home page

Madison Letter to Bradford, September 25, 1773

William Bradford, having decided not to pursue the ministry as a career, wrote James Madison asking his advice on the choice between law, medicine, and merchandising. Madison's response expressed disappointment in Bradford's decision not to pursue the ministry, yet he remained supportive of any choice his friend would make. The advice that follows is an expression of humility and devotion to Christ. Madison seems to say that too often men in positions of great public influence fail to follow Christ in their public lives. According to Madison, no stronger testimony of Christ can be born than for those who have acquired much reputation and wealth to publicly declare their devotion to the cause of Christ.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Religious Institutions Group

TO WILLIAM BRADFORD

September 25, 1773

I cannot however suppress [this] much of my advice on that head that you would always keep the Ministry obliquely in View whatever your profession be. This will lead you to cultivate an acquaintance occasionally with the most sublime of all Sciences and will qualify you for a change of public character if you should hereafter desire it. I have sometimes thought there could be no stronger testimony in favor of Religion or against temporal Enjoyments even the most rational and manly than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent Advocates in the cause of Christ, & I wish you may give in your Evidence in this way. Such instances have seldom occurred, therefore they would be more striking and would be instead of a "Cloud of Witnesses."

Letter from James Madison to William Bradford, Jr. (September 25, 1773), in 1 Papers of James Madison, at 96 (Robert A. Rutland and William M. E. Rachal eds., 1973).


DISCLAIMER / ATTORNEY ADVERTISING

Copyright © 2002-2014 by Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP. All rights reserved.














Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP

Serving the Southwest and Beyond

Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona
Silicon Valley, California
Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado
Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Casper, Wyoming

Click here to contact us.