Words by: William R. Featherston, (1846-1873)

* From Montreal

Music by: Adoniram J. Gordon (1836-1895)

William Featherston wrote the words for this hymn when he was sixteen, at the time of his conversion. It is thought that when he wrote this poem, he sent a copy to his aunt, Mrs. E. Featherston Wilson, in Los Angeles. His aunt liked it very much, and encouraged the publishing of it. Somehow, it ended up in an English hymn book called The London Hymn Book as an anonymous hymn. Little else is known about William Featherston. We do know that he was born on July 23, 1846 in Canada, and that he was a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Montreal. He died May 20, 1873 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 

Adoniram Judson Gordon was putting a hymnal together exclusively for Baptist churches when he came across this hymn in The London Hymn Book One day, while thinking about this hymn, he became dissatisfied with the tune it had, and so wrote a new one. This is the tune, which we use today.  


A Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Michigan once related the following incident to a large audience in one of the Rev. E. P. Hammond’s meetings in St. Louis. “A young, talented and tender-hearted actress was passing along the street of a large city. Seeing a pale, sick girl lying upon a couch just within the half-open door of a beautiful dwelling, she entered, with the thought that by her vivacity and pleasant conversation she might cheer the young invalid. The sick girl was a devoted Christian, and her words, her patience, her submission and heaven-lit countenance, so demonstrated the spirit of her religion that the actress was led to give some earnest thought to the claims of Christianity, and was thoroughly converted, and became a true follower of Christ. She told her father, the leader of the theater troupe, of her conversion, and of her desire to abandon the stage, stating that she could not live a consistent Christian life and follow the life of an actress. Her father was astonished beyond measure, and told his daughter that their living would be lost to them and their business ruined, if she persisted in her resolution. Loving her father dearly, she was shaken somewhat in her purpose, and partially consented to fill the published engagement to be met in a few days. She was the star of the troupe, and a general favorite. Every preparation was made for the play in which she was to appear. The evening came and the father rejoiced that he had won back his daughter, and that their living was not to be lost. The hour arrived; a large audience had assembled. The curtain rose, and the young actress stepped forward firmly amid the applause of the multitude. But an unwonted light beamed from her beautiful face. Amid the breathless silence of the audience, she repeated:

‘My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.’

This was all. Through Christ she had conquered and, leaving the audience in tears, she retired from the stage, never to appear upon it again. Through her influence her father was converted, and through their united evangelistic labors many were led to God.”



Hymns of Glorious Praise, Springfield, Missouri:  Gospel Publishing House, 1969.

Adoniram J. Gordon (1836-1895)

LYRICS:  My Jesus I Love Thee 

1. 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.  

2. I love Thee because Thou hast 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.  

3. 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

4.          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.