January 18

Best Loved Hymns VI: Let the Lower Lights Be Burning

Much respect to Mr. Tennessee Ernie Ford for his unwavering commitment to the appreciation of hymns. Here again, we’re featuring one of his soul-stirring rendition of a hymn that most may not be familiar with. Have a good listen to it.

T.E.F sings “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning”

Don’t you just love the resonance in Mr. Ford’s voice? Like the subject of the hymn he sang,

he served as a light in his era.

The Hymn Writer

Bliss, P. P. (Philip Paul), 1838-1876

A composer of Sunday school melodies, choir director for the First Congregational Church, Chicago, and the Superintendent of its Sunday Schools. Come 1874, he joined D. W. Whittle in his evangelistic ministry. Moved by the great need of evangelical work, he donated the royalty of his Gospel Songs. This, despite his own poverty.

Two years later, he died in a railway tragedy with his wife in Ashtabula, Ohio. His numerous hymns have been widespread and widely used in Great Britain and USA.

Song’s Anatomy

“Brothers, the Master will take care of the great lighthouse! Let us keep the lower lights burning!”
– D.L Moody –

Such strong words from the gifted evangelist, D.L Moody prompted a song that analogizes believers as the lower lights from the Great Light House. If Ronnie Hinson depicted God as The Lighthouse, P.P Bliss referred to Christians as the supporting lights. Both aims to lead wayfaring souls on their journey. God, being the Great Light, guides and warns them of impending hazards. For the lesser lights, it illuminates the navigation as sea vessels get closer to the shore. Same with our reality. Those deemed lost may ignore the Great Light for the fear of the extent it exposes in their lives. But once they came in contact with devout Christians, the light their character reveals can influence changes in someone else’s life.



gospel, hymn, songwriter, Tennessee Ernie Ford

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