Daily Devotion Weekend

I”I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also”. (John 14:2b-3)


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)