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When We All Get to Heaven

By Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920


“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess 4:16-18)


Our church worship services even now should be a foretaste of that day of rejoicing when those from every tribe, language, people and nation see our Lord and together “sing and shout the victory.”


The author of this hymn text, Eliza Hewitt, a school teacher in Philadelphia, was another Christian lay worker deeply devoted to the Sunday School movement during the latter half of the 19th century.  Like many of the other gospel song writers of this time, Eliza wrote her songs with the goal of reaching and teaching children with the truths of the Gospel.  She often attended the Methodist camp meetings at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  It was here that she collaborated with Emily Wilson, the wife of a Methodist District Superintendent in Philadelphia, in the writing of this popular gospel hymn, a favorite of both young and old alike.  It was first published in 1898.


The anticipation of Heaven has often been described as the oxygen of the human soul.  “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”