Publication information

Hymns Historically Famous
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Nearer, My God, to Thee” [chapter 21]
Author(s): Smith, Nicholas
Publisher: Advance Publishing Company
Place of publication: Chicago, Illinois
Year of publication: 1901
Pagination: 174-82 (excerpt below includes only pages 179-80)

Smith, Nicholas. “Nearer, My God, to Thee” [chapter 21]. Hymns Historically Famous. Chicago: Advance Publishing, 1901: pp. 174-82.
excerpt of chapter
hymns (“Nearer, My God, to Thee”).
Named persons
Edward VII; Matthew D. Mann; William McKinley.
From title page: By Colonel Nicholas Smith, Author of Stories of Great National Songs.

Nearer, My God, to Thee

     Nearer, my God, to Thee, being pathetically associated with the tragic death of President McKinley, has been given a more general recognition than was ever accorded any other hymn in the language. He was a reverent and worshipful man, and had an abiding love for this hymn. He was suffering the acme [179][180] of human pain, and just before he uttered his last words as taken down by Dr. Mann: “Good-by; it is God’s way; His will be done, not ours”—he was heard to murmur faintly: “Nearer, my God, to Thee.” On the Sunday following his death the hymn was sung in unison of heart by great congregations in thousands of churches; and on Thursday the day of the burial at Canton, memorial services were held in every civilized country in Christendom, and the hymn which had been the prayer of Mr. McKinley’s life, was made the prayer of many millions of sorrowful hearts. It was sung alike by worshippers in Catholic Cathedrals and Protestant Churches; and by command of King Edward, a memorial service was held in Westminster Abbey, and in that strangely historic place the tender lines of the President’s favorite assemblage.