Saturday, 28 March 2015

Story Behind Classic Hymn "The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin" Philip Bliss, 1838-1876


DR. S. EARL TAYLOR, now missionary secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, has visited Christian missions around the world, and has had unusual opportunity to hear missionary hymns sung in many different lands. But rarely has he ever been so thrilled by hymn-singing, he declares, as during an eclipse of the sun in the Orient. In India the natives have a superstitious dread of an eclipse of the sun. They fear that the sun is being swallowed by a demon of some sort. 

Once Dr. 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 Hoogly 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 that 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. A. Building on the heights above, 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." 

The effect was 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. 

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