Scripture Verse

In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

Introduction

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Phoebe Cary
1824–1871

Words: Phoe­be Ca­ry, 1852. The song was po­pu­lar­ized in the Moo­dy-San­key ev­an­gel­ism cam­paigns in Bri­tain. The Con­gre­ga­tion­al Quar­ter­ly for Oc­to­ber 1874 says, It was writ­ten, [Ca­ry] tells us, in the lit­tle back third sto­ry bed­room, one Sab­bath morn­ing in 1852, on her re­turn from church.

Music: Dul­ce Do­mum Ro­bert S. Am­brose, 1876 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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Robert S. Ambrose
1824–1908

Anecdote

A gen­tle­man tra­vel­ing in Chi­na found at Ma­cao a com­pa­ny of gam­blers in a back room on the up­per floor of a ho­tel. At the table near­est him was an Am­er­ican, about twen­ty years old, play­ing with an old man. While the gray-haired man was shuf­fling the cards, the young man, in a care­less way, sang a verse of One sweet­ly sol­emn thought, to a ve­ry pa­the­tic tune.

Several gam­blers looked up in sur­prise on hear­ing the sing­ing. The old man, who was deal­ing the cards, gazed stead­fast­ly at his part­ner in the game, and then threw the pack of cards un­der the ta­ble.

Where did you learn that song? he asked. The young man pre­tend­ed that he did not know what he been sing­ing. Well, no mat­ter, said the old man, I have played my last game, and that’s the end of it. The cards may lie there till dooms­day, and I’ll ne­ver pick them up.

Having won a hun­dred dol­lars from the young man, he took the mon­ey from his pock­et and, hand­ing it ov­er to the lat­ter, said, Here, Har­ry, is your mo­ney; take it and do good with it; I shall with mine.

The tra­vel­er fol­lowed them down­stairs, and at the door heard the old man still talk­ing about the song which the young man had sung.

Long af­ter­ward a gent­le­man in Bos­ton [Mas­sa­chu­setts] re­ceived a let­ter from the old man, in which he de­clared that he had be­come a hard work­ing Chris­tian and that his young friend al­so had re­nounced gam­bling and kin­dred vic­es.

Sankey, p. 211

Lyrics

One sweet­ly so­lemn thought
Comes to me o’er and o’er;
Nearer to my home to­day am I
Than e’er I’ve been be­fore.

Nearer my Fa­ther’s house,
Where many man­sions be;
Nearer to­day, the great white throne,
Nearer the crys­tal sea.

Nearer the bound of life
Where bur­dens are laid down;
Nearer to leave the hea­vy cross,
Nearer to gain the crown.

But ly­ing dark­ly be­tween,
Winding down through the night,
Is the deep and un­known stream
To be crossed ere we reach the light.

Closer and clos­er my steps
Come to the dread abysm,
Closer death to my lips
Presses the aw­ful chrism.

Feel as I would my feet,
Are slip­ping ov­er the brink;
For it may be, I’m near­er home—
Nearer now than I think.

Father, per­fect my trust!
Strengthen my pow­er of faith!
Nor let me stand, at last, alone
Upon the shore of death.

Be Thee near when my feet
Are slip­ping ov­er the brink;
For it may be I’m near­er home,
Nearer now than I think.