#SS: Abide With Me
Today’s hymn is another long-time favorite of mine.
The author of the hymn, Henry Francis Lyte, was an Anglican minister. He was a curate in County Wexford from 1815 to 1818. According to a plaque erected in his memory in Taghmon Church, he preached frequently in Killurin Church, about nine miles from there. During that time the rector of Killurin Parish, the Reverend Abraham Swanne, was a lasting influence on Lyte's life and ministry. Later he was vicar of All Saints' Church in Brixham, Devon, England.
The summer was passing away, and the month of September (that month in which he was once more to quit his native land) arrived, and each day seemed to have a special value as being one day nearer his departure. His family were surprised and almost alarmed at his announcing his intention of preaching once more to his people. His weakness and the possible danger attending the effort, were urged to prevent it, but in vain. "It was better", as he used to say often playfully, when in comparative health, "to wear out than to rust out". He felt that he should be enabled to fulfil his wish, and feared not for the result. His expectation was well founded. He did preach, and amid the breathless attention of his hearers, gave them a sermon on the Holy Communion ... In the evening of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear relative the little hymn, "Abide with Me", with an air of his own composing, adapted to the words.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
Come not in terror, as the King of kings,
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
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