Ever the silver cord be loosed…then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.@Ecclesiastes 12:6–7
Fanny Crosby (1820–1915)

Fanny Crosby, 1891. Some hymnals show the author as Ida Scott Taylor, one of Fanny’s pseudonyms.

The hymn…was called into being through…a sermon preached by Dr. Howard Crosby who was a distant relative and dear friend of mine. He said that no Christian should fear death, for if each of us was faithful to the grace given us by Christ, the same grace that teaches us how to live would also teach us how to die. His remarks were afterward published in a newspaper, and they were read to me by Mr. Biglow. Not many hours after I heard them I began to write the hymn.


However, these words almost didn’t see light of day. They came to public notice by accident, during a conference Fanny attended at Northfield, Massachusetts. During the meeting, the great evangelist, Dwight Moody, asked if Fanny—like so many others—would give a personal testimony to the audience. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, she almost declined, but finally got up to speak, and said:

There is one hymn I have written which has never been published. I call it my soul’s poem. Sometimes when I am troubled, I repeat it to myself, for it brings comfort to my heart.

You can’t hide a light under a bowl!

An actress related this story: One afternoon, about three years ago, while staying in the city of Chicago, I was on my way to the Ferris-Wheel Park, to spend the afternoon in gaiety, when I happened on the open-air meeting which the Epworth League of the Grace Methodist Church was conducting at North Park Street. I stopped to listen, through curiosity as I believed, but I know that God arrested my footsteps there. They were singing Saved by Grace, and the melody impressed me. Recollections of my childhood days came thronging upon me, and I remembered that in all the years of my absence, my mother, until her death nine years ago, had been praying for me. I was converted and, falling on my knees on the curbstone, I asked the Father’s pardon. Then and there I received it, and I left the place with a peace which has never forsaken me.

Jackson, p. 16

Silver Cord George C. Stebbins, 1894 (🔊 pdf nwc).

George C. Stebbins (1846–1945)

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!


And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace;
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall.
I cannot tell how soon ’twill be;
But this I know—my All in All
Has now a place in Heav’n for me.


Some day, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy tinted west,
My blessèd Lord will say, Well done!
And I shall enter into rest.


Some day: till then I’ll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Savior opens the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.