About The Author

Bruce Sechrest is a musical Evangelist. Founder of the non-profit music publishing house Fairhaven's Well. Bruce's goal is to help people with the messages in his music.

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A song that came from Depression

The Story Behind In the Sweet By and By As told by the Website Godtube

Sanford Fillmore Bennett was born in New York, 21 June 1836.  In 1864 enrolled in the Wisconsin Volunteers and served as Second Lieutenant. Following the war, he returned to Elkhorn and started a drug store and began the study of medicine. He graduated from Rush Medical College in 1874.

Bennett described the composition of the hymn in his autobiography.

Mr. Webster, like many musicians, was of an exceedingly nervous and sensitive nature, and subject to periods of depression, in which he looked upon the dark side of all things in life. I had learned his peculiarities so well that on meeting him I could tell at a glance if he was melancholy, and had found that I could rouse him up by giving him a new song to work on.

He came into my place of business [in Elkhorn, Wisconsin], walked down to the stove, and turned his back on me without speaking. I was at my desk. Turning to him, I said, “Webster, what is the matter now?” “It’s no matter,” he replied, “it will be all right by and by.” The idea of the hymn came me like a flash of sunlight, and I replied, “The Sweet By and By! Why would not that make a good hymn?” “Maybe it would,” he said indifferently. Turning to my desk I penned the words of the hymn as fast as I could write. I handed the words to Webster. As he read his eyes kindled, and stepping to the desk he began writing the notes. Taking his violin, he played the melody and then jotted down the notes of the chorus. It was not over thirty minutes from the time I took my pen to write the words before two friends with Webster and myself were singing the hymn.—Sanford Fillmore Bennett (1836-1898)

There are a lot of songs that a person can play and sing. Each song may have a different message to convey.  To sing a song about heaven is to sing about hope. Hope now and of things to come.

Hope was described to me once as this…” Hope is the sound of the bird who is singing in the dark of night, as it hears the sound of the sun coming up.”

My dad who was the “preacher”, said to me at the end of his life after preaching for over 50 years. ” Son, I hope I got this right” … It bothered me for a long time that he said that.  It took me years later to unpack that conversation.

You see I have figured out what he meant.

Hope is the product of faith. To have hope we must have doubt.  God sent his Son that we may have hope in the face of doubt.

So, let us sing as that bird sings in the dark as we hear the Son coming for us. We sing to The Ageless One, The Lamb of God! The Bright and Morning Star!

Sing me a song about Heaven, sing me a song about His Love.

Listen to Heaven Medley

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