Posted by: rcottrill | April 8, 2010

Today in 1886 – Charles Marsh Born

The father of Charles Howard Marsh was a Congregational pastor in Iowa. Charles became a gifted musician, playing both piano and organ, directing choirs, and composing many songs, anthems and instrumental works. He was also known for his poetry and painting. In 1932, he became professor of organ at the University of Florida.

In 1910, Marsh provided the tune for Henry Ostrom’s gospel song, Is It the Crowning Day? (For more on Henry Ostrom, see the second item under Today in 1930.)

Jesus may come today
Glad day, glad day!
And I would see my Friend;
Dangers and troubles would end
If Jesus should come today.

Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

(2) Today in 1962 – Esther Rusthoi Died
SGraphic Esther Kerr Rusthoiamuel Kerr emigrated from Scotland to America, where he married Diana Rose Crater, and began to raise a family. A son, Philip, was born in 1906, and Esther came along three years later.

As they grew up, both she and her brother demonstrated a gift for making music. They went on to play instruments, and compose and arrange songs in praise of God. Philip also wrote a book on the history of hymns called Music in Evanglism. As a young woman Esther married Howard Rusthoi, and the couple served the Lord diligently for a number of years. However, ill health cast a shadow over her life. One who knew writes of “dear suffering Esther.” She died in 1962, at the age of 53.

But Esther Rusthoi has given to the church a testimony of her faith in the form of a beautiful gospel song. In 1941 she published When We See Christ. Whether her own suffering had commenced by then, or she wrote of what she knew of others, it provides a heart-warming message for us all.

Oft-times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

(3) Today in 1968 – Softly and Tenderly sung
MGraphic Martin Luther King killed at motelartin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was an American clergyman, social activist, and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize in 1964 for his efforts to end racial discrimination. He was slain by a sniper’s bullet on April 4th, 1968. The motel in Memphis (pictured here), where Rev. King was assassinated while standing on the second floor balcony, is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. At a memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Will Thompson’s gospel song Softly and Tenderly was sung. Though the author meant it as an invitation to faith in Christ, it is sometimes used at funeral services in the sense of God calling home the loved one who has died.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber Hymnal (Esther […]

  2. How can I get the Music to the whole song? I am happy to pay for it, but I cannot find it.

    • You don’t name the song your looking for. There are three on the page you went to: Is It the Crowning Day? When We See Christ, and Softly and Tenderly. All three are found in Living Hymns, which you can order here. God bless.


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