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Bear the Cross Alone
Shepherd wrote the first stanza to “Must Jesus Bear the Cross
Alone.” Son of William Shepherd, sometime Vicar of
Tilbrook, Bedfordshire, Thomas was ordained an Anglican
priest, serving first at St. Neots, then in Buckinghamshire.
He later left the Church of England, and in 1694 became
pastor of the Independent Castle Hill Baptist Meeting,
Northampton (Philip Doddridge later served there, as well).
In 1700 he moved to Bocking, Essex, preaching in a barn for
several years before a chapel could be built. He served
there the remainder of his life.
stanzas appeared in a publication by Henry Beecher.
Brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Beecher, his
major contribution to hymnology was his
Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes
(New York: AMS. Barnes and Burr, 1855); it is named after
Plymouth Church, in Brooklyn, New York, where he was pastor.
The music is by
George Allen. Allen studied music in Boston,
Massachusetts, under Lowell Mason. In 1837, Allen became an
instructor in Science of Music at Oberlin College, while he was
still a student; a year later, he was appointed instructor of
Sacred Music, and became a full professor in 1841. Allen was also
a student of geology, and 1847 became professor of Geology and
In 1837, Allen founded the Oberlin Musical
Association (now known as the Musical Union), one of the oldest
organizations of its type in America. In 1844, he compiled the
Oberlin Social and Sabbath Hymn Book.
Lyrics by Henry Beecher
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.
How happy are the saints above,
consecrated cross I’ll bear
Who once went sorrowing here!
But now they taste unmingled love,
And joy without a tear.
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
O precious cross! O glorious crown!
At Jesus’ piercèd feet,
Joyful I’ll cast my golden crown
And His dear Name repeat.
O resurrection day!
When Christ the Lord from Heav’n comes down
And bears my soul away.