The Story Behind Immortal Invisible God Only Wise
A Scottish Free Church minister educated at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Walter Smith served congregations throughout England. Perhaps his highest tribute came when he was elected moderator of the General Assembly in 1893 for the church's 50th Jubilee celebration.
This hymn is the only one of his collections of poetry that remains in common use. Hymnologist Albert Bailey says creating poetry was for Smith "the retreat of his nature from the burden of his labors."
Of this hymn, musicologist Erik Routley has written:
"[Immortal, Invisible] should give the reader a moment's pause. Most readers will think they know this hymn, the work of another Free Kirk minister. But it never now appears as its author wrote it, and a closer look at it in its fuller form shows that it was by no means designed to be one of those general hymns of praise that the parson slams into the praise-list when he is in too much of a hurry to think of anything else but a hymn about the reading of Scripture. Just occasionally editorial tinkering changes the whole personality of a hymn; it has certainly done so here."
Popular Hymn Lyrics with Story and Meaning
Day by Day and With Each Passing Moment
Jesus Loves Me
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Nearer My God to Thee
Abide with Me
His Eye is On the Sparrow
Be Thou My Vision