Behind the Hymn: We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes

We’ll Work till Jesus Comes was written by Elizabeth K. Mills.

The song was originally published in 1829, under “Anonymous”. Some historians believe the song may be an American folk song.

However, other books since then have attributed the song to Mrs. Mills.

Elizabeth Mills was born in 1805 in Middlesex, England. She was the daughter of Philip King. She married Thomas Mills, a Member of Parliament.

She was a poet and also wrote “We Speak of the Realms of the Blest“.

She died on April 21, 1829, in Middlesex, England.

We do not know what inspired the writing of We’ll Work till Jesus Comes, but perhaps it was John 9:4, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” Another verse that may have spoke to the author is Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

The music has been attributed to William Miller, whom I’ve found no additional information on.


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  • Ed Hyland

    Thanks for your “Behind the Song” posts. I found one on “We’ll Work Til Jesus Comes” and when I saw your page come up, I knew I had stumbled on your website before (also looking for a hymn or hymn story).

    another hymn story advocate from Charlotte

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