MY JESUS, I LOVE THEE                                                                          written in 1862

The Story

William Featherston, of Montreal, Canada, was saved in a Methodist church when he was 16-years-old (1862). Within weeks of his conversion, he wrote this hymn. He would die before his 27th birthday… and, apparently, this was the only hymn he wrote.

He sent this poem to his aunt in Los Angeles, who read it and then sent it on to England, where it appeared in The London Hymnbook in 1864.

Back in Boston, MA, a Baptist minister, A.J. Gordon, was preparing a hymnal for Baptist congregations when he saw “My Jesus, I Love Thee” in the British hymnal. He loved the words, but didn’t like the music the words were set to. And, “in a moment of inspiration, a beautiful new air sang itself” into him. The simple tune he wrote is the tune we know today, and goes perfectly with the simple words of this song. Soon, this hymn was being sung across America.

So, a young Methodist boy wrote the words, an old Baptist minister wrote the tune, and we have all benefited by their work. The young man died too soon to accomplish much in life, and the old man served God well in many churches… yet this song is the lasting legacy of both. Millions of Christians have enjoyed this beautiful hymn in the many years since…

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – make it your own prayer of love to Christ.

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
for Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
and praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
and say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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