Text by: Charles A Tindley 1905

Tune by: Charles A Tindley 1905

  1. Nothing between my soul and the Saviour,
    Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
    I have renounced all sinful pleasure,
    Jesus is mine; there’s nothing between.

    Nothing between my soul and the Saviour,
    So that His blessed face may be seen;
    Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
    Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

    2. Nothing between, like worldly pleasure,
    Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
    Must not my heart from Him ever sever,
    He is my all, there’s nothing between. (Chorus)

    3. Nothing between, like pride or station;
    Self or friends shall not intervene,
    Though it may cost me much tribulation,
    I am resolved; there’s nothing between. (Chorus)

    4. Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
    Though the whole world against me convene;
    Watching with pray’r and much self-denial,
    I’ll triumph at last, with nothing between. (Chorus)

Charles Tindley lived between 1851 – 1933. At the time of his birth, his father was a slave and his mother was a freed woman. He was born in Worchester County, MD, being the northern most slave state this type of marriage was rare but possible, though it would never have happened just a 100 miles to the south in Virginia. Charles’ mother died while he was a child of about 2 years. He was sent to live with an aunt so he could maintain his freedom, rather than live with his father and become a slave. Though he didn’t completely escape the harshness of slavery. As he became older his father would “hire him out” which a somewhat common practice for freed Africa-Americans at this time. Those hired often worked beside slaves, doing the same work. The difference was they received some small remuneration for their efforts… and they got to go home at the end of the day.

Tindley eventually moved to Philadelphia as a young man, where he attended night school after working during the day. Though his formal education was sporadic, (he never finished college or seminary), he owned a very large library of books, as many as 8000 books. Later in his life he received two honorary doctorate of divinity degrees from schools in two former slave states, North Carolina and Maryland.

During his late 20’s he got a job as sextant (a fancy word for custodian) at Bainbridge Street Methodist Church in Philadelphia. Starting around 1886 he began to take short term positions at several area churches as his knowledge and understanding of Scripture became recognized. In 1902 he returned to Bainbridge. This time, instead of pushing a broom, he mounted the dais to the pulpit. Those in attendance didn’t know what to expect from this young man they remembered for cleaning and fixing things. He brought a dignity and pose with him he had been learning from his earlier positions. By the end of the sermon he had won and engaged them to loud amens.

This hymn dates from a few years after he returned to Bainbridge. The first phrase sets out the theme for the entire hymn. There will be nothing between him and his savior. He then lists all things he renounces for this cause, starting with the world’s delusive dream; all sinful pleasure. The world says there is no sin or there are no consequences, but he knows this is a lie, a false dream. In the second stanza he continues with denouncing worldly pleasures which become a habit of life. Even if they seem harmless, he will sever himself from them so that nothing comes between him and his savior.

As a young man, rising rapidly in his position, I would expect he was particularly sensitive to the things enumerated in the third stanza. It would be very easy for pride to overtake him and with success comes the adulation of others. Even though he will suffer for it, he resolved to let none of these things come between him and his savior.

And finally, even the hard trials of life, even if the whole world masses against him, through prayer and self-denial, he knows he will triumph, nothing will ever come between him and Jesus.

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