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Henry Francis Lyte was born in Ednam, Scotland on June 1, 1793. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1814. While there, he also won recognition for his poetry-writing skills, receiving the prize for best English poem three times.
Though he originally intended to pursue medicine, Lyte later determined that the ministry was "a worthwhile profession." However, it took a visit with a dying minister to inspire his personal faith. Seeing the peace in his friend's soul as they read Scripture and prayed, Lyte wished to develop a relationship with God. "The peaceful attitude of that man at death so impressed me that I fully surrendered my heart and life to the Lord, and my ministry felt the impact," he later stated. Lyte served in several small parishes and then ministered in Lower Brixham, an English fishing village, for twenty-three years. In spite of failing health, he built the Sunday school to more than eight hundred children and contributed to great spiritual and moral change in his community.
During his ministry, Lyte wrote several hymns. These were published predominately in two books, Poems, Chiefly Religious (1833) and The Spirit of the Psalms (1834). Undoubtedly, his most universally acclaimed hymn is Abide with Me.
Suffering from asthma and tuberculosis, Lyte was advised to go to the continent for warmer climates in 1847. He made it only as far as Nice, France, where he died just two months later.
|Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven||76||25|
|Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide||402||365|
|Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken||707|