Before the Cross Our Lives Are Judged   2 comments

Easter Cross

Above:  Easter Cross, 1877

Copyright by Gibson and Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-01328

Hymn Source = The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), General Council of Congregational Christian Churches

Text (1928) by Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (1876-1966)

Dr. Blanchard answered Armin Hauessler’s request for information regarding the origin of this hymn.  Haeussler reported an edited version of the reply in The Story of Our Hymns (1952), the companion volume for The Hymnal (1941), the Evangelical and Reformed Church:

In reply to your letter…I would say that what suggested my writing the hymn was the desire to have some words which could be sung to what I always thought was the very beautiful tune of ST. CHRISTOPHER, by Frederick C. Maker.  The words ordinarily associated with it begin, as you know, “Beneath the cross I Jesus I fain would take my stand.”  They are words of a peculiar type of piety which never appealed to me, and I wanted some words which would have a modern appeal.  I therefore appealed the words of the hymn concerning which you wrote.  This was in the year 1928….The hymn was written for my own congregation and without a thought it would travel far.

–Page 292

That congregation was Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio, which has been South Euclid United Church of Christ since the summer of 2014.


Before the cross of Jesus

Our lives are judged today;

The meaning of our eager strife

Is tested by his Way.

Across our restless living

The light streams from his cross,

And by its clear, revealing beams

We measure gain and loss.


The hopes that lead us onward,

The fears that hold us back,

Our will to dare great things for God,

The courage that we lack,

The faith we keep in goodness,

Our love, as low or pure–

On all, the judgment of the cross

Falls steady, clear, and sure.


Yet humbly, in our striving,

O God, we face its test,

We crave the pow’r to do thy will

With him who did it best.

On us let now the healing

Of his great Spirit fall,

And make us brave and full of joy

To answer to his call.

2 responses to “Before the Cross Our Lives Are Judged

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  1. Pingback: Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: Feast of Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard (July 21) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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