Near To The Heart Of God

Cleland B. McAfee is known for this one hymn. It is a “one-hit-wonder”. Mr. McAfee wrote the hymn Near to the Heart of God in 1903, after two daughters of his brother Howard died of diphtheria within 24 hours of each other. The choir of Park College went to Howard McAfee’s quarantined house and sang it outside the window to encourage the grieving family.

McAfee was at Park College, Parkville, Missouri, for almost 20 years, serving on the faculty, and as college chaplain and choir director. He then pastored in Chicago, Illinois, and Brooklyn, New York. He was also on the faculty at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago (1912-30), and directed the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions (1930-36).

Lyrics and Music: Cleland B. McAfee

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

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One Response to “Near To The Heart Of God”

  1. This hymn is one that I have always enjoy singing with strong emotion. Thanks for sharing the moving story behind this hymn, which I only came to know now. I suppose the words and melody speak of the story behind it. It seems that when God allows trails and afflictions to come into the lives of His children, we are humbled and we look to God and sing out our faith in Him.

    Please keep up the great posts !

    Cheers & Shalom

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