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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.

It would be hard for many of us to comprehend that this profound and yet devotional hymn was actually written by a teenager. From the depths of a young heart came this handsome expression of a believer's love and gratitude to Christ for what He had done on Calvary's cross.

The author was William Ralph Featherston. He was born on July 23, 1846, in Montreal, Canada. His parents were John and Mary Featherston, who attended the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Montreal.

There was very little Information about William Featherston as he died at a tender age of 26, in May 20, 1873. It was believed that William wrote these inspirational lyrics when He received Jesus as his personal LORD and Saviour at the age of 16. He then sent the text to his aunt, Mrs. E. Featherston Wilson, who lived in Los Angeles and got the hymn published. The original copy of the poem, in the author's youthful handwriting, was still a cherished treasure in the family.

Amazingly, this anonymous hymn text appeared but carried a different tune in The London Hymn Book, published in 1864. It was the composer, Dr. A. J. Gordon, a well-known evangelical pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church of Boston, Massachusetts, who rediscovered this anonymous hymn in 1870. For several years, Dr. Gordon had been working on compiling a new hymnal specially for Baptist congregations.

He was greatly attracted to the lyrics of this anonymous hymn. As he meditated further, he was not thrilled with its existing melody in the London Hymn Book. He said, "In a moment of inspiration, a beautiful new air sang itself to me."

This hymn, as it is in its present form, first appeared in the hymnal, The Service of Song for Baptist Churches. This hymnal was compiled by S. L. Caldwell and A. J. Gordon, and was published in 1876. This hymn has been included in almost every evangelical hymnal published since then.

I will always remember the first time I heard this hymn being sung. It was done in Cantonese. This song was dedicated in love and passion, and with an angelic voice that just moved me to tears. True treasures will always be found out in His time. The LORD will reveal His treasured vessels as they are ready to be employed for His praise, glory and honor! Their love songs will also be heard!

Please view a pictorial presentation of this hymn:
My Jesus, I Love Thee

Compiled On:
20 June 2005