(photo of Daniel Otis Teasley)
STAND BY THE CROSS
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother…” (Jn. 19:25)
INTRO.: A song which exhorts us spiritually to stand by what the cross of Jesus represents just as Mary physically stood by His cross is “Stand By the Cross.” The text was written and the tune was composed both by Daniel Otis Teasley, who was born on October 25, 1876, in Christian County, Illinois, the son of James A. and Rhoda A. (Hamilton) Teasley. He entered the ministry of the Church of God denomination in 1896, and served in New York. On January 31, 1901, he married Ora J. Howard in Rootville, Crawford Co., PA. Sometime after 1910, he became General Manager of the Gospel Trumpet Company, where he worked until 1917. He then worked as general manager of Warner Press (1917–18).
Teasley wrote several books such as Historical Geography of the Bible, The Holy Spirit and Other Spirits, How to Conduct a Sunday School, The Gospel Guidebook, and The Bible and How to Interpret It. Also, he co-edited a number of hymnals including Salvation Echoes, Truth in Song, and Songs of Grace and Glory. And he produced many hymns. “Stand by the Cross” was copyrighted in 1907 and first published that year in Truth in Song: for General Gospel Work, which Teasley co-edited with Barney Warren, Andrew Byers, and Clarence Hunter for the Gospel Trumpet Company of Anderson, Indiana.
The song was used in The Gospel Message in Song compiled by Flavil Hall and Samuel H. Hall and published by F. L. Rowe in 1910 for use by churches of Christ. This same book contains another song, “The Glory of God” with words by Mrs. H. Leo Boles, for which Teasley provided the music. Teasley died on November 15, 1942, at Santa Ana in Orange County, California. His body was buried there in Fairhaven Memorial Park. The inscription on his gravestone reads:
DANIEL O. TEASLEY
1876 – 1942
WHEN TIME AND ETERNITY MEET.
“Stand by the Cross” also appeared in the Hymnal of the Church of God, 1953.
The song stresses how important it is for us to be faithful to what the cross stands for.
I. Stanza 1 tells us when to stand by the cross
Stand by the cross when the morning sun
Beams on your way so bright;
Stand by the cross when the shadows fall,
Soon we shall triumph for God and right.
- We must stand by the cross in the morning when the first beams lighten the sky: Ps. 5:3
- We must stand by the cross during the day when the sun shines bright: Ps. 19:4
- We must stand by the cross in the evening when the shadows fall: Ps. 141:2
II. Stanza 2 tells us where to stand by the cross
Stand by the cross till the day is done,
Firm to the end and true;
Trust when the battle is raging wild,
For there is waiting a crown for you.
- We must stand by the cross till the day is done: Jn. 9:4
- But we must stand by the cross where the battle rages to fight: 1 Tim. 6:12
- And we must stand by the cross faithfully to gain the crown: Rev. 2:10
III. Stanza 3 tells us how to stand by the cross
Stand by the cross like a soldier strong,
Fearlessly face the foe;
Soon shall the army of night recede,
Back from the morning’s triumphant glow.
- We must stand by the cross as strong soldiers: 2 Tim. 2:3-4
- Thus, we must stand by the cross fearlessly facing the foe: Eph. 6:10-12
- And we must stand by the cross through the night until morning: Ps. 30:5
IV. Stanza 4 tells us why to stand by the cross
Stand by the cross till the Lord returns,
Faithful through life’s last test;
Soon we shall hear from His blessed lips,
“Lay down thy armor and be at rest.”
- We must stand by the cross because the Lord will return: Acts 1:11
- We must stand by the cross because He wants us to be faithful: 1 Cor. 4:1-2
- We must stand by the cross because we want to hear Him say, “Well done”: Matt. 25:21
CONCL.: The chorus reemphasizes how vital it is for soldiers of Christ to stand:
Stand by the cross, soldier, stand,
Victory will come by and by;
Stand by the cross, soldier, stand,
And we’ll conquer though we die.
As soldiers in Christ’s army, we are to wage a good warfare that we might gain the final victory. In order to accomplish this goal, we must “Stand By the Cross.”