Pull For the Shore

Melody - & text: Philip Paul Bliss

1. 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 within the lifeboat, sailor, pull for the shore.

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

2. Trust in the lifeboat, sailor; all else will fail.
Stronger the surges dash and fiercer the gale,
Heed not the stormy winds, though loudly they roar;
Watch the 'bright and morning star' and pull for the shore.

3. Bright gleams the morning, sailor, uplift the eye;
Clouds and darkness disappearing, glory is nigh!
Safe in the lifeboat, sailor, sing evermore,
"Glory, glory, hallelujah!" Pull for the shore.

Nineteenth-century evangelists were fond of using the sea as an image of life. Hymn books of the period are full of references to the Ship of Faith tossed on the foaming billows while anxious sailors ask themselves whether their anchors will hold. Sankey and Moody's famous collection - Sacred Songs and Solos - is no exception to the rule. In the stirring choruses, Christians are constantly being exorted to 'Throw out the Lifeline' and to 'Cross the Bar', guided, naturally, by the Great Pilot. Philip Paul Bliss was typical of gospel hymn-writers of the time. He had, though, more 'hits' than many - such numbers as 'Hold the Fort' and 'Free from the Law' as well as the immensely popular 'Pull for the Shore'. Born in northern Pennsylvania of poor parents he spent a barefoot childhood but began to arouse interest when he displayed musical precocity. A meeting with Dwight L. Moody in 1839 convinced Bliss that his life and talent should be dedicated to God. He became a tireless singer and composer of hymns writing some seven books of them and singing to congregations at Dr Whittle's revival rallies across America.

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