Jewels

Words by the Rev. W. 0. Cushing Music by G. F. Root

"When he cometh, when he cometh,
To make up his jewels.”




This hymn was written by the Rev. W. O. Cushing and set to music by G. F. Root, and is one of the most popular children's hymns in the world. He wrote many hymns for me, among the most popular of which may be mentioned, ”Hiding in Thee” and ”There'll be no Dark Valley."

The Rev. William Orcott Cushing was born in Hingham, Mass., 1823, and was converted while yet a child. He entered the ministry, and continued therein for many years, until he partly lost the power of speech. This caused him to give up preaching, but the prayer which he made, ”Lord still give me something to do for thee!” was wonderfully answered, and he was permitted to write hymns for children, many of which have been blessed to tens of thousands throughout the world, whom his voice as a preacher could never have reached.

“Jewels” takes rank with ”Come to the Saviour” and ”I am so glad that Jesus loves me, ”two of the most popular children's hymns in the world. The Rev. Mr. Cushing died 1902.

A minister returning from Europe on an English steamer visited the steerage, and after some friendly talk, proposed a singing service—if something could be started that ”everybody” knew—for there were hundreds of emigrants there from nearly every part of Europe.

“It'll have to be an American tune, then, ”said the steerage-master; ”try ' His Jewels.'“
The minister struck out at once with the melody and words—
"When he cometh, when he cometh,"

and scores of the poor, half-fed multitude joined voices with him. Many probably recognized the music of the old glee, and some had heard the sweet air played in the church steeples at home. Other voices chimed in, male and female, catching the air and sometimes the words—they were so easy and so many times repeated—and the volume of song increased, till the singing minister stood in the midst of an international concert, the most novel that he ever led. (Theron Brown's Story of the Hymns and Tunes.)

George Frederick Root, Doctor of Music, the author of the tune, was born in Sheffield, Mass., 1820, and died 1895.