Hiding In Thee

William O. Cushing said that when he wrote this hymn text in 1876, “it was the outgrowth of many tears, many heart conflicts and yearnings of which the world could know nothing.” After the death of his wife in middle age, Cushing was forced to retire from an active ministry because of poor health. He had been a successful pastor in the eastern areas of the United States. He began to be intensely interested in writing hymns, collaborating with many of the leading gospel musicians of that time. One day when Ira Sankey made a special request for a song in his gospel work, Cushing felt it was a direct call from God. He explained:

I prayed, “Lord, give me something that may glorify Thee.” It was while thus waiting that “Hiding in Thee” pressed to make itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune and by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful in the Master’s work.

William Cushing knew personally the sorrows and turmoil of life, but he also knew where he could find safety and rest-in the “blest Rock of Ages.” When this hymn was first published, the author prefaced it with Psalm 31:2-“Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”

Lyrics: William O. Cushing
Music: Ira Sankey

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine, would I be;
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o’er me its power;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.

An interesting point to note is that William O. Cushing had serious trouble with his voice, meaning that he probably could not sing his own hymns out loud, but only in his heart.

Thank God for this hymn that has ministered to many.

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3 Responses to “Hiding In Thee”

  1. Tammy boswell says:

    Thank you so much for your service it is so nice to know that in my heartache a song that was written ministers so out of his pain he passed on a lovely tune that lifts my heart heavenward when its heavy. I lost my 20 year old son in a car “accident” 3 years ago. Thanks for providing godly resources on the internet.

  2. Joanne Mahar says:

    As I’m presently going through a time of testing it happened that some lines of this hymn drifted into my mind in the night. Not remembering some lines I checked out your site. Encouraging also to read the story behind the hymn and to be reminded that our “light afflictions” can encourage and uplift others. How thankful I am too for sites like yours that help to keep these hymns alive. —Joanne

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