l>Let the Lower Lights be Burning
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Philip Bliss

Let the Lower Lights be Burning

Brightly beams our Father"s mercy from His lightresidence evereven more,

But to us He offers the maintaining of the lights alengthy the shore.

Let the reduced lights be burning! Sfinish a gleam throughout the wave!

For to us He gives the maintaining of the lights alengthy the shore.

Dark the night of sin has actually settled, loud the angry billows roar;

Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, alengthy the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!

Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brvarious other, some bad sailor tempest tossed,

Trying currently to make the harbor, in the darkness may be shed.

Let the lower lights be burning! Sfinish a gleam across the wave!

Trying currently to make the harbor, some bad sailor might be shed.

*

On a dark, stormy, night, as soon as the waves rolled choose hills, and also not a star was to be seen, a boat, rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland also harbor.

"Are you certain this is Cleveland?" asked the captain, seeing just one light from the light-steustatiushistory.org.

"Quite sure, sir," replied the pilot.

"Wbelow are the lower lights?"

"Gone out, sir."

"Can you make the harbor?"

"We must, or perish, sir!"

And through a strong hand also and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel. But alas, in the darkness he missed the channel, and via a crash upon the rocks the watercraft was shivered, and many type of a life shed in a watery grave.

Brethren, the Master will certainly take care of the great light-house: let us keep the reduced lights burning!

—D. L. Moody.

P.P. Bliss One of God"s gifts to contemporary Christian music was Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876).

A Pennsylvania farm boy who wrote some of the earliest gospel songs to get wide popularity in both Britain and America, he had little formal music training and also minimal schooling. Yet in the short expectations of 12 years (1864-1876) a dedicated heart and also a natural sensitivity to common folks inspired "Hold the Fort," "Ala lot of Persuaded," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," "Hallelujah! What a Savior!" and also the music to "It Is Well via My Soul," among many kind of others.

Evangelist D. L. Moody shelp of Bliss: "...I loved and admired him. I think he was increased up of God to compose hymns for the Church of Christ in this age, as Charles Wesley was for the church in his day. ... In my estimate, he was the most highly honored of God, of any type of man of his time, as a writer and also singer of Gospel Songs, and also through all his gifts he was the most humble male I ever before knew. I loved him as a brother, and also shall cherish his memory...."

Cultivation up largely approximately Rome, in western Pennsylvania, just southern of Elmira, New York, the Bliss family members was well-off in heart, however bad. A hard-scrabble, transient childhood, enabled Philip Bliss few educational avenues. Early discovering the songs of his father, a devout and also earswarm man who loved to sing aloud, young Philip whistled and also sang those exact same tunes, and also periodically "played" them on crude musical instruments. He did not hear a piano till he was ten. At age 11, he left house to ease the burden on his family members, earning his own living in farms and logging camps, fitting in whatever schooling can be possible along the method. His sister remembered the touching scene that day he left residence, the sweetly sensitive boy transferring all his garments wrapped in a handkerchief and also tossing his sisters two pennies over his shoulder as he made his method down the lane, not permitting himself to look back in a last farewell.

From age 11 to 16, his independent presence was disciplined by job-related that surrendered as a lot as $9 per month via board. In 1850, in the time of one of his periods of college attendance at Elk Run, as a Baptist minister conducted a renewal among the students, Bliss made his profession of confidence in Christ. A short time later on, in a creek close to his house, he was baptized by a minister of the Christian church. In reflection later on in life, Bliss said his convariation was undramatic bereason he can not remember a time as soon as he did not love the Savior, feel remorse for his sins, and pray.

Despite little bit schooling, in 1856, at age 18, in what can be watched in retrospect as a tribute to his character and seriousness of function, he was enprovided to teach college in Hartsville, New York. The complying with winter, 1857, in Towanda, Pennsylvania, he met J.G. Towner, father of hymn writer D. B. Towner (composer of the music to "Trust and also Obey," "Grace Greater Than Our Sin," "At Caldiffer," etc.), and that winter the elder Towner"s singing school afforded Bliss his first methodical instruction in music. Also, that winter, probably under Towner"s affect, he attfinished his initially musical convention in Rome, Pennsylvania, an event that intensified his passion for music, nurtured his talent, and quickened his musical instincts. Fortunately, W. B. Bradbury (compositions include "Just As I Am," "The Solid Rock," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," "He Leadeth Me," and also "Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us") , the leading pressure in the convention, was simply beginning his minisattempt as a composer of spiritual music. Bliss took great inspiration from Bradbury, arisen affection for him and also excellent regard for his musical capability. At Bradbury1s fatality later, Bliss wrote a song he entitled, "We Love Him," which concludes:

We love the things that he has actually loved;

We love his earthly name;

And once we understand his angel create,

We"ll love him simply the exact same.

