From: Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States
To: The Rev. John Hargrove, Minister of the New Church
Baltimore, Washington, 11th March, 1801
I beg leave to return you my thanks, and through you, to the Acting Committee of the New Jerusalem Church, in the city of Baltimore, for your friendly congratulations.
I deplore with you the present sanguinary and turbulent state of things in the Eastern world, and look forward to the restoration of peace, and progress of information, for the promotion of genuine charity, liberality, and brotherly kindness towards those who differ from us in opinion.
The Philanthropy which breathes through the several expressions of your letter is a pledge that you will endeavour to diffuse the sentiments of benevolence among our fellow-men, and to inculcate the important truth, that they promote their own happiness by nourishing kind and friendly dispositions towards others.
Commending your endeavours to the Being, in whose hands we are, I beg you to accept assurances of my perfect consideration and respect.
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Rev. John Hargrove Delivers New Church Sermon before Jefferson and Congress
John Hargrove (1750-1839) was one of the first New Church ministers ordained in America, and his ministerial career included several remarkable events.
On December 26th, 1802, at the invitation of President Thomas Jefferson, he delivered a sermon On the Leading Doctrines of the New Jerusalem to the President and members of Congress.
Two years later in 1804 he delivered another sermon in Washington on Christmas day—On the Second Coming of Christ, and On the Last Judgment — this time before both Houses of Congress. His 1804 sermon is currently part of the Library of Congress exhibit, ”Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.“
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