Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Elizabeth Clephane lived in Scotland with two older sisters and a father who was the county sheriff. She was known in her town as “The Sunbeam”, even though she was sickly and had a weak disposition. Elizabeth was very benevolent and used what money she has to help others. She wrote two hymns that remain, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” and “The Ninety and Nine”, but neither were published until after she died at the young age of thirty-nine. The editor who published Clephane’s poems described her words as written by someone on the “edge of life” staring into eternity from the earth1.

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat
And the burden of the day.

Upon the cross of Jesus
Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me:
And from my stricken heart with tears
Two wonders I confess,
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place:
I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of his face;
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss;
My sinful self my only shame,
My glory all the cross.

1page 151 – Leeman, D. and Leeman, B., 2022. Our Hymns, Our Heritage: A Student Guide to Songs of the Church

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