Even though Jefferson could have taken the libelous Callender to court, he refused to lower himself to that level. Instead, he turned him over to the Judge of the Universe to whom he would eventually answer. As Jefferson explained:
I know that I might have filled the courts of the United States with actions for these slanders, and have ruined perhaps many persons who are not innocent. But this would be no equivalent to the loss of [my own] character [by retaliating against them]. I leave them, therefore, to the reproof of their own consciences. If these do not condemn them, there will yet come a day when the false witness will meet a Judge who has not slept over his slanders. 20
He later told Abigail Adams that he did not fear a blemish on his reputation from Callender's charges because, as he explained:
I am not afraid to appeal to the nation at large, to posterity, and still less to that Being Who sees Himself our motives, Who will judge us from His own knowledge of them. 21
Confident of his own innocence, and confident that God knew the truth, Jefferson was not afraid to appeal to God as his judge regarding the veracity of Callender's charges.
Not surprisingly, then, given the scurrilous motives behind Callender's publications of his accusations against Jefferson, and with such a proven record of inaccuracies
For the rest of the story see Thomas Jefferson thread I put up in political leaders....