Scripture Verse

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

Introduction

portrait
Maltbie D. Babcock
(1858–1901)

Words: Malt­bie D. Bab­cock (1858–1901).

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

Alternate Tunes:

portrait
John Goss
(1800–1880)

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

Lyrics

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;
More intimate and 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.