The Life-Boat

Light in the darkness sailor, day is at hand!

Author: P. P. Bliss
Tune: [Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand!]
Published in 22 hymnals

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Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. 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.

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.

2. 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]

3. 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]

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #5702

Author: P. P. Bliss

Bliss, Philip, b. at Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, July 9, 1838. In 1864 he went to Chicago in the employ of Dr. George F. Root, the musician, where he was engaged in conducting musical Institutes, and in composing Sunday School melodies. Originally a Methodist, he became, about 1871, a choirman of the First Congregational Church, Chicago, and the Superintendent of its Sunday Schools. In 1874 he joined D. W. Whittle in evangelical work. To this cause he gave (although a poor man) the royalty of his Gospel Songs, which was worth some thirty thousand dollars. His death was sudden. It occurred in the railway disaster at Ashtabula, Ohio, Dec. 30, 1876. ... Some of his verses have obtained wide popularity in most English-speaking countries. T… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Light in the darkness sailor, day is at hand!
Title: The Life-Boat
Author: P. P. Bliss
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore!
Notes: On one oc­ca­sion the ves­sel on which [Dwight Ly­man] 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
Copyright: Public Domain


Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand. Safety. This hymn, “The Life-Boat," has attained to great popularity. The incident upon which it is based, that of the rescue of a ship's crew by a life-boat, is given in detail by Mr. Sankey in his Sacred Songs, &c, No. 99 (large ed.). It is sometimes known by its refrain, "Pull for the shore," &c. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #5702
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Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

The Cyber Hymnal #5702

Welsh and English Hymns and Anthems #110

Include 20 pre-1979 instances
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