SONG & MUSIC WRITER: Paul Rader
HYMN HISTORY: Henry F. Lyte was a man who greatly loved the Lord with his whole being. He came up with the saying, “It is better to wear out than to rust out,” and it perfectly described his life.
During the last 23 years of his life he pastored a poor church in England. His always suffered from poor health but during this time his health started to decline even more. Finally on September 4, 1847 he preached his last sermon to his congregation. He was in need of the warmer climate of Italy. His final sermon made a deep impression to his congregation. It has been described that he had to practically crawl up to the pulpit that day. He said during his sermon that it was his desire to “induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ.” He never was able to make his trip to Italy, he died on the journey. Shortly before preaching his last sermon he wrote the words and tune to the hymn, “Abide With Me.” He based his hymn on the text which tells the story of Christ on the way to Emmaus and the disciples statement, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.”
BIBLE VERSE: John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” ESV
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?
Thru cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!
Hold Thou Thy word before my closing eyes,
Shine thru 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!