everest every 1,000 years until the entire mountain was gone, the 1st second of eternity would not have even started by the time you were finished.

Four out of five dentists recommend Trident, but ten out of every ten people die. We are all part of this ultimate statistic. Have you ever wondered what happens after someone dies? The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27 that we are all appointed to die and then face judgment. This judgment is for sin (disobedience to God’s laws). The Bible declares in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. Our sins separate us from God, who is holy and righteous. Through our God-given conscience, the 10 Commandments reveal sin to us. We know that it’s wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, and use God’s name in vain.

As a righteous judge, God cannot overlook disobedience to His laws. The judgment for anyone who dies in their sins will be eternal separation from God in a fiery place of torment called Hell. However, we can escape this judgment and inherit eternal life in Heaven because the Son of God, Jesus Christ, took the judgment for mankind’s sins upon Himself as He gave His life on the Cross at Calvary. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and is alive forevermore. Jesus Christ is the only one to walk this earth without breaking any commandments (Hebrews 4:15). The sinless blood that Jesus shed on the Cross washes away sin and is the only payment for our violation of God’s laws. We cannot earn our way to Heaven; good deeds do not outweigh bad deeds. We need the righteousness of Christ in order to be acceptable to God. John 3:16 says that God sacrificed His Son for the entire world. Regardless of things like wealth or status in life, everyone needs Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Eternal salvation is ONLY obtained by receiving Jesus Christ into your heart by faith. Call upon Him in prayer, believing that He is the Son of God who died and rose again for your sins. Confess to Jesus that you’re a sinner. Ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you, and repent (turn away) from all sin. Tell others about your trust in Jesus as your Savior, be baptized, and make Him the Lord of your life as you live by faith in Him and obedience to the Bible.

James 4:14 says that life is like a vapor; it exists for a short time and then vanishes. There is no promise of tomorrow. Receive Christ today and be prepared to meet Him when your appointed time with death comes.



June 20, 1809

Honored Sir,

After a long silence your unknown friend begs leave once more to address you, on a subject of the greatest importance. And can there be any subject, that is diserving of this name, but that one, which equally deserves & demands the attention of each & all the human family, viz. the care of the immortal part, to secure for it an inheritance in that blessed world, “where the moth nor rust cannot corrupt nor thieves break thro & steal”

Dear Sir, as you are now retired from the busy scenes in which you have long been occupied let me invite you, Sir, to take religion into your social circle, that she may animate your spirits & cheer you in the evening of your days. Respected friend, you must be sensible, that your continuance on earth will not be long, even at the longest period which is alotted to man. And doubtless, Sir, you have a something within, that tells you, that your better part will exist beyond the reach of death. The immortal mind of man can be satisfied with nothing short of God & the joys of heaven. All other contemplations are too low & groveling to occupy the attention of the soul.

The holy volume of revelation contains the most excellent and glorious promises. O that we may take hold of Christ by faith & rest entirely on him for our salvation. Then we shall not fear death but when we drop this body we shall enter with triumph into the joys of our Lord.

That this may be our happy case, is the earnest desire & sincere prayer of your friend, and humble servant





Philadelphia, April 28, 1811

Honored Sir,
Being now indulged with leisure to investigate any subject, a privilege which you did not once enjoy, permit a friend, who sincerely wishes your present peace & eternal happiness, to ask you to reexamine the evidences in favor of the christian religion. If, Sir, you will have the goodness to peruse with candor Bishop Porteus’ evidences in favor of the Christan religion, Leslies short method with the deist; Butlers Analogy & Dr. Paley’s Natural Theology. If, sir, you will peruse these books with candor I am certain you will find your reward,

I am your most devoted and very humble servant.

A friend to the Cn. Religion




District of Columbia, April 13. 1812


You will not doubt the sincerity of the writer when he assures you, that he has been upon his knees before God, during a large part of the night, beseeching the Almighty Soverign to have mercy upon our nation & save our devoted land from the horrors of war, with which we are threatned.

If God saved Nineveh when it was threatened, we know not but we may be saved by looking up to his throne of grace.

As we are assured, that all, who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, therefore, if we should not be instrumental in turning away the wrath of God from our land, yet by praying in sincerity we may save our own souls from death & hide a multitude of sins. O Sir, “prepare to meet thy God in peace.” Farewell.




August 24, 1812

Your friend, who has been long silent, desires once more to address you. And, as it may be the last time, permit him to do it with plainness & solemnity. Thousands of times your unknown friend, has addressed the Almighty Sovereign in your behalf; praying, thro Jesus Christ, our Divine Advocate, that you may be brought to embrace & enjoy, that holy religion, which is taught in the sacred volume.

