Words & Music: , 1915:

[This song] was writ­ten ve­ry near to my home in the mount­ains of North Car­o­li­na. In the sum­mer of 1915 the fa­mous evan­gel­ist was preach­ing at the Pres­by­ter­i­an con­fer­ence grounds at Mon­treat. With him were the song­lead­er Charles M. Al­ex­an­der, so­lo­ist Al­bert Brown, and their pi­an­ist Hen­ry Bar­ra­clough. Bar­ra­clough, the au­thor of this hymn, was a twen­ty-four-year-old Bri­tis­her; he had met Chap­man the pre­vi­ous year dur­ing a preach­ing miss­ion in Eng­land.

During the con­fer­ence, the evan­gel­ist spoke one even­ing on the for­ty-fifth Psalm [in 1893, Chap­man had writ­ten a book called Ivo­ry Pal­ac­es of the King]. He be­lieved, as I do, that this is a pro­phe­tic, “Mes­si­an­ic” psalm which speaks of the re­la­tion­ship of Christ, the brideg­room, to his bride, the church…

After the ev­en­ing ser­vice, “Char­lie” Al­ex­an­der and Hen­ry Bar­ra­clough drove some friends to the Blue Ridge YMCA Hos­tel a few miles away. Sit­ting in the front seat of the car, young Bar­ra­clough thought about the mes­sage and the four short phras­es of the re­frain be­gan to take shape in his mind. When they stopped at a lit­tle vil­lage store, he quick­ly wrote them down on a “vi­sit­ing card”— the only pa­per that was avail­a­ble. Re­turn­ing to the con­fer­ence hotel, he worked out the first three stan­zas, us­ing the out­line of Chap­man’s message. The fol­low­ing morn­ing Mrs. Al­ex­an­der and Mr. Brown sang the new hymn in the Mont­reat con­fer­ence sess­ion.

Billy Graham, in

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.


Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.


His garments too were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
Each time my feet in some sin have slipped,
He took me from its clutch.


In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.