Scripture Verse

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

Introduction

portrait
Laura O. D. Chant
1848–1923

Words: Lau­ra O. D. Chant, June 1901.

Music: San­don Charles H. Pur­day, The Church and Home Tune Book 1857 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Pur­day (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Origin of the Hymn

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.

Laura Chant

Lyrics

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.