William O. Cushing, 1823-1902

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:4

The scriptural promises of being "absent from the body" and "present with the Lord" or of "meeting our Lord in the air" are always thrilling truths for believers to ponder. Beyond that, the thought of the Saviour creating a jeweled crown from little children who love Him is a fascinating pictorial concept. William Orcutt Cushing conceived the idea for his "Jewel Song" text from the promise in Malachi 3:17: "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." Pastor Cushing wrote the text for the children in his own Sunday School in 1856.

Several years later, William Cushing suffered a period of deep despair in his life. After the death of his wife, he developed a creeping paralysis and the loss of his speech at the age of 47. He was forced to retire from the ministry after 27 years as an active and successful pastor. When he pleaded, "Lord, give me something to do for Thee," God answered, giving him the gift of writing appealing hymn texts. He worked with such talented musicians as Ira Sankey and George Root to produce more than 300 gospel hymns during his remaining years. Such hymns as "Hiding in Thee," "Under His Wings," "Follow On," and "There'll Be No Dark Valley" are just a few of his texts that have since contributed much to the lives of Christians everywhere.

William Cushing's picturesque words in today's hymn, "They shall shine in their beauty--bright gems for His crown," could also be used to describe his own qualities of character. He was known by his many friends to be a noble, sweet, deeply spiritual Christian. Loved by all, Cushing continued to inspire and encourage others despite his handicap until the end of his life at the age of 79.

When He cometh, when He cometh
To make up His jewels,
All His jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

He will gather, He will gather
The gems for His kingdom;
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
His loved and His own.

Little children, little children,
Who love their Redeemer,
Are the jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning,
His brightness adorning,
They shall shine in their beauty,
Bright gems for His crown.

*For Today*: Zechariah 9:16; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:27, 29, 30, 31, 36, 42, & 44; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:12 & 13

Strive to live in expectancy that Christ could return today!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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