~* NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE *~
Sarah F. Adams, 1805-1848

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
James 4:8


This well-loved hymn was written by a talented and gracious English woman who lived only 43 years. In spite of her delicate health, Sarah Flower Adams had an active and productive life. After a successful career on the London stage as Shakespeare's Lady MacBeth, she began to write and became widely known for her literary accomplishments. The cross mentioned in the first stanza of her hymn text may have been the physical handicaps that limited her many ambitions.

Sarah's sister Eliza was gifted musically and often composed melodies for her sister's poems. Together they contributed 13 texts and 62 new tunes for a hymnal that was being compiled by their pastor. One day the Rev. William J. Fox asked for a new hymn to accompany his sermon on the story of Jacob and Esau. Sarah spent much time studying Genesis 28:10-22 and within a short time completed all of the stanzas of "Nearer, My God, to Thee". Since that day in 1840, this hymn has had an unusual history of ministering spiritual comfort to hurting people everywhere.

These lines picturing Jacob sleeping on a stone, dreaming of angels, and naming the place Bethel, meaning "the house of God", seem to reflect the common yearning--especially in times of deep need--to experience God's nearness and presence in a very real way.


Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Eíen though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams Iíd be nearer, my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto Heavín;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel Iíll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward Iíll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There in my Fatherís Home, safe and at rest,
There in my Saviorís love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!



*For Today*: Genesis 28:10-22; Psalm 16:7 & 8, 73:28, 145:18;Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:27

When I seek God, He has promised to draw very close to me. What a joyful experience to know His intimate presence throughout every hour of this day!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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