We"ll love each various other better then,

We"ll love "Our Father" more;

We1ll roll a sweeter song of praise Alengthy the "Golden Shore."

The winter of 1858 uncovered Bliss teaching college in Almond, New York, and living via the family of a institution board member. June 1, 1859, Bliss married the daughter of the school board member, Lucy J. Young, and also they stayed in the family members, through Bliss a farm hand also, passist $13 per month, conventional farm-hand also wperiods. Bliss marked that period as very vital in his life. That winter, he began teaching music, enabling him to learn just how little music he knew, and also exactly how passionately he wanted to understand even more. He was frustrated, then discouraged and also almost depressed at his earswarm longing for music education and learning, yet without money also to attend the Common Academy of Music in Geneseo, New York, among the more substantial traveling music schools so widespread in that day, and also the excellent occasion among music lovers of the location.

He later on told the story that at some point once just his grandmother-in-legislation remained in the residence, he threw himself on an old settee and, not having the $30 the Music Academy required, "...cried for disappointment. I assumed whatever had pertained to an end; that my life should be passed as a farm hand and also nation schoolgrasp, and all bappropriate hopes for the future have to be given up."

Grandma Allen, relocated by his passion, told him she had been dropping coins right into an old sock for a number of years. Upon counting the coins, she uncovered more than the $30 required, and also hence did a good business in undercreating Bliss1s six-week course. It was a life-transforming time for the young musician, permitting him to accomplish music leaders of the area, to answer questions he had actually frequently posed to himself, and to have actually realms of music unveiled. After the course, his father-in-legislation bought him a $20 melodeon and also, he listed in his diary, through the melodeon and Old Fanny, his steed, he was in organization as a professional music teacher.

Income from his music teaching bettered his traditional of living and also allowed him liberty to attend the traveling colleges aobtain in 1861 and also in 1863. Bliss was chosen the a lot of intelligent pupil by his teacher at the initially institution he attended, and after that, was provided the attention scheduled for prize pupils, consisting of exclusive voice lessons. His songcreating career was released in 1864. While living in Rome, doing farm work and also teaching music, he wrote "Lora Vale," a sad, sentimental tune about the dying of a young girl, with the chorus:

Lora, Lora, still we love thee,

Tho" we watch thy develop no more,

And we know thou"ll pertained to satisfy us

When we reach the mystic shore.

It taken place that James McGranahan (composer of "Tbelow Shall Be Showers of Blessing," "I Kcurrently Whom I Have Believed," "I Will Sing of My Redeemer"), himself a songwriter and also musical friend of Bliss, was that summer a clerk in the country save and write-up office of Rome. (Later, after Bliss"s fatality, McGranahan took his area as musical associate to Major D. W. Whittle.) He reperceived the proofs of Bliss"s first composition and also readily available suggestions. Publimelted in 1864 as sheet music, the song was well-known and marketed numerous thousand also duplicates. In 1863 or 1864, Bliss had actually met George Root ("Jesus Loves the Little Children," "The Lord Is in His Holy Temple") who, via his brother, W. F. Root, had actually the firm of Root & Cady of Chicearlier, that published Bliss"s initially song, operated a retail music keep, and conducted music colleges throughout the midwest.

Drafted into the army in 1865, Bliss was discharged two weeks later on, once it became clear that the Civil War was ending. A gospel quartet, the "Yankee Boys," of which Bliss was a member, got an market from Root & Cady to "come West" to Chicearlier to host concerts on a salaried basis. The "Yankee Boys" did not succeed, yet the Root brothers maintained Bliss, and also for the next 4 years with Root & Cady, and also then on his own, his occupation was the holding of music conventions, concerts and also offering music lessons throughout the northern midwest. Periodically, he aided write and also assemble songs for Root & Cady songbook publications.

Another pivotal year in Bliss1s life came in 1869 when he met D. L. Moody. The evangelist was holding meetings in Wood"s Museum theatre, Clark and Randolph Streets in Chicback. Moody1s modus operandi wregarding preach in the open up air from the procedures of the surrounding courtsteustatiushistory.org for around thirty minutes and also then to urge the crowd into his meeting. Bliss and also his wife, having actually heard of Moody however never before having actually heard him, out for a stroll prior to Sunday evening services, happened onto the outdoor preaching. When Moody appeacaused all to come inside, they adhered to. The music director absent that evening, the singing was weak, and from his location in the congregation, Bliss1s voice, strong and confident, attracted Moody1s eye. When the service was over and also Moody greeted folks at the door, Bliss wrote later on, "as I concerned him he had actually my name and also background in around 2 minutes, and a promise that as soon as I was in Chicearlier Sunday evenings, I would come and help in the singing at the theater meetings."

