I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
Chant wrote the lyrics at the request of S. Collier, superintendent of the Central Wesleyan Mission in Manchester, England.
[Mr. Collier] said how amazingly fond the rescued men were of the tune ‘Sandon,’ but that ‘Lead, kindly light,’ though so beautiful, was not an adequate expression of their feelings, and I try and write something as tender, but gladder than Newman’s lovely hymn. I did my best to express myself, and so gave what was wanted.
Light of the world! Faint were our weary feet
With wand’ring far;
But Thou didst come, our lonely heart to greet,
Our Morning Star;
And Thou didst bid us lift our gaze on high
And see the glory of the glowing sky.
In days long past we missed our homeward way,
We could not see;
Blind were our eyes, our feet were bound to stray,
How blind to Thee!
But Thou didst pity, Lord, our gloomy plight,
And Thou didst touch our eyes and give them sight.
Where is death’s sting, where, grave, thy victory?
Where all the pain,
Now that thy king the veil that hung o’er thee
Hath rent in twain?
Light of the world, we hear Thee bid us come
To light and love, in Thine eternal home.