The Truth... What is it?

Another Special Life in Christ:

These lives are not "role models". Jesus is the role model!
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!

And, the story behind the hymn, "Let the Lower Lights be Burning"

Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876), evangelist & Gospel hymn writer:

P. P. Bliss was born in the village of Rome, Bradford county, Penn., on the 9th of July, 1838. His parents were poor, and he knew as a boy what it was to live by the sweat of the brow. His early life was uneventful, and was spent mainly out of doors, so that his mind was molded and refined by the picturesque scenery of that mountainous region. He grew up with a sound physique, and in sympathy with the common thoughts of the common people. His musical talent found vent for itself in whistling, and in singing airs by ear. His marriage to Miss Lucy J. Young, of Rome, had the happiest influence on his life. As she was both musician and poet, she taught him how to sing and play, and incited him to study how to wed words to music. And better still, she was the agent in his conversion and union with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1864 he removed to Chicago, and there enjoyed the instruction of Mr. George F. Root. He connected himself with the First Congregational Church of Chicago, serving as chorister, and as superintendent of the Sunday-school, where he did much good. His rich baritone voice and facility in composing sweet melodies for Sunday schools, led to his engagement by the firm of Root & Cady to introduce their works of sacred song, and he was instrumental in organizing many musical conventions in the Northwest.

Such was the consistent and consecrated disciple whom the Lord called to his reward in the ripeness of his powers and usefulness. After spending Christmas, 1876, with his aged mother at Towanda, and holding praise meetings from house to house, he set out with his wife for Chicago, and was delayed by a mishap to the engine. So he became a passenger in the ill-fated train that broke through the bridge across the Ashtabula River, fell upon the bank seventy feet below, and then took fire. He would not escape by deserting his noble wife, and they went Home together, in a baptism of fire. This calamity shocked the entire nation.

Bliss often got ideas for hymns from the preaching of his friend, D. L. Moody. The lower lights surrounding a lighthouse were used to guide boats away from treacherous rocks & safely into the harbor. Moody once preached a sermon anecdote about a boat pilot during a storm. "Brethren," concluded Moody, "the Master will take care of the great lighthouse. Let us keep the lower lights burning."


"Let the Lower Lights be Burning":

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from his lighthouse evermore,
but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Dark the night of sin has settled. Loud the angry billows roar;
eager eyes are watching, longing for the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp my brother. Some poor sailor tempest tossed,
trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.


Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave! Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

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[posted 19 November 2007]