In 1732, the ‘Volture', a British sloop of war, crept up the Hudson River to anchorage above Stony Point. In the dark, a young man wearing a heavy coat stepped from the `Volture' into a small boat that had come out from the shore. This coat purposely covered the bright regimentals of a British Army Officer. The boat with muffled oars was rowed back to the shore, and in fulfillment of pre-arranged plans the strange man from the `Volture' who was to be known as Mr. Anderson, was met by a man on shore. Soon the pair were seated in a nearby house—locked in—with deep plans and heavy bargaining.
Of course, we have guessed the names of this pair—General Arnold of the American Forces and Governor Clifton's adjutant general, Major Andre. Finally, Arnold handed over his plans and received his guarantee of reward.
While attempting to return to New York by land, Major Andre was captured and the plans were discovered in his stockings. He was court-martialed and publicly hanged from a lofty tree and buried in a nearby shallow grave. The British army went into mourning for him and in 1821 his remains were brought to England and deposited in Westminster Abbey.
This remarkable poem was found in his pocket after his execution:
Hail, Sovereign Love, which first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
Which 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 beaming face
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 the globe from pole to pole,
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face,
For Jesus is my Hiding Place.
Apparently this man was saved and trusting the Lord, and the Lord was hiding him.
(Ps. 32. 7; Isa. 32. 2)