Daily Tidbits 3/16 – James Madison

In the study on the meanings of the names of the U.S. Presidents, {The Presidents Code} James Madison pictures the warfare between the two seeds (Genesis 3:15) which commenced in the Garden of Eden when man was beguiled into partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil by the serpent.

James comes from the Hebrew name יעקב ‘yaakov’ or Jacob which means the one who grabs the heel.  This word is related to battle in the sense of a conflict between two parties. יעקב ‘yaakov’ comes from the root word עקב ‘aqav’ which means heel as in the heel of the Seed of the woman which will be bruised by the serpent (Genesis 3:15) and is also translated as ‘subtlety’ as seen in 2 Kings 10:19. Further linking to the war with the serpent is that עקב ‘aqav’ is associated with poisonous creatures which bite at man’s heel such as scorpions, serpents and spiders.

Madison’s last name means warrior (son of Maud which means strength in battle) but also traces back to the name Matthew (son of Matt) which means a gift of God.

Thayer Definition:
Matthew = “gift of Jehovah”
1) son of Alphaeus, one of the 12 disciples
Part of Speech: noun proper masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: a shorter form of G3164


Thayer Definition:
1) to fight
1a) of armed combatants, or those who engage in a hand to hand struggle
1b) of those who engage in a war of words, to quarrel, wrangle, dispute
1c) of those who contend at law for property and privileges
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: middle voice of an apparently root word

This war is won through the gift of Messiah (John 3:16; Colossians 2:15), whose death on the tree brings liberty to all those held captive to sin and death.

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Psa 119:44  So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
Psa 119:45  And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
Jam 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jam 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Jam 2:11  For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
Jam 2:12  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

It is Madison who is known as the Father of the Constitution, and the Father of the Bill of Rights,  the ‘law of freedom’ in the natural realm.  It is also interesting to note that it was during Madison’s presidency that the War of 1812 occurred against the British, which came to be known as the 2nd War for Independence.

The Founders likened the War for Independence to the redemption of Israel from Egypt during the days of Moses. In the Scriptures, Pharaoh is likened to the beast (Ezekiel 32:2).  Here it is seen in Madison’s name and life, a picture of the victory over the devil and sin through Messiah which brings freedom.

Father of the Constitution & Bill of Rights

In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights. And out of his opposition to Hamilton’s financial proposals came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party.  He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights.

Prior to the Constitution, the thirteen states were bound together by the Articles of Confederation, which was essentially a military alliance among sovereign nations to fight the Revolutionary War. This arrangement did not work particularly well, and after the war was over, it was even less successful. Congress had no power to tax, and as a result was not paying the debts left over from the Revolution. Madison and other leaders, such as Washington and Benjamin Franklin, were very concerned about this. They feared a break-up of the union and national bankruptcy.

As Madison wrote, “a crisis had arrived which was to decide whether the American experiment was to be a blessing to the world, or to blast for ever the hopes which the republican cause had inspired.”

Partly at Madison’s instigation, a national convention was called in 1787. Madison was crucial in persuading George Washington to attend the convention, since he knew how important the president would be to the adoption of a constitution. As one of the first delegates to arrive, while waiting for the convention to begin, Madison wrote what became known as the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan was submitted at the opening of the convention, and the work of the convention quickly became to amend the Virginia Plan and to fill in the gaps.  Though the Virginia Plan was an outline rather than a draft of a possible constitution, and though it was extensively changed during the debate (especially by John Rutledge and James Wilson in the Committee of Detail), its use at the convention led many to call Madison the “Father of the Constitution”.

During the course of the Convention, he spoke over two hundred times, and his fellow delegates rated him highly. For example, William Pierce wrote that “…every Person seems to acknowledge his greatness. In the management of every great question he evidently took the lead in the Convention… he always comes forward as the best informed Man of any point in debate.” Madison recorded the unofficial minutes of the convention, and these have become the only comprehensive record of what occurred. The historian Clinton Rossiter regarded Madison’s performance as “a combination of learning, experience, purpose, and imagination that not even Adams or Jefferson could have equaled.” Years earlier he had pored over crates of books that Jefferson sent him from France on every form of government ever tried. The historian Douglas Adair called Madison’s work “probably the most fruitful piece of scholarly research ever carried out by an American.”

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches based upon Isaiah 33:22.

Isa 33:22  For Jehovah is our judge; Jehovah is our lawgiver; Jehovah is our king; He will save us.

The Constitution developed by the convention in Philadelphia had to be ratified. This would be done by special conventions called in each state to decide that sole question of ratification. Madison was a leader in the ratification effort. He, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers, a series of 85 newspaper articles published in New York to explain how the proposed Constitution would work, mainly by responding to criticisms from anti-federalists.

