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Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand!
See o'er the foaming billows fair Haven's land;
Drear was the voyage, sailor, now almost o'er;
Safe in the life-boat, sailor, pull for the shorel


Pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore!
Heed not the rolling waves, but bend to the oar;
Safe in the life-boat, sailor, cling to self no more;
Leave the poor old stranded wreck and pull for the shore!

The hymn-tune is a buoyant allegro—solo and chorus-full of hope and courage, and both imagery and harmony appeal to the hearts of seamen. It is popular, and has long been one of the song numbers in demand at religious services both on sea and land.


The Rev. Edward Hopper, D.D. wrote this hymn while pastor of Mariner's Church at New York harbor, “The Church of the Sea and Land."

Theological Seminary in 1843.

Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee,

e stanzas

Only three stanzas of this rather lengthy hymn are in common use.


Without title except "Savior, pilot me.” A simple and pleasing melody composed by John Edgar Gould, late of the firm of Gould and Fischer, piano dealers, Phila., Pa. He was born in Bangor, Me., April 9, 1822. Conductor of music and composer of psalm and hymn tunes and glees, he also compiled and published no less than eight books of church, Sunday-school, and secular songs. Died in Algiers, Africa, Feb. 13, 1875.


This is one of the popular refrains that need but a single hearing to fix themselves in common memory and insure their own currency and eclat.

The Rev. E. S. Ufford, well-known as a Baptist preacher, lecturer, and evangelist, was witnessing a drill at the life-saving station on Point Allerton, Nantasket Beach, when the order to “throw out the life-line" and the sight of the apparatus in action, combined with the story of a shipwreck on the spot, left an echo in his mind till it took the form of a song-sermon. Returning home, he pencilled the words of this rousing hymn, and, being himself a singer and player, sat down to his instrument to match the lines with a suitable air. It came to him almost as spontaneously as the music of “The Ninety and Nine" came to Mr. Sankey. In fifteen minutes the hymn-tune was

made so far as the melody went. It was published in sheet form in 1888, and afterwards purchased by Mr. Sankey, harmonized by Mr. Stebbins, and published in Winnowed Songs, 1890. Included in Gospel Hymns, Nov. 6, 1891.

Ever since it has been a favorite with singing seamen, and has done active service as one of our most stirring field-songs in revival work.

Throw out the Life-line across the dark wave,
There is a brother whom some one should save;
Somebody's brother! oh, who, then, will dare
To throw out the Life-line, his peril to share?
Throw out the Life-line with hand quick and strong!
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
Seel he is sinking; oh, hasten today—
And out with the Life-boat! away, then away!

Throw out the Life-line!

Throw out the Life-line!
Some one is drifting away;

Throw out the Life-line!

Throw out the Life-line!

Some one is sinking today. One evening, in the midst of their hilarity at their card-tables, a convivial club in one of the large Pennsylvania cities heard a sweet, clear female voice singing this solo hymn, followed by a chime of mingled voices in the chorus. A room in the building had been hired for religious meetings, and tonight was the first of the series. A strange coolness dampened the merriment in the club-room, as the singing went on, and the gradual silence became a hush, till finally one member threw down his cards and declared, “If what they're saying is right, then we're wrong."

Others followed his example, then another, and another.

There is a brother whom some one should save. Quietly the revellers left their cards, cigars and half-emptied glasses and went home.

Said the ex-member who told the story years after to Mr. Ufford, “Throw Out the Life-line' broke up that club.”

He is today one of the responsible editors of a great city daily—and his old club-mates are all holding positions of trust.

A Christian man, a prosperous manufacturer in a city of Eastern Massachusetts, dates his first religious impressions from hearing this hymn when sung in public for the first time, twenty years ago.

Visiting California recently, Mr. Ufford sang his hymn at a watch-meeting and told the story of the loss of the Elsie Smith on Cape Cod in 1902, exhibiting also the very life-line that had saved sixteen lives from the wreck. By chance one of those sixteen was in the audience.

An English clergyman who was on duty at Gibraltar when an emigrant ship went on the rocks in a storm, tells with what pathetic power and effect “Throw out the Life-line” was sung at a special Sunday service for the survivors.

At one of Evan Roberts' meetings in Laughor, Wales, one speaker related the story of a "vision," when in his room alone, and a Voice that bade him pray, and when he knelt but could not pray, commanded him to “Throw out the Life-line." He had scarcely uttered these words in his story when the whole great congregation sprang to its feet and shouted the hymn together like the sound of many waters.

“There is more electricity in that song than in any other I ever heard,” Dr. Cuyler said to Mr. Sankey when he heard him sing it. Its electricity has carried it nearly round the world.

The Rev. Edward Smith Ufford was born in Newark, N. J., 1851, and educated at Stratford Academy (Ct.) and Bates Theological Seminary, Me. He held several pastorates in Maine and Massachusetts, but a preference for evangelistic work led him to employ his talent for object-teaching in illustrated religious lectures through his own and foreign lands, singing his hymn and enforcing it with realistic representation. He is the author and compiler of several Sunday-school and chapel song-manuals, as Converts' Praise, Life-long Songs, Wonderful Love and Gathered Gems.

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