The Story Behind…
Low in the grave He lay—Jesus my Saviour!
Waiting the coming day —Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.,
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Vainly they watch His bed—Jesus my Saviour!
Vainly they seal the dead—Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep his prey—Jesus my Saviour!
He tore the bars away—Jesus my Lord!
Both the words and music of this hymn were written by Robert Lowry, author of “Shall We Gather at the River?” and “Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?” He also composed many hymn tunes, including “One More Day’s Work for Jesus,” “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me,” “We’re Marching to Zion,” and “Saviour, Thy Dying Love.”
Robert Lowry was born in 1826. A graduate of Bucknell University, and an honored Baptist pastor in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, in 1868 he succeeded William B. Bradbury as editor of Sunday School hymn books for Bigelow and Main Company.
Strange to say, Dr. Lowry deprecated much mention of his hymns and tunes, though he could not deny their success. An active Christian from 17 years of age, through his early pulpit service, his professorship in belles-lettres at Bucknell, and the long pastorate in Plainfiled, New Jersey, closed by death in 1899, he considered preaching to be his supreme function as it certainly was his first love. Music to him was a “side issue,” an “efflorescence,” and writing a hymn ranked far below preparing and delivering a sermon. Yet almost a century later his hymns remain a potent force in many gospel meetings.