Friday, April 2, 2010

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

The poet who wrote the lyrics to Beneath the Cross of Jesus, Miss Clephane, was born in a little town about 30 south of Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land on the 18th of June, 1830. Little is known about this woman who was the youngest of three sisters. Those who knew the young lady referred to her as "the sunbeam" because of her cheery nature and charitable giving. Elizabeth's few poems were not even published until a few years after her death at age 39 in a magazine entitled The Family Treasure. Five stanzes exist although the order has been changed in some hymnals while other hymnals prefer only to list three stanzas. Please see below for a link for sheet music and a midi file, and a list of references for additional study.

Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Poet: Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868.

Musical Composer: Frederick C. Maker. Tune: St. Christopher

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
Within a weary land.
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat
And the burden of the day.

There lies beneath its shadow,
but on the farther side,
the darkness of an open grave
that gapes both deep and wide;
and there between us stands the cross,
two arms outstretched to save,
like a watchman to guard the way
from that eternal grave.

O safe and happy shelter,
O refuge tried and sweet,
O trysting place where heaven's love
And heaven's justice meet!
As to the holy patriarch
That wondrous dream was giv'n,
So seems my Savior's cross to me,
A ladder up to heav'n.

Upon the cross of Jesus
Mine eyes at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears
Two wonders I confess:
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place,
I ask no other sunshine
Than the sunshine of His face.
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self, my only shame,
My glory all the cross.

Listen to a midi file download and find sheet music for Beneath the Cross of Jesus at HymnSite. Click on the "Hymn Search" Box on the top left side and enter the name.

Study Devotion ~ You may be interested in the following verses from which Miss Clephane was inspired: Genesis 28:11-12;  Jeremiah 9:2;  Isaiah 4:6;  Isaiah 28:12;  Isaiah 32:2;  Ezekiel 33:6-7;  Matthew 11:30;  Galatians 6:14.


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