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By Seth Bartley

Good Day and blessings from the Creator YHWH.


As I have engaged in studies with my personal focus in faith and spirituality (as well as those within my vocational focus: civics and education), I have run across several interesting and invigorating documents.  One of the more intriguing works is A Letter Concerning Toleration written in the year of our Lord 1689, by theologian and philosopher John LockeW.

Some may remember Locke’s name from my previous article The Death of Post-modernism.  He was one of the leading voices of the Enlightenment EraW and was one of largest sources the American Founders looked to when framing our nation (the first source being the Scriptures).


I encourage everyone to read Locke’s work: A Letter Concerning Toleration, and to that end I will be providing a special version of that work here on Faith and Conviction.  One of my goals when writing articles has been to analyze faith based works (see article: Introductions) in an easy-to-understand style.  In this case, I have something special in mind.  Over the next several months I will offer a modern-language version of “A Letter Concerning Toleration.”

In addition, you will see very little of “me”. In the spirit of letting Mr. Locke speak with his own voice, and in the style of Benjamin FranklinW, I will author this translation under the pseudonym “John”.


I chose to use The Online Library of Liberty as the source document for this project; using their information for A Letter Concerning Toleration.

May the LORD bless you and have a good day.



The John Letters:  Table of Contents

Concerning Toleration:
Priorities of the Church
Reinforcing Church Identity
What Is Civil Authority?
What Is Church Authority?

The Duty to Toleration:
What the Church Must Accept
A Humble Church
What the State Must Accept
A Humble State

The Limits of Toleration:
Worldly versus Holy Worship
Commanded versus Preferred Worship
State Prohibition of Religion
State Enforcement of Morality

Law of Toleration:
The Limits of Toleration
The Duty To Toleration
Concerning Toleration