Scripture Verse

I am the light of the world. John 8:12

Introduction

Words & Mu­sic: Phi­lip P. Bliss, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Philip P. Bliss
1838–1876

The Light of the World is Je­sus was writ­ten in the summ­er of 1875, at [Bliss’] home, No. 664 West Mon­roe Street, Chi­ca­go [Il­li­nois]. It came to him all to­ge­ther, words and mu­sic, one morn­ing while pass­ing through the hall to his room, and was at once writ­ten out.

Whittle, p. 137


Once Dr. [Earl S.] Tay­lor was in Cal­cut­ta dur­ing an eclipse of the sun. For days be­fore that event he saw the ci­ty’s streets crowd­ed with pil­grims on their way to va­ri­ous sac­red plac­es, where they hoped to wor­ship and bathe in the Hoogh­ly river just be­low the Gan­ges dur­ing the time of the eclipse, ex­pect­ing there­by to ward off ev­il.

When at last the fate­ful hour of dark­ness ar­rived hund­reds of thou­sands of na­tives thronged the sac­red wa­ters, ter­ror­ized by the eclipse and mak­ing a great cla­mor be­cause they feared a great pow­er of ev­il in the form of a snake was about to swal­low the sun-god.

As Dr. Tay­lor, look­ing from the Y. M. C. Build­ing, wit­nessed this ter­ri­ble ev­i­dence of hea­then­ish su­per­st­ition, he heard a group of na­tive Chris­tians sing­ing in their meet­ing:

The whole world was lost in the dark­ness of sin;
The Light of the World is Je­sus

How thrill­ing! For In­dia’s spi­rit­ual dark­ness is due sole­ly to the eclipse of Je­sus, the Light of the world, made by hea­then­ism in the hearts of her be­night­ed mil­lions.

Price, p. 20

Lyrics

The whole world was lost
In the dark­ness of sin,
The Light of the world is Je­sus!
Like sun­shine at noon­day,
His glo­ry shone in.
The Light of the world is Je­sus!

Refrain

Come to the light, ’tis shin­ing for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned up­on me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Je­sus!

No dark­ness have we
Who in Je­sus abide;
The Light of the world is Je­sus!
We walk in the light
When we follow our Guide!
The Light of the world is Je­sus!

Refrain

Ye dwell­ers in dark­ness
With sin blind­ed eyes,
The Light of the world is Je­sus!
Go, wash, at His bid­ding,
And light will arise.
The Light of the world is Je­sus!

Refrain

No need of the sun­light
In Hea­ven we’re told;
The Light of the world is Je­sus!
The Lamb is the Light
In the ci­ty of gold,
The Light of the world is Je­sus!

Refrain