1. Brightly beams our Father’s mercy;
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838–1876
About the Author of Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
Philip P. Bliss (b. Clearfield County, PA, 1838; d. Ashtabula, OH, 1876) left home as a young boy to make a living by working on farms and in lumber camps, all while trying to continue his schooling. He was converted at a revival meeting at age twelve. Bliss became an itinerant music teacher, making house calls on horseback during the winter, and during the summer attending the Normal Academy of Music in Genesco, New York.
His first song was published in 1864, and in 1868 Dwight L. Moody advised him to become a singing evangelist. For the last two years of his life Bliss traveled with Major D. W. Whittle and led the music at revival meetings in the Midwest and Southern United States. Bliss and Ira D. Sankey published a popular series of hymn collections entitled Gospel Hymns. The first book of the series, Gospel Songs, was published in 1874.
Bliss’s tragic death at the age of thirty-eight happened near the end of 1876. Philip P. Bliss and his wife were traveling to Chicago to sing for the evangelistic services led by Daniel W. Whittle at Dwight L. Moody’s Tabernacle. But a train wreck and fire en route claimed their lives.
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