MISSIONARY - SARAH F. ADAMS

SARAH F. ADAMS
[Born : 22 - 02 - 1805]

Sarah F. Adams was born in England in the winter of 1805. Even as a child she was the center of attention and dreamed of being an actress. In 1834 she married Williams Bridges Adams, a civil engineer. They lived in London so that Sarah could be near the great theatres of that time. In 1837 she played "Lady MacBeth" in the Richmond Theater in London and received rave reviews.


Unfortunately, her frail health hampered her acting carrer and she found herself focusing on her literary gifts more and more. It has been told that she wrote very quickly, as if under some sort of compulsion and that editors seldom found anything that needed change or correction in her work. Among her work you can find hymns of praise that she often wrote, while her sister Eliza, a gifted musician wrote the music to accompany the lyrics.


In 1841 Sarah received a visitor in her home from her pastor, Rev. William Johnson Fox of London's South Place Unitarian Church. He was compiling a church hymnal and wanted to use some of Sarah's and Eliza's hymns. He went on to mention that he was a bit frustrated because he could not find a hymn to go along with his upcoming Sunday message which was based on the story of Jacob at Bethel (Genesis 28:20-22).


Sarah offered to write a hymn based on these verses and for the rest of the week she studied the passage, visualizing Jacbo's sleeping with a stone for his pillow as he dreamed of a ladder reaching to heaven. True to her promise, on the following Sunday the South Place Unitarian Church sang Sarah's song, "Nearer My God, to Thee."


Sadly, Eliza died from tuberculosis in 1846 and Sarah, who's health was failing as a result of consumption, passed away on August 14, 1848 at the age of 43 years.


Sarah's contribution to society in the form of this hymn, and her gutsy determination to not sit back and feel sorry for herself because she could no longer be a theatre artist is a great reminder for each of us.


Here's the lyrics for timeless hymn:


Nearer, My God to Thee

Nearer, my God, to Three. Nearer to Thee.

E'en though it be a cross, That raiseth me!

Still all my song shall be, Nearer, my God to Three;

Nearer, my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee!


Though like the wanderer, The sun gone down.

Darkness be over me, My rest a stone.

Yet in my dreams I'd be, Nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!


There let the way appear, Steps unto heav'n;

All that THou sendest me, In mercy giv'n;

Angels to beckon me, Nearer, my God, to Thee;

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!


Then, with my walking tho'ts, Bright with Thy praise,

Out of my stony griefs, Bethel I'll raise,

So by my woes to be, Nearer, my God, to Thee,

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!


Or if, on joyful wing, Cleaving the sky,

Sun, moon, and stars forgot, Upward I fly,

Still all my song shall be, Nearer, my God, to Thee,

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!


Source: Sarah