Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Soul Ascending into Bliss," October 17, 1772

October 17, 1772

AH! whither, whither am I flown,
A wandering guest in worlds unknown?
What is that I see and hear?
What heav'nly music fills mine ear?
Etherial glories shine around;
More than Arabias sweets abound.

Hark! hark! a voice from yonder sky!
Methinks I hear my Saviour cry,
Come gentle spirit come away,
Com to thy Lord without delay;
For thee the gates of bliss unbar'd
Thy consant virtue to reward.

I come oh Lord! I mount, I fly,
On rapid wings I cleave the sky;
Stretch out thine arm and aid my flight;
For oh! I long to gain that height,
Where all celestial beings sing
Eternal praises to their King.

O Lamb of God! thrice gracious Lord
Now, now I feel how true thy word;
Translated to this happy place,
This blessed vision of thy face;
My soul shall all thy steps attend
In songs of triumph without end.

"Although it is impossible to determine beyond dispute that Hamilton was the author of this poem, it is attributed to him by J. C. Hamilton (John Church Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton), who refers to it as 'a hymn,' but ascribes it to the period when Hamilton attended school in Elizabethtown, New Jersey (The Life of Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton, J.C., vol. I, 10 and The Works of Alexander Hamilton, editor Hamilton, J.C., vol. I, 48). In the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, there is a copy of an unidentified writing of the first three verses of this poem. At the end of the third verse is written in the same hand: "Written by A.H. when 18 years old." At the bottom of the page in still another handwriting is written: "This is a copy in pencil by Alex: Hamilton, my uncle – P.S." The "P.S" presumably refers to the Philip Schuyler who was the son of George L. Schuyler. George L. Schuyler had married Hamilton's granddaughter, Mary Hamilton, daughter of James A. Hamilton. The Alexander Hamilton who copied the poem was probably the son of James A. Hamilton, brother-in-law of George Schuyler and uncle of Philip Schuyler." --from The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, volume 1


Anonymous said...

Oh, Herky, thanks so much for this link. I just finished reading about his conversion, and now this! Only the infilling of the Holy Spirit could inspire these words.

What a blessing this is. Mind if I copy the post over to my blog? Of course I'd put a link and give you (and the Holy Spirit) all the credit. :)

Hercules Mulligan said...

Wow, Jean. It's a blessing to me to know that this post has been a blessing to you! Sure you can post it! I really don't mind you posting anything from my blogs -- just so long as you sneak in a link referring back to me, lol! :)

I agree -- these words can only be inspired by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The incredible joy that comes with such an indwelling, which in turn is the first-fruits of true conversion, manifest themselves so powerfully in the text of this unique manuscript.

Indeed, the whole drama of the faith, life, and statesmanship of Alexander Hamilton is an epic tale of itself. It is one that I have followed studiously over a period of a little over 4 years now. God has opened my eyes to so many things in so many ways through this project, that I am currently working on a book dedicated to the subject.

Amazing enough is that the story will take us to both the First and Second Great Awakenings. I cannot begin to explain the connections. My blogs will touch on some of them (and the post on Hamilton's conversion brushed the tip of the iceberg), and my book will go more in-depth. But in the meantime, I am so glad that this subject, which seems to go unnoticed by many, has been a blessing to you.

Until I come out with my book, you may feel free to read (in your spare time, of course) my blog posts on him, here. So far, these posts have only gone so far into arguing and documenting Hamilton's Christianity. My book will go into particulars, as well as bring the general history into the context.

By now, I must thank you for patiently bearing with my long comment! :) But I hope that you enjoyed sharing my passion as much as I enjoy satisfying it.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Well, this poem (with appropriate links, of course) is now on my blog. I also took the liberty of sending it out on our church email list. Hammy the poet will be famous!

And I'm fascinated that you're doing a book about him. Thanks for sharing that. I'd already decided that I was going to read through the rest of your blog, so I can't wait to read the book! Will I get an autographed copy? :)

Ironically enough, I have a book in process, also. It's about the work of the Holy Spirit, and the patterns I've seen in how He works in each of us. My research is much easier than yours, though. I just need to pick up my Bible. :)

Blessings to you and yours. I'll keep your book in my prayers, too.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Thanks Jean. I'm glad it has blessed you so. I hope it blesses your church. :)

As for an autographed copy of my book, I'll certainly do my best to get such a copy into your hands! My initial concern will be getting it published; I hear that's the most difficult part of the process.

I'm glad you look forward to it (it satisfies me that somebody else is excited about my subject, and that makes it worth the effort!), and I also look forward to yours. I hope you enjoy reading this blog, as I have certainly enjoyed reading yours, and have been equally encouraged and edified by it.

Thank you for keeping my book in your prayers. That is very special to me. I'll be sure to keep you and yours in my prayers.

God bless you, and have a wonderful Sunday!


Thanks for Reading!