Believing, that every prayer of faith is answered your unknown friend, hopes & believes, that you, Sir, will shortly embrace & openly espouse the Christian Religion. May God Almighty grant it, thro the merits and mediation of his beloved Son.

Remember, Dear Sir, that your time on earth is short. “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of Salvation.”

By embracing Religion you will give joy to angels & all good men on earth And by it you will obtain a peace in your own mind, which the world cannot give nor take away.

That you may read the sacred volume with reverence & pray devoutly for the teaching of the divine spirit is the sincere prayer of your unknown friend.


Apparently, Mikey is in very good company!



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  1. 1

    The more things change…

  2. 2

    God cannot overlook disobedience to His laws.

    Well, so much for that “omnipotent” claim.

  3. 3

    Without drawing any conclusion about Mikey == Tom, I too am fascinated as a very amateur historian by the parallels.

    Two themes keep coming through loud and clear: The first is that Paul decrees that we “are all sinners.” That is, neither Tom nor Mikey nor anyone else whilst living on earth can achieve sinlessness. The second is that no matter how badly one sins, it is never too late to “come to Jesus” and confess those sins and to be forgiven (in real time) for them. (Well, there is one “unforgivable” sin noted in the NT.)

    In other words, in Jefferson’s era no less than in Mikey’s — Xn (I noted the “Cn”) practice is:

    “sin and sin, confess and confess, atone and atone” — rinse and repeat.

    — pH

    [Yes, I am aware that Mikey is not a Christian, and I applaud him for it- pH]

  4. 4

    Pres Jefferson’s unknown friend , Mr Goodwill, writes one hell of a lot better than New Hope AG.

  5. 5
    Red-Green in Blue

    …your unknown friend, hopes & believes, that you, Sir, will shortly embrace & openly espouse the Christian Religion.

    Cue stories of Jefferson’s deathbed conversion, à la Charles Darwin, in 3… 2… 1…

  6. 6

    I get the impression that neither writer gives a damn about what is best for the unbeliever; all they want is credit for the conversion.

    And did newhopeag25647 really think that this sort of language would impress an unbeliever: The sinless blood that Jesus shed on the Cross washes away sin and is the only payment for our violation of God’s laws.

  7. 7

    You should troll these people by sending this to them as reply and withholding the who it was sent to until the very end !

  8. 8

    Cue stories of Jefferson’s deathbed conversion, à la Charles Darwin, in 3… 2… 1…

    And what Fred Clark (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/) calls the Hypothetical Bus. “But what if you decide you’ll become a Christian sometime later, and then walk out that door and get hit by a bus?” (This is a recurring motif in Jack Chick comics: no one who says they’ll “think about it later” EVER lives to the end of the comic.)

  9. 9

    There is no new thing under the sun…

  10. 10

    You’re missing the main point here, which is that Jefferson was obviously and decidedly not a Christian.

    So much for all those “histories” that claim otherwise.

  11. 11
    Chris Rodda

    Oh, I’m not missing that point at all, Kevin. I was just making a different point. I use letters like these all the time to show that the people who actually knew Jefferson knew he wasn’t a Christian!

  12. 12
    Michael Heath

    Kevin writes:

    You’re missing the main point here, which is that Jefferson was obviously and decidedly not a Christian.

    Thomas Jefferson self-identified as a Christian, he just happened to not hold orthodox beliefs.

    What we observe here is how so many Christians lament the fact other Christians aren’t “real Christians” just like them. That’s been a tradition since the start of Christianity. In fact this controversy predates the rise of Christianity that occurred during the time of the Apostles; e.g., see the gospel stories of people asking how to act and who and who was not in good with God.

  13. 13

    From the first letter to TJ:

    And doubtless, Sir, you have a something within, that tells you, that your better part will exist beyond the reach of death.

    The interesting thing to me is that Jefferson’s “better part” did live on after his corporeal death. Many today are inspired by his words and actions, whereas, notwithstanding he was anonymous, Jefferson’s correspondent has disappeared outside of his interactions with Jefferson.

    No one did or does care a whit who this chump was beyond what he wrote to Jefferson and what that reveals about Jefferson. Jefferson, who lives on and will likely do so for centuries to come.

  14. 14

    If the emails I got now were as well written as those letters, I might actually read them. They’re almost poetic.

  15. 15
    Mike Morrison

    You have to give the sender of the email you posted here SOME credit. At least they were personally attacking Mikey, and praying evil thoughts at him. It reads to be a genuine concern for his future as a fellow human being.

    You don’t have to believe in God in order to respect someone else’s sincerely held belief.

    At the very least, it was a readable and comprehensible email.

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