Abide with Me
By: Henry Francis Lyte
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, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
From his childhood, Henry suffered with asthma. However, that did not stop him from his studies and earning a Doctorate from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. After graduation, he and his wife, Anne, settled in the fishing village of Lower Brixham, Devonshire, England at the age of thirty-one. Although he was frail, Henry Lyte provided constant encouragement and spiritual food to his flock, which was comprised of fishermen and soldiers from a nearby garrison. Dr. Lyte, who was well-loved for his caring ways and kind words, frequently ignored his own infirmities and ailments to preach and visit the sick. He was reported to have coined the phrase: "It is better to wear out than to rust out." Sadly, in the late 1840s, his physician told him he was suffering from tuberculosis and didn't have long to live. Soon he made plans to move to the warmer climate of Rome, Italy. On his last Sunday, September 4, 1847, he spoke about the need for his congregation to prepare for the time when they would have to meet God. After he was finished, Henry returned to his study where he penned the beautiful hymn, "Abide With Me." Later that evening, he handed the hymn to a relative and prepared for his journey to Italy. After the trip across the English Channel and a carriage ride through the French countryside, Henry Lyte reached Nice, France. He was so weak after the journey, he was confined to his hotel bed. A few weeks later on November 20, 1847, Henry Lyte died. An English clergyman, Rev. Manning, attended him during his final hours. Henry's last words were, "Peace! Joy!" He was buried at the English cemetery at Nice.
When the news of his death reached Birxham, the fishermen asked Henry's son-in-law, who was also a minister, to hold a memorial service. It was there that "Abide With Me" was first sung. This hymn has been translated into dozens of languages and has been meaningful and encouraging to believers throughout the ages.
Dear friends, I hope you all had a blessed Lord's day and have a wonderfully good and godly week!
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. ~John 15:4
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1