John’s Question

by Richard Brookhiser

Well, we can haggle all day about the letter of the test (“very God of very God,” anyone?).But, off the top of my head: Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman, John Jay, Benjamin Rush.  John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister, so that’s an easy one. 

Of the four I have written books about, I would call Washington, Adams, and Gouverneur Morris active Christiform deists.

Active = God is more than a watchmaker, he is a watch repairman.

Christiform = He is to be worshipped in the Christian church (Episcopalian for Washington and Morris, Congregational/Unitarian for Adams).

Hamilton was pious as a boy, and after his eldest son’s death in a duel; not much interested in between.