William Orcutt Cushing, 1823-1902

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Hosea 6:3

“I wrote this hymn in 1878,” the Rev. W. O. Cushing tells us. “Longing to give up all for Christ Who had given His life for me, I wanted to be willing to lay everything at His feet, with no wish but to do His will, to live henceforth only for His glory. Out of this feeling came the hymn, “Follow On.” It was written with the prayer and the hope that some heart might by it be led to give up all for Christ. Much of the power and usefulness of the hymn, however, are due to Mr. Lowry, who put it into song.”

After entering the ministry, Cushing's first pastorate was at Searsburg, New York. He married in 1854, and went on to serve in Auburn, Brooklyn, Buffalo, and Sparta, New York. After his wife died in 1870 and his health declined, he retired from the pastorate and began writing hymns. He completed over 300 in his lifetime.

Cushing was an exemplary Christian, ever mindful of the suffering of others. Once he gave $1,000—all he had, an enormous sum in those days—to a blind girl so she could get an education.

Cushing is also known for having written the following hymns:
Hiding in Thee
There'll Be No Dark Valley
Under His Wings
When He Cometh

Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the flowers are blooming and the sweet waters flow;
Everywhere He leads me I would follow, follow on,
Walking in His footsteps till the crown be won.

Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow;
With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear,
Danger cannot fright me if my Lord is near.

Down in the valley, or upon the mountain steep,
Close beside my Savior would my soul ever keep;
He will lead me safely in the path that He has trod,
Up to where they gather on the hills of God.

Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
Anywhere, everywhere, I would follow on!
Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
Everywhere He leads me I would follow on!

*For Today*: Deuteronomy 16:20; I Samuel 12:14; Psalm 63:8; Proverbs 15:9, 21:21; Matthew 4:19-22

What a wonderful testimony, to follow on whether in the flowering meadow or the storm! Everywhere with Jesus.... Make that your heart's prayer today.

Music & History Courtesy of
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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