By Daniel Hubbard, Staff Writer
The much-anticipated stage-to-screen version of “Hamilton” is now streaming on Disney Plus. Early reviews of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical describe it as “heartwarming,” and a “modern take on our collective, complicated history.”
The screen version may have the same pop and pizzazz of its “Broadway” counterpart, but Manuel’s story, although bursting with Patriotic passion, gives little attention to Hamilton’s Christian faith.
The productions were inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, a New York Times best-seller.
Hamilton’s faith blossomed while he was a student at King’s College, which would later become Columbia University, according to godreports.com. There, the immigrant from the British West Indies was mentored by a wealthy attorney, Elias Boudinot, who later became president of the Continental Congress and the first president of the American Bible Society.
Hamilton, who lived in New York City, was swept up in the Revolutionary War and became then-General George Washington’s aide-de-camp. A strong relationship soon blossomed between the two stalwart revolutionaries. He wrote the majority of the essays in The Federalist Papers, which helped inspire his contemporaries to support the newly ratified United States Constitution.
“Today, we celebrate Hamilton for his remarkable, and even audacious, courage. He did what many others were afraid to do — and he did so without knowing how it would all turn out. Why? Hamilton made a lifelong habit of asking God one key question: ‘How can I be bolder?,'” Crosswalk.com reported.
Hamilton led a battalion of soldiers in the taking of a British fort in Yorktown in 1781, a decisive battle in the Revolution. They charged the fort in the middle of the night using only bayonets to prevent their enemies from hearing them. They caught the British sleeping and not ready for battle.
He could have stayed home as his wife, Eliza, was due to give birth to their first child. He chose to fight instead.
“I am going to my duty. Our operations will be so conducted, as to economize the lives of men. Exert your fortitude and rely upon heaven,” he said, according to Crosswalk.com.
Hamilton believed that Christianity formed the basis of all law and morality and “the world would be a hellish place without it,” Chernow wrote in his biography. He was quoted as saying to his wife, “I have studied it and I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man,” according to godreports.com.
Hamilton regularly led his household in prayer, and wrote about the link between Christianity and political freedom, faithofourfathers.com reported. He helped establish the Christian Constitutional Society.
In an 1802 letter to the society’s co-founder, James Bayard, Hamilton said:
“I now offer you the outline of the plan they have suggested. Let an association be formed to be denominated ‘The Christian Constitutional Society,’ its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.”
“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I were sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition submitted to the mind of man.”
Despite his Christian faith, Hamilton did succumb to an affair that became one the first sex scandals of the Revolutionary period, a fact not ignored by the play or Chernow’s book.
The scandal was a factor in Hamilton, a member of the Continental Congress, never running for president.
In 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey, Hamilton was fatally shot by Aaron Burr, the vice presdient of the United States and one of his political enemies. Hamilton’s last words were: “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Hm for mercy; pray for me.”