Scripture Verse

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

Introduction

portrait
Fanny Crosby
(1820–1915)

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

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

portrait
George C. Stebbins
(1846–1945)

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.

Crosby

However, these words al­most didn’t see light of day. They came to pub­lic no­tice by ac­ci­dent, dur­ing a con­fer­ence Fan­ny at­tend­ed it 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

Lyrics

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!

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain