James Madison Papers

James Madison to Charles Caldwell, 23 November 1826

Montpr. Nov 23. 1826

Dear Sir

Your favor of Ocr. 11. came duly to hand, and at a later day, a memoir, referred to in it. You speak of two Memoirs: If more than a No. 1. was sent, there has been a miscarriage.

I am sorry that the claims on my decreasing remnant of time do not permit me to enlarge on the profound subjects embraced in the Memoir. I must not omit saying however, that they are profoundly treated; and that I concur with you at once in rejecting the idea maintained by some divines of more zeal than discretion, that there is no road from nature up to Nature’s God, and that all the knowledge of his existence & attributes which preceded the written revelation of them, was derived from oral tradition. The doctrine is the more extraordinary, as it so directly contradicts the declarations you have cited from the written authority itself. To my thanks for the Memoirs I must add those due for your kind references to the best sources of information on the subject of Phrenology. At an earlier stage of life I might be tempted to avail myself of them. In that which it has reached, I must narrow instead of widening the scope of my researches. Wishing that the longer period before you, may be successfully employed in such as will be at the same time gratifying to yourself, and useful to Science & humanity, I renew to you the assurrances of my esteem & my friendly respects

Draft (DLC).

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