#303 Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Words by Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1872 (1830-1869)

Music by Frederick C. Maker, 1881 (1844-1927)


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 that 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.

     Elizabeth Clephane wrote it as a poem in 1869. She placed Proverbs 14:26 at the head of the poem: His children shall have a place of refuge. Unfortunately, she died at age 38, just after she completed the poem, and it was published post-humously. Elizabeth was the third daughter of Andrew Clephane, Sheriff of Fife and Kinross. She lived most of her life in Melrose, Scotland, about 30 miles south­east of Edinburgh. She spent most of her money on charitable causes, and was known locally as “The Sunbeam.” Clephane’s hymns appeared posthumously, almost all for the first time, in the Family Treasury (1872), under the general title of “Breathings on the Border.”