This week we looked at John Newton’s fifth verse to Amazing Grace. Newton talks about his confidence that as he dies and his flesh and heart fail and he walks through the veil that separates life from eternity, he is confident he will find joy and peace. In 1861 the Scottish Anglican pastor Henry Francis Lyte wrote “Abide With Me” as he was facing death from TB. It is possible the hymn was inspired by an earlier bedside visit with a dying friend but as his own death approach his daughter says he handed the poem to her and insisted on preaching his last sermon. The text is based on Luke 24:29 when the two on the road to Emmaus asked Jesus to abide with them as evening was coming. Please enjoy this melodic tune and may we pray that Jesus abides with us in whatever challenges we face today.
“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.
Come not in terror, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus 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.
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.”