Scripture Verse

I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20


Maltbie D. Babcock (1858–1901)

Words: Malt­bie D. Bab­cock, Thoughts for Ev­ery-Day Liv­ing (New York: Charles Scrib­ner’s Sons, 1901), pag­es 173–74.

Music: Ad­vent (Goss) John Goss, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

John Goss (1800–1880)
National Portrait Gallery


Origin of the Hymn

No Dis­tant Lord Have I was wri­tten as a ve­ry per­son­al and in­ti­mate ex­press­ion of Dr. Bab­cock’s de­vo­tion to Je­sus Christ, his un­fail­ing Friend and Sav­iour. That the po­em, or parts of it, would ev­er be used as a hymn prob­ab­ly ne­ver en­tered his mind. How­ev­er, three stan­zas of the po­em were first set to mu­sic in 1927 and in­cor­po­rat­ed in “The Church School Hymn­al for Youth” in 1928, in the sec­tion deal­ing with the spir­it­ual pre­sence of Christ.

Laufer, p. 56


No dist­ant Lord have I,
Loving afar to be;
Made flesh for me, He can­not rest
Until He rests in me.

Brother in joy and pain,
Bone of my bone was He;
Now—in­ti­ma­cy clos­er still,
He dwells Him­self in me.

I need not jour­ney far
This dear­est Friend to see;
Companionship is al­ways mine;
He makes His home with me.

I en­vy not the twelve,
Nearer to me is He;
The life He once lived here on earth
He lives again in me.

Ascended now to God,
My wit­ness there to be,
His wit­ness here am I, be­cause
His Spir­it dwells in me.

O glo­ri­ous Son of God,
Incarnate De­ity,
I shall for­ev­er be with Thee
Because Thou art with me.