Tarry with me, Christ my Savior Original: O my Savior
for the day is passing by
see the shades of evening gather
and the night is drawing nigh.
Chorus: Tarry with me, blessed Savior Or: Christ my Savior
leave me not, my morning light Original: till morning light
I’d be lonely here without thee Orig: For I’m lonely
tarry with me through the night.
Deeper, deeper grow the shadows
paler now the glowing west
swift the night of death advances
’tis with thee the night of rest. Orig: Shall it be the night of rest?
Tarry with me, Christ my Savior Orig: O my Savior
lay my head upon thy breast
till the resurrection morning Orig: till the morning; then awake me
when the dead with life you vest. Orig: morning of eternal rest.
I think www.cyberhymnal.org says the lady who wrote this in A.D. 1852, Mrs. C. S. Smith, was inspired by hearing a sermon on how truth expressed in the good news of Jesus Christ helps people as they get older and older. I suspect the musician, Knowles Shaw (music A.D. 1858) added the chorus. I think there are additionl verses.
So why change it? “Christ my Savior” for “O my Savior” to make it a bit more specific about who the Savior is. (“There are gods many, and lords many.”) In churches I sometimes hear songs about the Lord, or God, or the Name, without the song or even the church service before the song having made clear that we mean our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Savior who really saves (died for our sins, which shows more love than anyone else has ever shown, and rose up alive on the 3rd day, showing more power than anyone else has ever shown. As was said to Queen Victoria when the yacht “America” won the cup, “There is no second.”) Notice that most books of the New Testament start by saying something about Jesus: Son of David son of Abraham, Son of God, In beginning was the Word and the Word was towards God and God was the Word …and the Word became flesh (look at the Greek, not just at King Jame’s loose paraphrase :).
“My morning light” for “till morning light”–Jesus is the Sun of righteousness (as well as the son of righteousness).
“I’d be lonely” for “For I’m lonely”–both true, I suppose; I’m emphasizing Jesus with us even though we’d rather be with Him, as Paul expressed his preference in Philippians 1.
“Tis with thee the night of rest” for “Shall it be the night of rest?”–expressing satisfaction with and trust in Jesus instead of challenging people to make sure they’re in Him. Again, both true.
“Till the resurrection morning / when the dead with life you vest.” Expressing more clearly than “Awake me” the expectation of the resurrection and judgment day when Jesus comes back and raises and judges everyone, raising us with bodies like his own risen body. (Theologian N. T. Wright calls this “life after life after death.” Step one, go to Heaven; step two, resurrection.)
Rest? Well, doing nothing does not appeal to me. We may take it easy, but I expect there’ll be things to do. Since God’s glory is infinite, we can speand all eternity praising Him more and better. Jesus on earth never sinned, but he did mature and work–“Jesus increased in wisdom and size, and in favor with God and man” (Luke). I better send this off and head for bed.