WHEN HE COMETH
William O. Cushing, 1823–1902
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
The scriptural promise of Christ’s second coming is always a thrilling truth for believers to ponder. Beyond that, the thought of the Savior 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 in Disciples of Christ churches. 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,” 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.
Chorus: Like the stars of the morning, His bright crown 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 the expectancy that Christ could return today. Carry this little children’s hymn with you. Share the truth of this song with your family as you have opportunity.