Posted by: rcottrill | June 7, 2010

Today in 1878 – Knowles Shaw Died

When he was only 13, Knowles Shaw stood at the bedside of his dying father. “Prepare to meet thy God!” said the old man. Weighty words from Amos 4:12. And the young man promptly ignored them! A talented fiddler, he played for many community dances, living a careless, fun-filled life.

But five years later, at a rowdy dance party, Knowles Shaw seemed to hear his father’s words echoing in his heart. He says he dropped his violin bow on the spot. Sensing his values were all wrong, he determined never again to use his talent just to amuse the careless crowd. At the age of eighteen, Knowles Shaw gave his heart to Christ and prepared for Christian ministry. Records kept at the time suggest that the Lord used him to bring nearly 20,000 people to Christ.

In 1874, he wrote a gospel song called Bringing in the Sheaves. It is based on Psalm 126:5-6 which says:

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

That expresses a basic principle that can be applied to serving the Lord. A similar encouragement is given to us in Galatians, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). These passages remind us there is hard work involved in our service for the Lord, with heavy burdens, and perhaps even tears. But the end result is well worth it. In part, Knowles Shaw’s hymn says:

Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Say what you will about any lack of polish evident in the singing on this video clip, but these folks clearly love to sing. Wow! (It takes them a stanza to warm up, but stick with it.) A “joyful noise unto the Lord” indeed! (Ps. 98:4, KJV).

(2) Sooner or Later (Data Missing)
Christians today are waiting for and looking forward to the promised return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11; II Tim. 4:8). We know He has promised to come “quickly” (Rev. 22:12, 20). Yet it has been 2,000 years since then. Has He forgotten to return? No. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, the Greek word translated “quickly” (tachu) can mean soon, but it also carries the idea of suddenly (and thus unexpectedly). Second, God does not count time as we do. He inhabits eternity (Isa. 57:15), existing in the eternal now. The Bible says, “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Pet. 3:8). And Moses wrote of Him, “A thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past” (Ps. 90:4).

In His infinite wisdom, God has not chosen to reveal the timing of Christ’s return to us (Matt. 24:36). But we know that He is a God of truth, and sooner or later the Lord will come back again.

That became the theme of a gospel song that appears in several of our hymn books. Little is know of the author. Even her name is uncertain. She is listed as Lula W. Koch, and as Lulu W. Koch. She was born in 1892, but that is all we know. But here is a bit of her song.

Sooner or later the skies will be bright,
Tears will be all wiped away;
Sooner or later, then cometh the light,
Night will be turned into day.

Sooner or later cares will have flown,
Sunshine and gladness we’ll see;
Sooner or later God calleth His own,
With Him forever to be.

Sooner or later, our Lord knows the hour,
He’ll send His beloved Son;
Sooner or later, in His might and pow’r,
Our battles all will be won.


  1. Great new blog, Bob! Keep up the good work!

    • High praise, Dick, coming from you! You’ve set the gold standard for websites on hymns. I’ll plug your site on my blog as often as I can.

  2. Well Bob,you’ve taken on quite a task in starting your blog. My first impression is, I LIKE IT. Pastor M. promoted it this morning. Are you going to install a counter to record the number of visits? I’ll be reading it daily as I’ve subscribed to your RSS. Best wishes and God bless.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, and for the promote, George. Yes, it is rather a monumental task! Finding something for each of 366 days, researching and writing it. But it’s an area I have some knowledge of to begin with, and that helps. Glad you subscribed to the RSS. There are some interesting things coming. (Watch for the tribute to my father, coming on the 15th, the Monday before Father’s Day.)

  3. Hi Bob Well I was trying to make a comment on the person that wrote Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing however I landed on this page so I am not sure if this is where I should be but anyway I want to pass the main page on to my music pastor if that is ok with you.My computer is doing funny things these days one time I can get on my yahoo the next time I can’t so please leave me a response as to whether or not you got this. By the way let me know when the book comes out I will make sure that I get a copy… God Bless you in this ministry
    Lorraine Shepherd

    • Sorry Lorraine, apparently I missed seeing this comment of a couple of weeks ago. (Oh well, better late than never, as they say!) Sure, pass the blog address on to the pastor. I’m sure he can make use of some of the information on the site. As to computers doing funny things… Maybe we should start a support group!

  4. Bob,
    Enjoyed several notations you made. “This Day in Hymn History” is an excellent idea – perhaps another book! I have looked for a copy of Julian’s Hymnology (don’t know the actual title) to look up background on hymns. Any idea where to get one? BTW, I have tagged CyberHymnal on my “Favorites” list, but now I will just use yours, since you have a link to them.

    • Thanks for the good word. And I do have Julian, a massive 2-volume work with some 15,000 entries. These are mainly historical information and technical data on hymns written before 1907. No real scriptural background or spiritual dimension. But good in its place.

  5. […] found in our hymn books solely as the composer of the tune for Bringing in the Sheaves, written by Knowles Shaw. But without such obscure contributions by many, we would be unable to enjoy the hymns we have sung […]

  6. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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