Scripture Verse

I am the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16

Introduction

Words & Mu­sic: Phi­lip P. Bliss, Sun­shine for Sun­day Schools (Cin­cin­n­ati, Ohio and Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: John Church and George F. Root & Sons, 1873), num­ber 68 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Philip P. Bliss
(1838–1876)

Origin of the Hymn

On one oc­ca­sion the ves­sel on which [Dwight L.] Moody was re­turn­ing from Eur­ope, ac­com­pa­nied by his old­est son, was dis­a­bled by the break­ing of a propel­ling shaft.

Mrs. Moody was at my home in Brook­lyn, wait­ing to re­ceive them on their ar­ri­val. Day af­ter day passed with­out word from the steam­er, and Mrs. Moody be­came al­most fran­tic with an­xi­e­ty.

At last I re­ceived this ca­ble dis­patch from Mr. Moody: Saved, thank God. I learned af­ter­wards that the peo­ple ga­thered around him and begged him to pray for their de­liv­er­ance.

Sev­er­al in­fi­dels on board, who had been mak­ing light of Mr. Moody’s work, were found kneel­ing at his side, and through the ear­nest­ness of his pray­ers and di­vine help they were led to Christ.

Sankey, p. 222


We watched the wreck with great an­xi­e­ty. The life boat had been out some hours, but could not reach the ves­sel through the great break­ers that raged and foamed on the sand bank.

The boat ap­peared to be leav­ing the crew to per­ish. But in a few min­utes the Cap­tain and six­teen sail­ors were ta­ken off, and the ves­sel went down.

When the life boat came to you, did you ex­pect it had brought some tools to re­pair your old ship? I said.

Oh no, she was a to­tal wreck. Two of her masts were gone, and if we had stayed mend­ing her on­ly a few minutes, we must have gone down, sir.

When once off the old wreck and safe in the life boat, what re­mained for you to do?

Nothing, sir, but just to pull for the shore.

Whittle, p. 133

Lyrics

Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand!
See o’er the foaming billows fair haven’s land,
Drear was the voyage, sailor, now almost o’er,
Safe within the life boat, sailor,
Pull for the shore.

Refrain

Pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore!
Heed not the rolling waves, but bend to the oar;
Safe in the life boat, sailor, cling to self no more!
Leave the poor old stranded wreck,
And pull for the shore.

Trust in the life boat, sailor, all else will fail,
Stronger the surges dash and fiercer the gale,
Heed not the stormy winds, though loudly they roar;
Watch the bright and morning Star,
And pull for the shore!

Refrain

Bright gleams the morning, sailor, uplift the eye;
Clouds and darkness disappearing, glory is nigh!
Safe in the life boat, sailor, sing evermore;
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Pull for the shore.

Refrain