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Hail Sovereign Love - Jehoiada Brewer

Jehoida Brewer was a man of integrity and honor. He was a true and admirable friend. Salvation of man was always his goal and he spoke with no fear of what men thought of him. His beliefs about God and the Christian life were evident by the way he lived and spoke. He did not speak with beauty and grace to appease man as many other preachers did, but rather it was the “vigor, the fervor, the directness of his address, the solemnity and earnestness of his manner,” that attracted the many people he ministered to. He once stated, “When a man preaches as he ought, he goes direct to the conscience, instead of stopping to trifle with the imagination.” The Eclectic Review goes on to state that he consulted his own heart before he preached which moved him to draw others in as well.

 

The words of Jehoiada Brewer’s hymn, “Hail Sovereign Love,” demonstrates his understanding of the Lord’s master plan of salvation.

 

“Hail sovereign love, that formed the plan to save rebellious, ruined 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.
 

In this hymn, he describes salvation, whether it was the Israelites salvation from the hands of the Egyptians, or the salvation from sin found in Jesus Christ. Brewer, born in Newport in 1752, understood the message of salvation due to the ministry of Glascott. Brewer preached throughout Monmouthshire and immediately became popular. He studied with a clergyman to help give him the classical knowledge he needed to secure a position with the national church, however he was refused ordination. Knowing his heart’s desire was to preach, he continued unabated. He preached at Rodborough for several years before ministering at Sheffield where he grew the small congregation into a very large one for 13 years.

 

Hail, sov’reign love, that formed the plan
To save rebellious, ruined man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hidingplace.
Against the God who rules the sky
I fought, with hand uplifted high;
Despised the mentions of his grace,
Too proud to seek a hidingplace.
 
Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness, more than light;
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hidingplace,
But thus th’ eternal council ran:
“Almighty love, arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hidingplace.
 
Indignant justice stood in view:
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew;
But justice cried, with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hidingplace.”
E’er long, an heav’nly voice I heard,
A bleeding Saviour then appeared;
Led by the Spirit of his grace,
I found in him a hiding place.
 
Should storms of sev’nfold thunder roll,
And shake the globe from pole to pole;
No flaming bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hidingplace.
On him Almighty vengeance fell,
That must have sunk a world to hell:
He bore it for the fallen race,
And thus became their hidingplace.
 
A few more rolling suns, at most,
Will land me on fair heaven’s coast;
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious hidingplace.
Hail, sov’reign love, that formed the plan
To save rebellious, ruined man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hidingplace.

Eclectic Review, 1826. 26.

 

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