Moody asked Root & Cady, "wright here in the civilization they had actually kept such a guy for 4 years that he hadn"t become recognized in Chicago?"

In May of 1870, Bliss accompanied Moody1s friend Major D. W. Whittle to a Sunday School Convention at Rockford, Illinois. There, Whittle, a significant conference speaker, associated an event from the Civil War to show Christ1s being the Christian1s commander, and also of His coming to our relief. (Though Whittle did not witness the occasions firsthand also, he was on energetic duty with Major General Oliver Howard in the vicinity of Atlanta, in October, 1864.) Just before General Sherman began his march to the sea, about 20 miles north of Marietta and also Atlanta, Confederate troops reduced Sherman"s communications lines alengthy the railroad at Allatoona Pass, website of a substantial fortification of Union offers and rations. It was extremely essential that the earthworks commanding the Pass and also protecting the gives be held. Confedeprice pressures surrounded the functions and also vigorous fighting ensued. The battle appeared shed and also the cause hopemuch less to the Union soldiers. But at that minute an officer captured sight of a white signal flag, far amethod across the valley, 20 miles ameans, aheight Kenneexperienced Mountain. The signal was answered, and also soon the message was waved from mountain to mountain: "Hold the Fort; I am coming. W. T. Sherman." The song was instantly born in the mind of Bliss:

Ho! My comrades, watch the signal

Waving in the sky! Reinforcements now appearing Success is nigh!

Chorus - "Hold the fort, for I am coming,"

Jesus signals still.

Wave the answer earlier to heaven, -

"By thy grace, we will certainly."

Though, actually, the expression "Hold the Fort" was never before used--three messages were sent: one saying "hold out," another saying "host fast," and also another saying "host on"--Whittle"s story was in essence correct. When he reached Chicago, Bliss created out the music, and also it was published first as sheet music, bringing immense popularity to its author-composer, and making the expression, "hold the fort" a widely-offered colloquial expression. The militant tune lent itself to all sorts of parodies, and also it became commonly provided in the prohibition, suffrage and labor motions, finding its way into labor songpublications as late as the 1950s.

One of the parodies of the late 1800s was supposedly developed by street people:

Hold the forks,

the knives are coming,

The plates are on the way,

Shout the chorus to your neighbor,

Sling the hash this way.

Following their initial meeting in 1869, Moody never before ceased urging Bliss to full time organization of the Lord. From Scotland also in 1873-74, Moody sent letters: "You have not belief. If you haven"t confidence of your own on this matter, begin out on my confidence. Launch out right into the deep." The ever wise counsel of Lucy Bliss was: "I am willing that Mr. Bliss need to carry out anypoint that we deserve to be certain is the Lord"s will certainly, and also I have the right to trust the Lord to provide for us, but I don"t desire him to take such a step ssuggest on Mr. Moody1s will certainly." Almost as an experiment or trial, in March, 1874, Bliss accompanied Whittle to Waukegan, Illinois for a collection of three meetings in the Congregational Church. Whittle was a Wells Fargo cashier once he enprovided in the Union Military, was wounded at Vicksburg in 1863 and, while reextending in Chicback from a Vicksburg wound, he met and fastened a friendship with Moody.

Moody had been functioning on Whittle additionally to take into consideration finishing his high revenue career as a company executive and to provide himself permanent to pgetting to and evangelism. In the Waukegan undertaking, both Bliss and Whittle wanted to view if their initiatives would certainly be fruitful and if they might detect a feeling of calling to permanent evangelistic work. Wednesday afternoon, March 25, an informal prayer gathering of leaders in the examine turned out to be Bliss1s consecration company, as he yielded to the idea that his life1s occupational have to be full time in the Lord1s organization. Whittle and Bliss went back to Chicago, Bliss to reauthorize his occupational and also uncover someone to take over his conventions, and Whittle to reauthorize his place as Treasurer of the Elgin Watch Company. The 2, in cshed friendship and also association with Moody, worked together till Bliss1 death. The young musician and also entrepreneur left behind a career with its promise of generous revenue and increasing reputation, that would earn as a lot as $100 for a four-day convention engagement. And his Gospel Hymns and also Sacred Songs issued in 1875 in collaboration via Ira D. Sankey almost immediately developed royalties of $60,000. Yet, they accepted not a cent. Whittle, that himself later wrote the words to such excellent Gospel songs as "Showers of Blessing," and "I Know Whom I Have Believed," sassist Bliss never before looked ago.

