Abide With Me

Henry F. Lyte was sickly and unwell much of the time. Despite this weakness he was the pastor of a seashore church in England. Though some wondered at it, he lived and worked among rough sailors and uncultured village folk. But, he loved them and the work among them, and they loved him.

His health eventually became so poor that his doctor advised him to go to the sunny, warmth of southern Europe. Thus, he prepared to sail.

On his last Sunday among the poor people so dear to him, he had no strength to stand up and preach. But, with the Lord's help, he was able force himself to do so and thus, he ministered to the tearful people one last time. We can imagine the sorrow of these folks as they said "good-bye" to the faithful man who had humbled himself, and perhaps sacrificed his health, to do a small work among "no count" people.   Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much...

As the sun set that evening, he wrote by its light the words to this hymn. It is the cry of a loving and grieving heart that has no earthly help nor hope left.

He died within a year from when he left them, but God hourned him in allowing his poem to become a well-loved hymn.


Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away:
Change and decay in all around I see:
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence every passing hour:
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven's morning breaks and earth's vain shadows flee:
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


 

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