The PREAMBLE of the U.S. Bill of Rights stated:
"The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added."
George Mason wrote a proposal for the wording of the First Amendment.
Kate Mason Rowland, in The Life of George Mason, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1892, Vol I, p. 244), wrote:
"The bill of rights here given is from the original manuscript in the handwriting of George Mason.
'Resolved, that the new constitution of government recommended by the late federal convention ought to be ratified when the following Declaration of Rights and Amendments shall be adopted ...
... 20. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore
all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular religious sect, or society of Christians, ought to be favored or established by law, in preference to others.'"