Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Favorite Hamilton Quotation:

Here is another book that reproduces Hamilton's infamous quotation on what he valued in a minister:

He is just what I should like for a military parson except that he does not whore or drink. He will fight, and he will not insist upon your going to heaven whether you will or not.


Hamilton didn't become an orthodox Trinitarian Christian until the end of his life, after his son died in a duel. During the time in which Hamilton did his work Founding America, he believed in a generic, naturalistic religion that might be called theistic rationalism. As he put it in The Farmer Refuted (1775), the quintessential theistic rationalist position:

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.


Elsewhere when describing what he looked for in a wife, he likewise explicated this generic religion. As he wrote to John Laurens in 1779:

As to religion a moderate stock will satisfy me. She must believe in God and hate a saint.

4 comments:

Our Founding Truth said...

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.>

You're reading this wrong, again. The Law of Nature contains two aspects; natural and revealed, you cannot separate them, that is what Hamilton means by WHOLE. Either that, or he contradicts Blackstone, who he quoted, or the other founders who believed the dual aspect:

"In compassion...our all-gracious Creator, Preserver, and Ruler has been pleased to discover and enforce his laws by a revelation given to us immediately and directly from Himself. This revelation is contained in the Holy Scriptures...The law of nature and the law of revelation are both Divine: they flow, though in different channels, from the same adorable source. It is indeed preposterous to separate them from each other."
James Wilson

But separate them cannot be done.

Not only is your post out of context, his other quotes affirm the truth of the revealed law.

Affirming the Gospel in most likely 1794:

"An attack was first made upon the Christian revelation, for which natural religion was offered as the substitute. The Gospel was to be discarded as a gross imposture, but the being and attributes of GOD, the obligations of piety, even the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments, were to be retained and cherished."

Is the Christian Revelation the Bible, reason, or both?

Hamilton commenting on the French Revolution, which officially renounced Christianity in 1793.
http://oll.libertyfund.org/?
option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1385&chapter=92676&layout=html&Itemid=27

Hamilton affirming the thousand year millenial reign of Christ in 1793:

"The triumphs of vice are no new thing under the sun, and I fear, till the MILLENIUM comes, in spite of all our boasted light and purification, hypocrisy and treachery will continue to be the most successful commodities in the political market."
~ To Richard Harrison (1793)
http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1387&chapter=93250&layout=html&Itemid=27

Jonathan said...

The law of nature by its very definition refers to "nature/reason," not revelation. Hamilton or the authors of the Declaration could have invoked scripture, but didn't. You are reading in your desires to Hamilton's and America's Founders' words. That some of them believed you couldn't separate natural law from revealed law because they derived from the same source simply means they thought reason/revelation by in large agreed. Still look to see what they invoke for authority. Here Hamilton invokes reason or the natural law, just as the authors of America's Declaration.

That Hamilton believed in the millenium likewise doesn't make him an orthodox Christian as Joseph Priestley and many other unitarians believed in the millenium.

Finally, I find it utterly astonishing that you would argue that the man who wrote those words about what he was looking for in a wife, or made the wisecrack about the whoring parson was a regenerate Christian.

Up until the late 1790s Hamilton was a self-interest ass. The Hamilton who made the wisecrack about the parson and talked about wanting a wife with a hot bod and lots of cash would have shot Aaron Burr dead.

It's a shame that you miss what could be a beautiful Christian narrative of transformation and redemption. More evidence of how the "Christian Nation" myth harms.

Our Founding Truth said...

The law of nature by its very definition refers to "nature/reason," not revelation.>

It refers to both, as Wilson said.

Hamilton or the authors of the Declaration could have invoked scripture, but didn't.>>

Since the Law of Nature contains both aspects, the authors did include it.

That some of them believed you couldn't separate natural law from revealed law because they derived from the same source simply means they thought reason/revelation by in large agreed.>

Of course.

Still look to see what they invoke for authority.>>

I could post a plethora of quotes, but you've already seen them.

Here Hamilton invokes reason or the natural law, just as the authors of America's Declaration.>

Since Hamilton believed Christian Revelation superior to revelation by reason, it's impossible for you to be correct. Hamilton may have invoked reason in your quote, but affirmed revelation in the next paragraph, if not, he contradicted himself, as well as the beliefs of the other framers.

The authors of the DOI prayed to Jesus Christ, The Redeemer, which is their authority, not reason.

That Hamilton believed in the millenium likewise doesn't make him an orthodox Christian as Joseph Priestley and many other unitarians believed in the millenium.>

One, belief in the Millenium shows he believed in the bible, two, he never rejected any parts of scripture, three, he affirmed the Gospel, which makes him orthodox.

Finally, I find it utterly astonishing that you would argue that the man who wrote those words about what he was looking for in a wife, or made the wisecrack about the whoring parson was a regenerate Christian.>

He was twenty-three years old, not a very mature Christian, as he didn't go to church, and Jon, everyone is a sinner, I don't judge him, did he whore around? Besides the adultery, which was a part of the frame, I haven't heard of it.

It's a shame that you miss what could be a beautiful Christian narrative of transformation and redemption. More evidence of how the "Christian Nation" myth harms.>>

I don't add anything to Hamilton, and, as you know, the Christian Nation side can prove it very easily.

Because of the prayers of Congress to Jesus, I can prove the Law of Nature is Jesus Christ, not your figment of reason, which I'm surprised you still hold to. I hope you don't still hold to your opinion of Witherspoon as I've clearly refuted in my blog. I've also clearly refuted your positions on Adams(before he retired) and Madison not being a rationalist, among others, and I haven't seen one retraction.

Jonathan said...

"I hope you don't still hold to your opinion of Witherspoon as I've clearly refuted in my blog. I've also clearly refuted your positions on Adams(before he retired) and Madison not being a rationalist, among others, and I haven't seen one retraction."

Heh. You wish you refuted these things. As for Witherspoon, tell it to Mark Noll.