Following are a few more historical quotes regarding the historical background, and period discourse, of America’s founding on the principle of church state separation:

“If the Kings people be obedient and true subjects, obeying all humane lawes made by the King, our Lord the King can require no more: for men’s religion to God is betwixt God and themselves; the King shall not answer for it, neither may the King be judge between God and man.” — 1612, Thomas Helwys (co-founder of First Baptist Church in the world, in Amsterdam, Holland), A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity

“If our lord the King by his discerning judgment see that as Queen Mary by her sword of justice had no power over her subjects consciences (for then had she power to make them all Papists, and all that resisted her therein suffered justly as evil doers) neither hath our lord the King by that sword of justice power over his subjects consciences: for all earthly powers are one and the same in their several dominions.” 1612, Thomas Helwys, A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity

“An enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” 1644, Roger Williams (founder of Rhode Island), The Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Cause of Conscience

“When they [the Church] have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the Candlestick, etc., and made His Garden a wilderness as it is this day. And that therefore if He will ever please to restore His garden and Paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world, and all that be saved out of the world are to be transplanted out of the wilderness of the World.”  1644, Roger Williams, “Mr. Cotton’s Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered,” The Complete Writings of Roger Williams (New York: Russell & Russell Inc. 1963), Vol. 1, 108

“Religious matters are to be separated from the jurisdiction of the state, not because they are beneath the interests of the state but, quite to the contrary, because they are too high and holy and thus are beyond the competence of the state.”

“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”

1773, Isaac Backus, colonial Baptist from New England, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty. 

“Almighty God hath created the mind free; all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments of burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in His almighty power to do.” 1785, Thomas Jefferson, “Acts for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia”

“The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. … Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.” 1790, John Leland, Baptist leader and evangelist, “A Chronicle of His Time in Virginia,” The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland

“These establishments metamorphose the church into a creature, and religion into a principle of state, which has a natural tendency to make men conclude that Bible religion is nothing but a trick of state.” 1790, John Leland, “Right of Conscience Inalienable, and Therefore, Religious Opinions Not Cognizable By The Law,” The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland

“Is conformity of sentiments in matters of religion essential to the happiness of civil government? Not at all. Government has no more to do with the religious opinions of men than it has with the principles of mathematics. Let every man speak freely without fear–maintain the principles that he believes–worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing, i.e., see that he meets with no personal abuse or loss of property for his religious opinions. Instead of discouraging him with proscriptions, fines, confiscation or death, let him be encouraged, as a free man, to bring forth his arguments and maintain his points with all boldness; then if his doctrine is false it will be confuted, and if it is true (though ever so novel) let others credit it. When every man has this liberty what can he wish for more? A liberal man asks for nothing more of government.” 1791, John Leland, “Right of Conscience Inalienable, and Therefore, Religious Opinions Not Cognizable By The Law,” The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland

“The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.” 1797, The Treaty of Tripoli, initiated by President Washington, signed by President John Adams, and approved by the Senate of the United States

” … I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should `make no law respecting establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” 1802, Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Danbury Baptist Association

“Experience, the best teachers, has informed us that the fondness of magistrates to foster Christianity has done it more harm than persecution ever did.”1804, John Leland, “The Government of Christ a Christocracy,” The Writings of the Elder John Leland

“[I have] always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.” 1811, James Madison, in a letter “To the Baptist Churches in Neal’s Creek and on Black Creek, North Carolina,” in Letters And Other Writings of James Madison, Fourth President Of The United States, In Four Volumes, Published By the Order Of Congress, Vol. II, J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, (1865) pp 511-512

“The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence; whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks [Muslims], Pagans and Christians. Test oaths and established creeds should be avoided as the worst of evils.” 1820, The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland

“How undeniable the fact, that civil government is not founded on Christianity …. How improper, how unjust, how anti-Christian it must be, for one man or one party of men to get that kind of religion interwoven into the civil constitution, which they believe is best, under the pretence that their consciences are wounded if others do not believe like themselves. The plea of conscience, in such cases, is the art of ill design, or the effect of imposition, which none but tyrants or bigoted enthusiasts will make …. Government is the formation of an association of individuals, by mutual agreement, for mutual defence and advantage; to be governed by specific rules. And, when rightly formed, it embraces Pagans, Jews, Mahometans and Christians, within its fostering arms–prescribes no creed of faith for either of them–proscribes none of them for being heretics, promotes the man of talents and integrity, without inquiring after his religion–impartially protects all of them–punishes the man who works ill to his neighbor, let his faith and motives be what they may. Who, but tyrants, knaves and devils, can object to such government …. It is the glory of the United States, that, after Christian tyranny had raged withsavage fury for fifteen hundred years, its progress should be arrested in this land of liberty.” 1820, “Short Essays on Government,” in The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland

“I am tolerant of all creeds. Yet if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects I would meet it by political opposition. In my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. Religion and politics should not be mingled.” 1856, Millard Fillmore, 13th U.S. President, an address during the 1856 presidential election (from Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, eds., Great Quotations on Religious Freedom, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2002, p. 70.)