THE world-famous hymn Abide With Me was written by the Rev Henry Francis Lyte.
Eighty years after he wrote it, in April 1927, it was sung for the first time at a Wembley FA Cup Final when Cardiff City were victorious over Arsenal, and this coveted trophy went out of England for the first and last time.
Mr Henry Lyte became a clergyman before he became a Christian. He hoped that his religious duties plus a few good deeds would get him into heaven.
Happily a colleague told him that if he read the New Testament he would find that the true way to heaven was not by trusting in his own good works but in Christ's good work on the cross when He died for our sins.
This good advice led Henry to trust in Christ alone for salvation and he became a changed man.
In 1823 Henry was moved to Lower Brixham in Devon where, despite poor health, he built up a Sunday School of about 800 children and trained 70 teachers to instruct them.
He visited the local fishermen in their boats and provided them with Bibles. He was always caring for the poor and earned the nickname Mr Great Heart.
The words 'abide with me' were probably impressed on Henry's mind when a dying friend kept repeating them [see Luke 24:29].
Years later as Henry himself lay dying, perhaps he used the words of his own hymn as a prayer and concluded with this last verse:
'Be Thou Thyself before my closing eyes, Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies,
'Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee. In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.'