George Matheson, born in 1842, was a Scottish minister and hymn writer. In his teenage years Matheson was diagnosed with a disease that would render him blind by age 20.
However, he was undeterred by this potential setback. Determined to get an education, Matheson entered the University of Glasgow and graduated with honors.
While engaged to be married, his fiancée returned the engagement ring with this note: “I cannot see my way clear to go through life bound by the chains of marriage to a blind man.” Heart-broken by her rejection, Matheson never married.
The hurt of his unrequited love was something from which he never completely recovered. When his sister married, the ceremony painfully reminded George of his lost love. As always, he turned to God’s love for comfort and consolation. So, on June 6, 1882, George Matheson penned these words that Albert L. Peace later set to music.