Monday, November 22, 2021

Let's Be Thankful that "This Is My Father's World"

The Niagara Escarpment
American Presbyterian pastor Maltbie Babcock (1858–1901) loved the outdoors. He had been a champion baseball pitcher and accomplished swimmer at Syracuse University before entering the ministry. Pastoring the Presbyterian Church in Lockport, New York, Maltbie took walks to the top of the Niagara Escarpment almost every morning. The scenic views of Lake Ontario were incredible. Each time he left the house, he would tell his wife “I am going out to see my Father’s world."

On one of these walks, Maltbie was moved to write down poetic words about "my Father's world" and what the “rocks and trees, skies and seas" could teach of God's glory.

But here is the rest of the story...
Maltbie Babcock 

The poetic lyrics of "This Is My Father's World" are the only published poetry of Maltbie Babcock. He died by suicide at age 41 in Naples, Italy, on a return trip from his visit to the Holy Land. Maltie had come down with Brucellosis, a virulent disease, acquired from infected milk or meat. The disease can cause a person to enter maniacal fever accompanied by extreme depression. It is believed this disease led to Maltbie's suicide.

Babcock’s wife had his poetry published soon after. Then in 1915 a close friend of his, Franklin L. Sheppard, adapted to Babcock’s words a traditional English melody that he remembered from his childhood, and a remarkable hymn was born.

After almost two years of death by disease in America as well as polarizing political debates that sometimes strain familial relationships, let's pause this Thanksgiving 2021 and remember the glorious truth that "This Is My Father's World."
This is my Father's world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their maker's praise.

This is my Father's world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad.

This is my Father's world
He shines in all that's fair
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass
He speaks to me everywhere.


Hope for Ecuador said...

Great Song

Rex Ray said...


My Uncle Rex’s youngest girl’s favorite song was “This is My Father’s World”. She died in China when she was 5. They told her she was going to heaven. She asked her mother, if she’d go with her. Her mother told her Jesus would be with her. Her last words were, “Mama, which one is our house?”

The song is a beautiful song, but it’s not based on truth because

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, remember it hated me first.” (John 15:18 NLT)

If the world was God’s world, it would not hate his Son.

Ruth said...

Good post, with one exception. Brucellosis is not "mad cow disease". That is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

That hymn has always been one of my favorites. It comforted me many times during periods of stress.

Christiane said...

God's grace is in play in this world through His Creation, and it is beautiful and it is healing indeed

"7 But ask the animals, and they will instruct you; ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you. 8 Or speak to the Earth, and it will teach you; let the fish of the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the Hand of the LORD has done this? 10 The life of every living thing is in His Hand, as well as the breath of all mankind.…"

(from the Book of Job, chapter 12)

Wade Burleson said...

Ruth, thank you!


Rex Ray said...

God said, “…Am I not everywhere in all of heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:24 Living Bible)

Jesus said: “…I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!” (Luke 10:18 NLT)

Wade, can Satan’s temptation and influence be everywhere in the world at the same time, or is it like my father saying? “Man’s born to be lazy, tell lies, and steal.”

Wade Burleson said...


Great question. Jesus also said, "No man knows the day nor hour of My return, except the Father." It would seem to me in His "human capacity" as our Kinsman-Redeemer, the Lord Jesus "limited" His knowledge and His abilities. It's not that He couldn't know, but that He wouldn't know - voluntarily, to die as our Kinsman. That said, the Trinity and the dual nature of Jesus (God/Man) is indeed mysterious in many ways.

Christiane said...

God, the Sustainer

Wisdom 11:21-26: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.”
John 5:17: My Father is always at his work, even to this very day; and I am also working.
Acts 17:28: "For in him we live and move and have our being." As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring."
Hebrews 1:3: He upholds all things by the word of his power
Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Rex Ray said...


“For you love all things that exist”

Does God love ‘fire-ants’?

Christiane said...


'all creatures great and small' :)
(you stay away from them fire ants!)

I hope you and Judy and the family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. God Bless!

Rex Ray said...


I’ve been thinking about our father saying, “Man’s born to be lazy, tell lies, and steal.”

Many years after the event, I was told that a neighbor looked into the room where my twin brother, Hez, and I were in. She screamed:

“Mrs. Ray, one of your babies is about to kill the other. He’s swinging a pipe!”

(The pipe was short, and Hez had all our toys in a corner that I was crawling to get to.)