"Keeping the Hymns Close By"

Beneath the Cross of Jesus


Author – Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830 - 1869
Composer - Frederick C. Maker, 1844 - 1927
Tune Name –“St. Christopher”

I Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

This hymn was written by Elizabeth Cecilia Douglas Clephane, one of the few women hymn writers of Scotland. She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but grew up in Melrose, Scotland. Throughout the Melrose area Elizabeth was affectionately known to the townspeople as “the sunbeam.” Elizabeth enjoyed writing poems and had several published in a Scottish Presbyterian Magazine entitled The Family Treasury. However, the majority of her writings, including this hymn, appeared anonymously in this magazine in 1872, three years after her early death at the age of thirty-nine.

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” was written by Miss Clephane in 1868, one year before her death. The original poem consisted of five stanzas, but today only three are used in most hymnals. It is obvious that Elizabeth was an ardent Bible student for her hymn includes Biblical symbolism and imagery. For example, in stanza one:

  • The reference to “the mighty Rock” is taken from Isaiah 32:2
  • The reference to “the weary land” is taken from Psalm 63:1
  • The reference to “home within the wilderness” is taken from Jeremiah 9:2
  • The reference to “rest upon the way” is taken from Isaiah 28:12
  • The reference to “noontide heat” is taken from Isaiah 4:6
  • The reference to “burden of the day” is taken from Matthew 11:30.

Elizabeth is also the author of “the Ninety and Nine”.

The tune for this text, named “St. Christopher,” etymologically means “bearer of Christ.” It was composed for this text by Frederick Charles Maker, one of the outstanding organists in the English churches of that day. Maker was born in Bristol, England, and he spent his entire active life playing in the various churches of that city. He is also the composer for the hymn “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”.

"For It Is God Who Works"

This book, written by Dolly Martin Monroe in 1997, chronicles the beginning of Houston's first Christian radio station. It contains barriers, obstacles, and financial difficulties through which the Lord navigated this ministry.

We invite you to read our testimony in the hope it may increase your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability to provide for the needs of those who are His.

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Texas

Houston 105.7 FM
Austin 90.9 FM
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Thank the Lord for four years of broadcast ministry in Austin, TX at 90.9 FM and for 17 years of broadcast ministry in Kerrville, TX at 91.1 FM. This Kerrville station now broadcasts the Radio Amistad programs in Spanish.