This episode is short and a bit on the darker side of the 18th Century. After the execution of Major John Andre of the British Military during the War Of American Independence, a poem was found on his persons. I’ll be giving a quick backstory to set the scene and then I will read the poem Major John Andre had on him as he died.
Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast. I am your host, Cj. In today’s episode, we’ll be reading the poem, The Hiding Place. I don’t typically read poetry on this podcast, but this poem does hold some significance. I have discussed Major John Andre of the British Military before, and I will talk about him again in future episodes. But the oversimplified version of his tale would be this, he worked in British intelligence during the American War For Independence. He made contact with American General Benedict Arnold and helped him switch sides. On his way back to British lines, Major Andre was caught and tried for Spying. He was executed by hanging. Though he was the enemy of the Americans, he was loved by his captors too. He accepted his fate, but wished to die by firing squad rather than hanging as their was more honor in it as a Gentleman and an Officer. He was executed as neither, but as a spy. The poem I am going to read for you today was found on his persons after he was executed. He had written the poem two days before his execution. The poem was originally published in 1776 in “Gospel Magazine” which Major Andre wrote from memory. If you’d like to read the script for this episode and its citations, go to 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. Now I shall read the poem that a condemned man wished to carry with him into death.
The Hiding Place
Hail, sovereign love, which first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
That gave my soul a Hiding Place!
Against the God who built the sky
I fought with hands uplifted high,
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a Hiding Place.
Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a Hiding Place.
But thus the eternal counsel ran:
“Almighty love, arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.
Indignant justice stood in view.
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew;
But justice cried, with frowning face:
“This mountain is no hiding place”.
Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel soon appeared;
He led me with a placid pace
To Jesus, as a Hiding Place.
On Him almighty vengeance fell,
Which must have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a sinful race,
And thus became their Hiding Place.
Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this globe from pole to pole,
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face,
For Jesus is my Hiding Place.
A few more setting suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast,
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious Hiding Place.
I hope for this episode you’ll be able to reflect on the mind of a condemned man beloved by all those which had the pleasure to meet him. When I discuss Major John Andre in the future, I may reference back to this episode. The script and citations for this episode and all other episodes can be found at 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. If you’d like to support the show, please share it and leave a review. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.
“Poetry: The Hiding Place.” Poetry: The Hiding Place | Believer’s Magazine, http://www.believersmagazine.com/bm.php?i=20110713.