P. P. Bliss was an attractive, winsome personality -- unpretentious, he liked to call himself "nation boy." Whittle explained him: "Of huge framework and also carefully proportioned, a frank, open up challenge, with fine, huge, expressive eyes, and also always buoyant and cheerful, complete of the kindliest feeling, wit and also great humor, with a devout Christian character, and of unsullied ethical reputation...."

His employer and publisher, W. F. Root shelp of him, "It is rare indeed to uncover both mind and also body achoose so strong, healthy and balanced and beautiful in one individual as they were in him." He inherited from his father a happy, joyous displace which Root described thus: "His smile got in his religion and his faith right into his smile. His Lord was constantly welcome and also supposedly always tright here in his open up and loving heart."

Whittle knew him as "an extremely methodical and also orderly guy," "scrupulously neat in perboy and also apparel, and also via the sensitiveness of a woguy in matters of taste." "A misspelled word in a letter, or the wrong pronunciation of a word in an address, was to him like a note out of harmony in music."

The Blisses, together, gave music for the meetings through Whittle via the latter half of 1874 and also 1875. In their last year, 1876, they invested a week via Moody at Northarea, Massachusetts, wright here the evangelist utilized their talents in a whirlwind of eleven meetings. With Whittle, their meetings ranged from Racine and also Madichild, Wisconsin, to St. Louis, to Mobile, Montgomery and also Selma, Alabama; Augusta, Georgia, Chicearlier, Kalamazoo and Jackkid, Michigan, finishing for the year 1876 in Peoria, December 14. They had actually talked of the Blisses going to Britain via Moody and also Sanessential, where Bliss"s "Jesus Loves Even Me" had actually been instantly renowned, "and also even more than any kind of various other hymn, it ended up being the essential note of our meetings tright here," as Sancrucial composed later on.

The Blisses went back to be with family members for the holidays in Rome, agreeing to satisfy Whittle in Chicback, December 31, and also to sing at Moody"s Tabernacle. In the old steustatiushistory.orgtown, they spent "the happiest Christmas he had actually ever known" with his mom, sister, and also in-laws, and also leaving their kids in the treatment of Mrs. Bliss"s sister, the Blisses checked their luggage via to Chicback and also boarded the train at Waverly, New York. When an engine damaged dvery own, they spent the night in a hotel, then ongoing their train journey in a blinding snowstorm.

As the train puffed its method through the snowy silence, just after 7:00 the evening of December 29, 1876, Bliss was observed in a parlor vehicle via occupational spcheck out out in his lap. He had actually a few weeks previously created verses he titled, "I"ve Passed the Cross of Calvary," and over the holidays had come up via a fitting tune that he sang to family members and, intending to work-related on it aboard the train, had put it in his satchel for additionally attention. It might have been the exceptionally piece that populated him as the train plowed with the snow.

Crossing a trestle around 100 yards from the terminal at Ashtabula, Ohio, passengers heard a damaging cracking sound. In just seconds, the trestle fractured and the train plunged 70 feet right into a watery gulf, the wooden cars recorded by flames fed by kerosene-heating stoves. The lead engine made it across, a 2nd engine two expush cars and component of the baggage vehicle rested via their weight upon the bridge, and also 87 souls fell into eternity in 11 railcars of raging fire. Of 159 passengers, 92 were killed or passed away later of injuries sustained in the crash, and 69 were injured. It was the worst railroad tragedy to that allude in Amerihave the right to history.

Not a map of P. P. or Lucy Bliss was ever uncovered, not an artireality or possession. Contemporaries detailed it was as though he was taken up "in a chariot of fire."

At the research of Moody, the pennies of college youngsters aided to erect a monument in Rome, Bliss"s steustatiushistory.orgtown. So beloved was the young couple that special memorial solutions were hosted in Chicback, in Rome, Pennsylvania, at South Bfinish, St. Paul, Louisville, Nashville, Kalamazoo, and also Peoria.

Twenty years later, in Ashtabula"s Chestnut Grove Cemetery, a monument was erected to all those "unidentified" who periburned in the Ashtabula Railroad disaster. Among the names are "P. P. Bliss and also wife."

Bliss" trunk had been checked via to Chicago, and also in it, making it through its author, was the last song he wrote, establishing to music the words of Mary G.


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Brainard, currently so particularly poignant:

"I recognize not what awaits me,

God kindly veils my eyes,

And o"er each step of my onward means

He renders new scenes to rise;

And ev"ry joy He sends me comes

A sweet and glad surprise.

So on I go, not discovering,

I would certainly not if I might;

I"d quite walk in the dark with God

Than go alone in the light;

I"d fairly walk by faith with Him

Than go alone by sight."

Yet, also after his death, his minisattempt continued, as friends picked up fragments of his assumed and finiburned his occupational -- friends such as James McGranahan, that composed music to words Bliss had written, yet which were not uncovered till after his death: