COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE Institute
Hymn History: Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone
The hymn, “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone?” originally read “Shall Simon bear the cross alone, and other saints be free.” Thomas Shepherd, the author, used his hymn after preaching about Simon Peter, who was believed to have been crucified upside down. Later, the hymn was altered to refer to Jesus.
The hymn was written in 1693 and a year
later, Shepherd made his own decision to
take up the cross and follow Jesus. He
left the Church of England, where he was
pastor in a beautiful church building and
became an independent preacher in
Nottingham barn where he proclaimed the true gospel of Christ.
This is often the case for many preachers who feel seriously burdened to carry the cross. Yet, many are burdened with cumbersome duties that diminish their eagerness to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
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Must Jesus bear the cross alone
And all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
And there’s a cross for me.
The consecrated cross I’ll bear
Till death shall set me free,
And then go home my crown to wear,
For there’s a crown for me.
Upon the crystal pavement, down
At Jesus’ pierced feet,
Joyful I’ll cast my golden crown
And His dear name repeat.
O precious cross! O glorious crown!
O resurrection day!
Ye angels, from the stars come down
And bear my soul away.