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Lead, Kindly Light, Amid Th' encircling Gloom Story and Lyrics - John Henry Newman, 1801-1890

Lead, Kindly Light, Amid Th' encircling Gloom Story

THIS prayer-hymn, cast in high poetic form, was penned by John Henry Newman, afterward a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, while on ship board on Sunday, June 16, 1833. It is said that the ship had been compelled to proceed slowly because of the dense fog that encompassed it. Dr. Newman was returning to Marseilles, France, from a visit he had made to Italy. While in Sicily he was taken seriously ill and on his recovery he waited for his ship in Palermo for three weeks. 

Probably both of these facts entered somewhat into the imagery of the hymn, as is evidenced by such phrases as "th' encircling gloom" and "The night is dark, and I am far from home." 

John Henry Newman
The thought and sentiment of the hymn, however, were wrought out of the mental darkness in which Newman was then groping. Some time before, he wrote this note: "Now in my room in Oriel College, slowly advancing, etc., and led on by God's hand blindly, not knowing whither he is taking me." This darkness, beclouding his faith, had become still deeper during the summer of his Italian journey, during which he wrote "Lead, Kindly Light." But the expression of his supreme trust in God, which shines through these lines, so universally popular, has helped many a soul that has yearned for guidance "amid the encircling gloom."

Lead Kindly Light Amid Th' Encircling Gloom Lyrics

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’ encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on;
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on;
I loved the garish day, and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will; remember not past years.

So long Thy pow’r has blest me, sure it still
Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

For more lyrics and stories visit here.

Lead Kindly Light Amid The Encircling Gloom Youtube Video



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