Verse of the Day

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

HimKnowledgy #1

Hail, Sovereign Love [1]

(AKA: The Hiding Place, My Hiding Place, Thou Art My Hiding Place, and Sovereign Love)

Jehoida Brewer [2], (1752-1817) in the Gospel Magazine, Oct., 1776


"Duane Street,"George Coles, 1835 [3]
"Beloit," Karl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859)
“Bera,” John E. Gould, 1849
“Maryton,” H. Percy Smith, 1874

Meter: (L.M.)

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind,
and a covert from the tempest;
as rivers of water in a dry place,
as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Isaiah 32:2 [4]

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 32:7 [5]

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119:114 [6]

Hail, sovereign love that first began,
The scheme to rescue fallen man;
Hail matchless free eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hiding place.

Against the God who rules the sky,
I fought with hand uplifted high,
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a hiding place.

Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.

But thus th' 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 form appeared.
Who led me on with gentle pace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place.

Should storms of sevenfold vengeance roll,
And shake this earth from pole to pole;
No flaming bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place.

On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
That must have sunk a world to hell;
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus became their hiding place.

A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me safe on heaven's coast.
There I shall sing the song of grace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place!


[1] Information on this hymn has been gleaned from the following sources: A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship, by William Gadsby (London: Gospel Standard Publications, 1987), pg. 113-114, hymn #134; the Cyber Hymnal at, and the Gospel Magazine (Sep/Oct, 1997), pg. 144, at

[2] Authorship of this hymn is often mistakenly ascribed to Maj. John Andre, a British officer who was hung as a spy during the American Revolution. Examples of this are as follows: Sinclair B. Ferguson, Deserted by God? (Grand Rapids: Baker Books), pp. 87-88 [cited at:; The Puzzles of Job, by Ord L. Morrow (Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible Broadcast, 1965), pp. 43-44; and Sunday Snippets #13 (Jan. 8, 1995), There the story is rendered as follows:

The poet, Maj. John Andre, wrote this while awaiting his execution (by hanging) as a spy on 2 Oct. 1780 during the U.S.Revolutionary War. Just two days before his death, the major was converted to Christ, and in that short time composed this poem as a testimony to his experience.
This historical error is probably due to the fact that the hymn was transcribed by him, apparently from memory, to a piece of paper without any information as to its original author. One report concerning this has it found in his pocket following his execution. In any case, Maj. Andre was executed October 2, 1980, four years to the month after this hymn was published in the Gospel Magazine (October, 1776). Therefore, he could hardly have composed it in his cell as is commonly reported.

Jehoida Brewer had it published under a pseudonym that he used: “Sylvestris”, Gospel Magazine (Sep/Oct, 1997), pg. 144: “subscribed ‘Sylvestris’”.

[3] "Duane Street fits only if an even number of stanzas is used, so the eighth stanza is commonly omitted with this tune.” Cyber Hymnal, ibid.

[4] This is the Scripture reference found in the Gospel Magazine above this hymn, ibid.

[5] This Scripture reference is the one found in Gadsby’s hymnal with this hymn, ibid.

[6] This Scripture passage is commonly found on internet pages with this hymn. This may be largely due to the fact that Cyber Hymnal does so, ibid.

[7] This verse is not included in Gadsby’s work, ibid.

[8] This verse and the previous verse are often found in reverse order. The order shown above is that found in the Gospel Magazine, ibid., and in Gadsby, ibid.


Anonymous said...
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Pastor Jack said...
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Unknown said...

The date needs changed to 1780 not 1980 (under #2 re: execution date). Found out about this poem from Billy Graham's devotional, "Unto the Hills." Thanks for sharing the poem. It was very enlightening to read.