Monday, October 3, 2011

Nearer, Still Nearer

Many people do not know hymns anymore.  Short choruses with little meaning, often replace hymns that hold numerous biblical truths within its words. When my children were young, I realized that they did not even know 'Trust and Obey!!' I found a couple hymn books and we began learning hymns together. Hymns are comforting and uplifting to the spirit as we bring a sacrifice of praise unto the LORD.

 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"  (Ephesians 5:19)

The hymn, 'Nearer, Still Nearer' by Leila N. Moris is and example.

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior, so precious Thou art;
Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest,"
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest."

Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an offering to Jesus my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine,
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign;
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.

Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Thro' endless ages, ever to be,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee.

Leila Naylor Morris was the author and composer of this hymn. As a child, she lived in Ohio where with her mother and sister, she operated a millinery shop for many years. In 1881, she married Charles H. Morris. She was active in the Methodist Episcopal church and   in holiness camp meetings.  She was an amazing woman who wrote more than 1000 gospel hymn and continued writing even after her eyesight started to fail. Her son built a 28-foot blackboard with over-sized staff lines, so she could continue to compose. This hymn was first published in 1898 in the Pentecostal Praises Hymnal. 


  1. An absolutely beautiful hymn! Thanks for the notes on Mrs. Morris.

  2. We sung it this morning and it was just perfect for the day!!

  3. Love the words to many of the old hymns Judith and definitely believe there is a place for them in modern churches. My favourite is 'Nearer My God to Thee'... I love the tune, the words... everything about it.

    It's funny but I was just thinking about this text, i.e. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" the other day.

    Whilst the older hymns have some solid teachings and testimony in their verses, some of the tunes to older hymns are very out-of-date and really droney-sounding and I can see why the younger generation don't listen much to them. I rarely listen to them because I find them depressing and not uplifting! However, just imagine if these old Hymns were to be brought into this century music wise - wow!

    That's what was on my mind Judith and this post rekindled these thoughts.

  4. I did not grow up singing hymns. It wasn't until I moved to the United States after marrying my husband - 18 years ago - that I discovered the wonder of hymns. Music plays a very important role in my life. And that's why the Lord guided me to Christian music some years ago. So, though I am not an expert, I do appreciate hymns and Christian music in general. There is no better way to get to the soul than speaking truth through the melodies of Scripture-based songs.


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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