Amazing Grace Hymns


April 27

ABIDE WITH ME

Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847

But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to tarry with them. (Luke 24:29 KJV)

Yes, life is like the Emmaus road, and we tread it not alone
For beside us walks the Son of God, to uphold and keep His own.
And our hearts within us thrill with joy at His words of love and grace,
And the glorious hope that when day is done we shall see His blessed face.
—Avis Christiansen

The author of this text, Henry F. Lyte, was an Anglican pastor. Though he battled tuberculosis all of his life, Lyte was known as a man strong in spirit and faith. It was he who coined the phrase “it is better to wear out than to rust out.”

During his later years, Lyte’s health progressively worsened so that he was forced to seek a warmer climate in Italy. For the last sermon with his parishioners at Lower Brixham, England, on September 4, 1847, it is recorded that he nearly had to crawl to the pulpit. His final words made a deep impact upon his people when he proclaimed, “It is my 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.”

Henry Lyte’s inspiration for writing “Abide with Me” came shortly before his final sermon, while reading from the account in Luke 24 of our Lord’s appearance with the two disciples on their seven mile walk from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus on that first Easter evening. How the hearts of those discouraged disciples suddenly burned within them when they realized that they were in the company of the risen, the eternal Son of God!

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 ev’ry passing hour—What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r? 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; heav’n’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee—In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

For Today: Psalm 139:7–12; Luke 24:13–35; 1 John 3:24

Relive the thrill expressed by the two Emmaus disciples when their spiritual eyes were opened and they first realized that they were in the presence of their risen Lord. Use this hymn to help—

Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I lie down in hell, thou art there. Let me take the wings of the mourning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: Yet thither shall thine hand lead me, and thy right hand hold me. If I say, Yet the darkness shall hide me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee: but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and light are both alike. Psalm 139:7–12
  • And behold two of them went that same day to a ton which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs, called Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things that were done. And it came to pass, as they communed together, and reasoned, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden, that they could not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad? And one (named Cleopas) answered and said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein in these days And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Of Jesus of Nazareth, which was a Prophet, mighty indeed and in word before God, and all people, And how the high Priests, and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he that should have delivered Israel, and as touching all these things, today is the third day, that they were done. Yea, and certain women among us made us astonied, which came early unto the sepulcher. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of Angels, which said, that he was alive. Therefore certain of them which were with us, went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not. Then he sai dunto them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken? Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, which were written of him. And they drew near unto the town, which they went to, but he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards night, and the day is far spent. So he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at table with them, he took the bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he was no more seen of them.  And they said between themselves, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and when he opened to us the Scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Which said, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. Then they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. Luke 24:13–35
  • For he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, even by that Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:24

{Lovely photos shown as hymn is sung}

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