Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

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

These words were written by a teenager! Very little is known of William Ralph Featherston, except that he lived in Montreal, attended a Methodist church, wrote this poem at the age of 16 and died when he was 27. Adoniram Judson Gordon set the words to music in 1876 and it has become a much loved hymn. William Featherston did not live long enough to hear his words sung as hymn or to have any idea how many people would be inspired to a greater love of Jesus by his words.

4 responses to “My Jesus, I Love Thee

  1. Ed Warkentin January 3, 2021 at 06:09

    My favorite song.

  2. Ben Ginther January 10, 2021 at 16:37

    Featherstone’s second line was, “For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign;”

    • Bob Goodnough January 10, 2021 at 17:24

      You may be right, but I have checked 8 print hymnals, 4 online hymnals and Wikipedia. The only one that says pleasures is hymnal.net. All the others say follies. Even if pleasures were the original, it appears that most everybody sings follies.

  3. Ben Ginther January 11, 2021 at 08:05

    Yes, it is true that we may never know whether “pleasures,” rather than “follies” is the author’s original.
    But I think of it this way, the alcoholic will speak of his drinking as foolish and the man smoking may say, Don’t ever get caught up in the foolishness of smoking. But it takes a man, whose heart God has touched, to testify to the pleasures of sin.
    Perhaps, Featherston was touched by the scripture that says Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

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