Posted by: rcottrill | October 9, 2010

Today in 1958 – George Bennard Died

[Note: The first item was placed here in error. The actual date of George Bennard’s death is October 10, 1958.]

George Bennard’s name will be forever linked to his gospel song, The Old Rugged Cross. That hymn became almost an instant favourite after its publication around 1915. It has remained so, ever since.

Bennard was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1873. When he was young, he trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, in a Salvation Army meeting. He and his wife later worked with the Salvation Army for a number of years. Then he entered evangelistic work on his own, holding meetings in the United States and Canada. Hymn writer Al Smith speaks of meeting him in a drugstore, in his latter years, and describes him as “an elderly man with flowing snow white hair and very thick glasses.”

We are indebted to Mr. Bennard for other songs in addition to his best known one. One that you will find in some song books is the challenge to evangelism and missions, Speak, My Lord. It is based on the vision of Isaiah in Isa. 6:1-8. There, when God sought for a messenger, the prophet responded, “Here am I! Send me.” May we be as ready to do the Father’s will.

Hear the Lord of harvest sweetly calling,
“Who will go and work for Me today?
Who will bring to Me the lost and dying?
Who will point them to the narrow way?”

Speak, my Lord, speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I’ll be quick to answer Thee;
Speak, my Lord, speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I will answer, “Lord, send me.”

Soon the time for reaping will be over;
Soon we’ll gather for the harvest home;
May the Lord of harvest smile upon us,
May we hear His blessèd, “Child, well done.”

(2) Today in 1958 – Margaret Simpson Died
Margaret Mae Simpson was the daughter of Albert Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination. Delicate as an infant, she nonetheless lived until the age of 80.

Margaret wrote the tune for her father’s missionary hymn, The Regions Beyond, published in 1904. The phrase is taken from II Cor. 10:16, where Paul expresses his purpose “to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you [i.e. areas beyond Corinth].”

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go
Where the story has never been told;
To the millions that never have heard of His love,
I must tell the sweet story of old.

To the regions beyond
I must go, I must go,
Till the world, all the world,
His salvation shall know.

To the hardest of places He calls me to go,
Never thinking of comfort or ease;
The world may pronounce me a dreamer, a fool,
Enough if the Master I please.

(3) More from John Newton
An encouraging–though little known–hymn of John Newton’s, that he entitled The Lord Will Provide, was published in his hymn book, Olney Hymns, in 1779.

Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”

The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread.
His saints what is fitting shall ne’er be denied
So long as ’tis written, “The Lord will provide.”

No strength of our own and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Saviour’s great name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”


  1. Hi Robert:

    You visited my blog ( and my post “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” back on September 12th and left a message. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your kind comment.

    My husband and I have been busy for the past month or so, and I am just now getting back online. Sorry for the delay in responding to your comment.

    You have a very nice blog here. My husband and I love the old hymns very much, and I love learning about their history. Recently I discovered Google Books and have downloaded some old hymnals from the early 1800s from their free public domain section. Also some old sermons that were gathered into books from as long ago as the 1700s. You may be able to type in a hymn’s author and find more on that person through the Google Books site.

    When I think about all the people who have walked this earth since Adam and Eve, it just amazes me when I think on how God has known each and every one of us as individuals through the ages, our sorrows, trials and happiness. God is so awesome.

    Thank you for sharing your address for your blog. I will be returning often to read it often.

    • Thanks for your kind words, and for the heads-up on Google Books. I have many very old hymn books, but there are some songs that just appeared once, and are gone. It’s tricky to track them down. Perhaps the Google site will fill in some blanks. God bless.


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