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In the Sweet By and By
Isaiah 33:17
SWEET BY AND BY  |  Hymn History  |  Same-Tune Hymns  |  Bible Passage
Author: Sanford F. Bennett, 1836-1898
Musician: Joseph P. Webster, 1819-1875

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling-place there.

Refrain:
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of His love,
And the blessings that hallow our days.



HYMN HISTORY:

Just like all the rest of us, composer Joseph Webster had his off days. So when he walked into the office of his friend Dr. Sandford Bennett, the doctor instinctively knew that the musician was down in the dumps.

'What's the trouble now,' Bennett asked Webster, who appeared rather melancholy.

'Oh, nothing,' came the dejected reply. 'Everything will be alright by and by.'

Dr. Bennett turned back to his desk where he wrote prescriptions as a profession and verse as a hobby. "By and by", he mused. "The sweet by and by." He paused, looked over at Webster who by this time was warming himself at the stove and then reached for his writing paper and pen.

The man at the stove, Joseph Philbrick Webster was an out and out musician. In the east, where he was born in 1819, he had been an active member of the Handel and Hayden society and a prolific composer of popular songs. In his early thirties he made the great move west, first to Indiana and then in 1857 to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where he eventually settled.

When the verse writing physician, Sandford Fillmore Bennett moved to the same town in 1861, it was natural that the two should strike up a partnership.

After six years Bennett knew Webster like a song-book and he soon learned that the best remedy for his partner's bouts of gloom was a batch of verses to be set to music.

But on that particular day in 1867, the clever doctor had no such remedy in stock. However, Webster's casual remark had given him a theme and quickly he had gone to work.

While the physician wrote hastily at his desk two other townsfolk joined the musician at the stove. In a few minutes Bennett handed Webster three verses and a chorus; and in less time than it had taken the doctor to write the words the composer set it to music.

He gave the melody a few rounds on his violin and the four men sang the new hymn for the first time.

There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling-place there

In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

To our bountiful Father above
We will offer the tribute of praise,
For the glorious gift of His love,
And the blessings that hallow our days.


OTHER HYMNS with the SAME TUNE:

•   I Believe Jesus Saves  Francis Bottome, 1823-1894
•   Only One Life to Give  Anon.
•   What Must It Be to Be There!  Elizabeth Mills, 1805-1829


BIBLE PASSAGE:

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.



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