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Jupiter Hammon is considered the first Black writer to publish in America; his religious exhortations deal with the themes of race, slavery, and the alienation of slaves. Since his writings were edited (and probably approved) by White patrons, his themes of White injustices have taken on even more importance.

Hammon received his unusually extensive education on the Lloyd Manor Estate, from Nehemiah Bull, a Harvard graduate and later noted New England divine. Hammon was basically allowed to partake of any business he wished. This included reading in the Lloyd library and writing his poetry. He was very privileged and took advantage of the kindness offered him.

Hammon wrote broadside poems and prose. All of his works are deeply steeped in his religious beliefs, with little exception. He was a preacher for his fellow brethren on the Lloyd Manor Estate. Hammon is not really considered one of the great literary figures of his time (as Phillis Wheatley is), because of the rather narrow focus of his work. The actual death date of Jupiter Hammon is not known because no one can find a death certificate or the exact spot of his burial.

from Ransom, Stanley A. America’s First Negro Poet. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat P, 1970. (See more)

Also Wikipedia.


An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries

Salvation comes by Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.

Dear Jesus, we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.

Salvation comes now from the Lord,
Our victorious King.
His holy Name be well ador’d,
Salvation surely bring.

Dear Jesus, give thy Spirit now,
Thy Grace to every Nation,
That han’t the Lord to whom we bow,
The Author of Salvation.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
Give us the Preparation;
Turn not away thy tender Eye;
We seek thy true Salvation.

Salvation comes from God we know,
The true and only One;
It’s well agreed and certain true,
He gave his only Son.

Lord, hear our penetential Cry:
Salvation from above;
It is the Lord that doth supply,
With his Redeeming Love.

Dear Jesus, by thy precious Blood,
The World Redemption have:
Salvation now comes from the Lord,
He being thy captive slave.

Dear Jesus, let the Nations cry,
And all the People say,
Salvation comes from Christ on high,
Haste on Tribunal Day.

We cry as Sinners to the Lord,
Salvation to obtain;
It is firmly fixed, his holy Word,
Ye shall not cry in vain.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry,
And make our Lamentation:
O let our Prayers ascend on high;
We felt thy Salvation.

Lord, turn our dark benighted Souls;
Give us a true Motion,
And let the Hearts of all the World,
Make Christ their Salvation.

Ten Thousand Angels cry to Thee,
Yea, louder than the Ocean.
Thou art the Lord, we plainly see;
Thou art the true Salvation.

Now is the Day, excepted Time;
The Day of the Salvation;
Increase your Faith, do not repine:
Awake ye, every Nation.

Lord, unto whom now shall we go,
Or seek a safe abode?
Thou has the Word Salvation Too,
The only Son of God.

Ho! every one that hunger hath,
Or pineth after me,
Salvation be thy leading Staff,
To set the Sinner free.

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we fly;
Depart, depart from Sin,
Salvation doth at length supply,
The Glory of our King.

Come, ye Blessed of the Lord,
Salvation greatly given;
O turn your Hearts, accept the Word,
Your Souls are fit for Heaven.

Dear Jesus, we now turn to Thee,
Salvation to obtain;
Our Hearts and Souls do meet again,
To magnify thy Name.

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,
The Object of our Care;
Salvation doth increase our Love;
Our Hearts hath felt they fear.

Now Glory be to God on High,
Salvation high and low;
And thus the Soul on Christ rely,
To Heaven surely go.

Come, Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove,
Accept Repentance here;
Salvation give, with tender Love;
Let us with Angels share.

Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28

“The great mystery of God’s compassion is that in his compassion, in his entering with us into the condition of a slave, he reveals himself to us as God. . . . His self-emptying and humiliation is not a step away from his true nature. . . . Therefore, we can say that the downward pull as we see this in Jesus Christ is not a movement away from God, but a movement toward him as he really is: a God for us who came not to rule but to serve. . . . Servanthood is God’s self-revelation.

Our Prayer

You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No one comes to the Father,
except through you.

—after John 14:6

to read the rest of this devotional see Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen

February 2008
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