Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nearer my God to Thee


SONG WRITER: Sarah Adams                    

MUSIC WRITER: Lowell Mason                     

WHEN WRITTEN: 1841

HYMN HISTORY: This hymn was written by two sisters.  Sarah Flower Adams wrote the words and her sister, Eliza Flower, wrote the music.  Together they wrote a number of hymns, but this is the only one still in common use today.

Sarah (the author of the words) enjoyed a successful career on the stage playing Lady MacBeth in Shakespearean drama, but retired from the stage due to health problems.  Not long thereafter, her sister, Eliza, came down with tuberculosis.  Sarah, determined to nurse her, came down with the disease as well, and both died at a relatively young age.

However, this hymn acknowledges the possibility of suffering but refuses to allow it to have the last word.  It says:

      "E'en though it be a cross
      that raiseth me;
      Still all my song shall be,
      nearer my God to Thee."

BIBLE VERSE:  Psalm 119:151 But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.”

HYMN LYRICS:

Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
E'en 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 I'd be
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto heaven;
all that thou sendest me, in mercy given;
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 I'll 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 I fly,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

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