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Henry Lyte was left an orphan at the age of nine and was taken in by a kind Irish pastor who had five children of his own, he took Henry in and provided well for him. Henry followed in his adopted father’s footsteps, attended Trinity College in Dublin, and became an ordained minister.

There was a lot of sickness at that time, and Henry and his wife Anna gave themselves to taking care of the sick. Henry became ill with tuberculosis and was not expected to live much longer. At the age of 54, Henry prepared a farewell sermon for the morning of September 4, 1847 which included the lyrics of Abide With Me. Henry Lyte passed away 10 weeks after preaching this farewell sermon.

Don’t hear the words as depressing, but feel the complete peace of someone who knows they are bathed in the love of Jesus.

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, oh, 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 pow’r?
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.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through 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.