"Beneath the Cross of Jesus"

words: Elizabeth C. Clephane
music: Frederick C. Maker
Background music: Joyful Noise Music

"There is no neutral ground when we face the cross: Either we accept its atoning work and become a new person in the crucified One, or we reject Him and remain in our sinful, self-centered state. When we take our stand with Christ and His redemption accomplished at Calvary, we are compelled to make two profound confessions: 'The wonders of His glorious love and my own worthlessness.'

This hymn of commitment was written by a frail Scottish Presbyterian woman of the 19th Century, Elizabeth Clephane, who, despite her physical limitations, was known throughout her charming community of Melrose, Scotland, for her helpful, cheery nature. Among the sick and dying in her area she won the name of 'Sunbeam'. 'Beneath the Cross of Jesus' was written by Miss Clephane in 1868, one year before her early death at the age of 39. She wrote eight hymns, all published posthumously. Besides this hymn, only one other has endured--'The Ninety and Nine', made popular by the tune composed for it by Ira D. Sankey.

It is obvious that Elizabeth, like most Scottish Presbyterians of her day, was an ardent Bible student, for her hymn is replete with biblical symbolism and imagery. For example:

* 'the mighty Rock" is a reference from Isaiah 32:2
* 'the weary land" is a reference from Psalm 63:1
* 'home within the wilderness" from Jeremiah 9:2
* 'rest upon the way" from Isaiah 28:12
* 'noontide heat" from Isaiah 4:6
* 'burden of the day from Matthew 11:30

Taken from Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © 2002 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.
Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.