In his speech, Moses Seixas began by comparing Washington
to several outstanding biblical figures, and then praised
the United States for its embrace of religious freedom.
as we hitherto have been of the invaluable rights of free
citizens, we now, (with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty
Disposer of all events) behold a Government (erected by the
Majesty of the people) a Government which to bigotry gives
no sanction, to persecution no assistance -- but generously
affording to All liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship
-- deeming every one, of whatever nation, tongue, or language
equal parts of the great governmental machine. . . .
For all the blessings of civil and religious liberty which
we enjoy under an equal and benign administration, we desire
to send up our thanks to the Antient of days, the great
Preserver of Men -- beseeching Him that the Angel who conducted
our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised
land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties
and dangers of this mortal life -- and when like Joshua
full of days, and full of honor, you are gathered to your
Fathers, may you be admitted into the heavenly Paradise
to partake of the water of life and the tree of immortality.
. . .
In the following excerpt from Washington's letter, he rejects
the idea of "toleration" for the more democratic one of "equality."
. . . .It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as
if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that
another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.
For happily the government of the United States, which gives
to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires
only that they who live under its protection should demean
themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions
their effectual support.