I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY written in 1866
Kate Hankey (1834-1911), the daughter of a prosperous British banker, grew up in a stylish London suburb. She started a Bible class for girls in her neighborhood, and when she was only 18-years-old, she went to London to teach a Bible class of “factory girls”. In her twenties, she started other Bible classes for factory girls.
When she was in her early thirties, Kate became seriously ill while on mission in Africa. Doctors said she needed a year of bed rest. She was forbidden to teach her Bible classes for 12 months. During her long, slow recovery, she wrote a lengthy poem on the life of Jesus. The first part, written at the beginning of her recovery, was a poem of 50 verses, some of which later became the hymn, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story”. The second part, written 10 months later, included this hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story”.
After 10 months, she felt strong enough to leave her bed. She soon returned to her Bible classes in London and continued teaching for many years. When she became too old to teach the factory girls regularly, she started a prison ministry in London; even then she continued to tell the story to Jesus.
Oddly, most church hymnal do not contain the 2nd verse – and it’s a good one!
Read this hymn, and – today, check your level of love concerning the gospel.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. Refrain
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
the message of salvation from God’s own holy Word. Refrain
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long. Refrain