My Jesus I Love Thee

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My Jesus, I Love Thee

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.

William Ralph Featherston, 1864

My Jesus I Love Thee is a poem written by William Ralph Featherston around 1864. He is said to have been either 12 or 16 years old when he wrote the poem.[1] The first two lines of this poem are nearly the same as a hymn written by Caleb J. Taylor, published in 1804; this hymn is used as the basis for the song Imandra by Ananias Davisson in the Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony in 1820, reprinted in Southern Harmony in 1835.[2][3] There are other similarities between Featherston's poem and camp-meeting songs published in the 1820s onward.[4][5][6]

In 1876 Adoniram Gordon added music to Featherston's poem. Featherston died at the age of 27, well before his poem had become a well-known inspirational hymn. The poem is believed to have been his only publicly published work.

Inspiration[edit]

According to Tim Challies,[1]

Not much is known about Featherston, except that he attended a Methodist church in Montreal, that he was young when he wrote the poem (12 or 16 years old), and that he died at just 27 years of age. One story about how the poem became public is that Featherston mailed it to his aunt in Los Angeles who, upon reading it, quickly sought its publication... It wasn't until several years after Featherston's death that Adoniram Judson Gordon (founder of Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) added a melody and published it in his book of hymns, thus forever transforming this poem to a song.

Notable recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hymn Stories: My Jesus I Love Thee | Challies Dot Com". Challies.com. March 10, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Steel, David Warren, and Richard H. Hulan. 2010. The Makers of the Sacred Harp. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois.
  3. ^ "Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Southern Harmony, Imandra". Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Social and Camp-Meeting Songs for the Pious. Baltimore, MD: Armstrong and Plaskitt, 1822. 216 pp.". Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Shaffer's Pilgrim Songster. Zanesville, Ohio, 1848. 216 pp.". Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Music and words to Imandra at Choral Public Domain Library". Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Be Still and Know... Hymns & Faith". AllMusic. Retrieved February 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ "My Jesus I Love Thee". Amazon. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ "MY JESUS I LOVE THEE (TRACK #9)". Selah. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  10. ^ Darlene Zschech (March 5, 2013). "My Jesus, I Love Thee from Darlene Zschech's #RevealingJesus Project". YouTube. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 

Additional Sources[edit]

  • Reynolds, William Jensen. Hymns of Our Faith. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1964. (p. 291)
  • Taylor, Gordon Harry. Companion to the Song Book of the Salvation Army. St. Albans, England: The Campfield Press, 1988. (p. 300)
  • Center for Church Music