left-on-pew.jpg Sunday morning brings a new entry in my series “Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth.” (Click through to the index to the whole series.) This week I’ve selected “My Jesus, I Love Thee, one of those hymns that when performed well, can be stunningly beautiful. I searched for a video of it, and found some prepackaged contemporary over-produced ones… which just don’t do justice to the hymn. On the other hand, in some amateur poorly produced ones, there’s a serene beauty that remains. The hymn is from a poem written in 1864 by William Ralph Featherston, then just 16 years of age. Adon­iram Gor­don set it to music in 1876. This particular hymn — which I can’t help but hum in my mind as I review it — has the wonderful theme of vows taken in response to the recognition of love in the actions of another. And of a promise believed, looking forward to singing a new song. Sorry, I tend to get a bit lyrical with some of these, when I should allow the lyrics to speak for themselves.

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.

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