The historian Clinton Rossiter called the Federalist Papers “the most important work in political science that ever has been written, or is likely ever to be written, in the United States.”

Federalism comes from foedus, Latin for covenant. “The tribes of Israel shared a covenant that made them a nation. American federalism originated at least in part in the dissenting Protestants’ familiarity with the Bible.”  {The Origins of American Constitutionalism – Donald Lutz pg 43}

On June 8, 1789, Madison introduced his bill proposing amendments consisting of Nine Articles comprising up to 20 Amendments depending on how one counted. Madison initially proposed that the amendments would be incorporated into the body of the Constitution. Through an exhaustive campaign, he persuaded the House to pass most of his slate of amendments. The House rejected the idea of placing the amendments in the body of the Constitution and instead adopted Amendments to be attached separately and sent this bill to the Senate.

George Washington considered the Constitutional Convention and ratification a miracle of Providence.

“It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States… should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well founded objections.” – Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, February 7, 1788

Despite the title of Father of the Constitution & Bill of Rights, Madison denied being the Father of the Constitution as it was the work of a body of men.

Years later, when called the “Father of the Constitution,” Madison said that the document was not “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.” {White House History  ›  The Presidents: James Madison}

“There were fifty-five individuals directly involved in framing the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention, and an additional ninety in the first federal Congress that framed the First Amendment and Bill of Rights. Allowing for the overlap of nineteen individuals who were both at the Constitutional Convention and a part of the first Congress, there were one hundred and twenty-six individual participants in the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”  {James Madison and Religion in Public – David Barton}

It is interesting to note that the number 126 is equivalent to the Hebrew word מאלהים ‘may`lohim’ which means ‘from God.’

“Madison’s claim on our admiration does not rest on a perfect consistency, any more than it rests on his presidency. He has other virtues…. As a framer and defender of the Constitution he had no peer…. The finest part of Madison’s performance as president was his concern for the preserving of the Constitution…. No man could do everything for the country – not even Washington. Madison did more than most, and did some things better than any. That was quite enough.” {James Madison – Gary Wills pg 164}

“George F. Will once wrote that if we truly believed that the pen is mightier than the sword, our nation’s capital would have been called “Madison, D.C.”, instead of Washington, D.C.” {”Happy Birthday James Madison”}

Madison’s concept of freedom and foundation for the Constitution and Bill of Rights was the Holy Scriptures.

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” {James Madison to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia 1778}

“Religion [is] the basis and foundation of Government” – James Madison

“It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”   {The Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates, Held at the Capitol in the City of Williamsburg, in the Colony of Virginia, on Monday the 6th of May, 1776}

This Christian forbearance is in reference to toleration between other believers.

“Religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless under color of religion any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or safety of society, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity toward each other.” {James Madison  section 16 of the Virginia Declaration of Rights}

“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.” {Letter by Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772}

“It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”  {James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, circa June 20, 1785}

The first amendment to the Constitution came from a speech given by James Madison.

“The civil rights of none, shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.” {The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States 451, 1st Cong., 1st Session}

“We are teaching the world the great truth that Governments do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion Flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government.” {James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822}

Madison was in the habit of making notes in his personal Bible, wrote this in Acts, Chapter 19:

“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.

In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.” {Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States 1325, 12th Congress, 2nd Session}

Madison also wrote in his Bible “It is not the talking but the walking and working person that is the true Christian.”  This is perhaps the best quote to understand Madison’s belief.  Many today misconstrue his writings about religious liberty as him be antipathetic to religion but his fruit does not match these claims.

This quote in Madison’s Bible is the essence of Christ’s teachings.  We are to be doers of His Word, not just hearers (James 1:22).  Thankfully, God raised up imperfect men such as Madison, who sought to be doers.

Mat 7:12  Therefore, all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, so also you should do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Mat 7:13  Go in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are the ones entering in through it.
Mat 7:14  For narrow is the gate, and constricted is the way that leads away into life, and few are the ones finding it.
Mat 7:15  But beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are plundering wolves.
Mat 7:16  From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17  So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits.
Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits.
Mat 7:19  Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire.
Mat 7:20  Then surely from their fruits you shall know them.
Mat 7:21  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.
Mat 7:22  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?
Mat 7:23  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; “depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” Psa. 6:8
Mat 7:24  Then everyone who hears these Words from Me, and does them, I will compare him to a wise man who built his house on the rock;
Mat 7:25  and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew, and fell against that house; but it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26  And everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and who does not do them, he shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand;
Mat 7:27  and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew and beat against that house; and it fell, and great was the collapse of it.

blessing 4




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