James Madison is known as the father of the U.S. Constitution. He was also the fourth President of the United States. He was the primary author of the Bill of Rights and engineered the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Madison believed Christianity to be the foundation upon which a just government must be built. Writing on June 20, 1785, he stated:
Religion [is] the basis and Foundation of Government.
Madison expounds further:
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
In 1788, Madison stated:
The belief in God all powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it.
In Madison's personal Bible, his hand written notes appear in the margin of Chapter 19 of the Book of Acts:
Believers who are in a state of grace, have need of the Word of God for their edification and building up therefore implies a possibility of falling. v. 32.
Grace, it is the free gift of God. Luke. 12. 32-v.32.
Giver more blessed than the receiver. v. 35.
To neglect the means for our own preservation is to tempt God: and to trust to them is to neglect Him. v. 3 & Ch. 27. v. 31.
Humility, the better any man is, the lower thoughts he has of himself. v. 19.
Ministers to take heed to themselves & their flock. v. 28.
The Apostles did greater miracles than Christ, in the matter, not manner, of them. v. 11.
In his manuscripts on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, Madison wrote:
Christ's Divinity appears by St. John, chapter xx, 2: 'And Thomas answered and said unto Him, my Lord and my God!' Resurrection testified to and witnessed by the Apostles, Acts iv, 33: 'And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.'
On November 9, 1772, Madison wrote to his close college friend, William Bradford:
A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the annals of Heaven.
[Bad health has] intimated to me not to expect a long or healthy life, yet it may be better with me after some time tho I hardly dare expect it and therefore have little spirit and alacrity to set about anything that is difficult in acquiring and useless in possessing after one has exchanged time for eternity.