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Nearer My God To Thee

Story | Bible Verse | Desktop Background


Sarah F. Adams
Bethany Mason


Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Een 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 Id be nearer, my God to Thee.


There let the way appear, steps unto Heavn;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.


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


Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,

Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward Ill fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.


There in my Fathers home, safe and at rest,
There in my Saviors love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.




Benjamin Flower was an English journalist. Some considered him too radical for his times. He was imprisoned for six months. An English girl, whom he later married, frequently visited him in prison.

Their daughter was Sarah Flower (later Adams). She was brilliant and had varied talents. Because of poor health, she dismissed all thoughts of a career she had long dreamed about. She began to write. In the field of writing she gained her greatest achievement.

The hymn, Nearer, My God, to Thee, will immortalize her as long as time lasts.

It is said to be the greatest hymn ever written by a woman.


Another tale, surrounding the death of President William McKinley in September 1901, quotes his dying words as being the first few lines of the hymn. On the afternoon of September 13, 1901, after five minutes of silence across the nation, bands in Union and Madison Squares in New York City played the hymn in memory of the fallen president. It was also played at a memorial service for him in Westminster Abbey, London. The hymn was also played as the body of assassinated American President James Garfield was interred at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is sung at the end of the award-winning 1936 movie San Francisco. A 1917 film called "Nearer My God to Thee" was made in 1917 in the UK. It is also the title of a painting by physician Jack Kevorkian. This song was also played during the funeral of former United States President Gerald R. Ford.

William F. Buckley mentions in the introduction to his 1997 book "Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith" that the title was inspired by "Nearer My God to Thee".

Bible Verses

Genesis 28:11,12 - And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set. And he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed. And behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

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