Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Story Behind This Is My Father's World

Maltbie D. Babcock was quite an athlete in his day, not only competing, but also excelling in several sports. He was born into a well-to-do and aristocratic family. In addition to all of this, he was an outstanding scholar.

The Lord blessed him with one more thing - a heart forhis Heavenly Father. He followed the Lord's humble call and became a pastor in a Presbyterian church in upstate New York. It was a beautiful area known as the "escarpment". He loved to walk through what he called, "my Father's world." In the distance, he could often see Lake Ontario.

Legend says that these walks are what inspired him to write "This Is My Father's World". The hymn, however, wasn't published in his lifetime. In 1901, at the age of 42, he set out on a tour of the Holy Land. During the Atlantic crossing, he contracted a bacterial infection and died at an international hospital.

After his death, his wife went through his papers and complied them into the book "Though for Everyday Living". That book contained this hymn. Frank L. Sheppard, an accomplished musician, set the words to an old English tune and published in 1915 in his book "Alleluia", a Presbyterian Sunday school book.

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