Behind the Song: Dwelling in Beulah Land

This is one of the better known versions of a Beulah Land song to people today.

C. Austin Miles

C. Austin Miles

The song was written by C. Austin Miles.

After attending the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and the University of Philadelphia, Miles became a pharmacist.  In 1892, he abandoned his pharmacy career and wrote his first Gospel song.  He was following his life long dream of serving God.

In his own words:

“It is as a writ­er of gos­pel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Mas­ter, whom I serve will­ing­ly al­though not as ef­fi­cient­ly as is my de­sire.”

His first song written and published was List ‘Tis Jesus Voice.

file0001757210110He is reported to have written many of his songs in a darkroom while waiting on the photographs he’d taken to develop. He is said to read the scriptures while waiting and praying over them until they became songs.

He became an editor and manager at the Hall-Mack Publishers and continued to serve on their staff for 37 years.

Dwelling in Beulah Land was published in 1911.  The song appears in the Cokesbury Hymnal.

Austin Miles also wrote the well-known In the Garden.

Miles died on March 10, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, the melody of the hymn is used in the National Anthem of Fiji, known as God Bless Fiji.

 

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