Scripture Verse

If children, then…heirs of God. Romans 8:17


Words: Har­ri­et E. Buell, 1877. The lyr­ics first ap­peared in The North­ern Chris­tian Ad­vo­cate, Feb­ru­ary 1, 1877, as a po­em ti­tled The Child of a King. John Sum­ner had been pray­ing for a Gos­pel song to re­place the one that would have been writ­ten by his friend and teach­er Phi­lip Bliss, who had re­cent­ly suf­fered an un­time­ly death. When Sum­ner saw these words, he knew his pray­er had been an­swered.

Music: John B. Sum­ner (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Bu­ell (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

John B. Sumner (1839–1918)


Mr. Pe­ter P. Bil­horn re­lates the fol­low­ing in­ci­dent in con­nec­tion with this hymn, which hap­pened when he was en­gaged in ev­an­gel­is­tic work among the cow­boys in the West, in 1883.

We had start­ed up the Mis­souri Ri­ver for Bis­marck, and on Sun­day we stopped at a new town, named Blunt, to un­load some freight. A crowd of men and boys came down to the wharf. I took my lit­tle or­gan, went on the wharf-boat, and sang a few songs—among oth­ers the glo­ri­ous hymn, ‘I’m a child of a King.’

I thought noth­ing more of the oc­ca­sion un­til long af­te­rward, when I sang the same song in Mr. Moo­dy’s church in Chi­ca­go [Il­li­nois]. Then a man in the back part of the house arose, and said in a trem­bling voice: Two years ago I heard that song at Blunt, Da­ko­ta; I was then an un­saved man, but that song set me to think­ing, and I de­cid­ed to ac­cept Christ, and I am now stu­dy­ing for the min­is­try.

Sankey, pp. 258–59


My Fa­ther is rich in hous­es and lands,
He hold­eth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of ru­bies and dia­monds, of sil­ver and gold,
His cof­fers are full, He has rich­es un­told.


I’m a child of the King, a child of the King:
With Je­sus my Sav­ior, I’m a child of the King.

My Fa­ther’s own Son, the Sav­ior of men,
Once wan­dered on earth as the poor­est of them;
But now He is plead­ing our par­don on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.


I once was an out­cast stran­ger on earth,
A sin­ner by choice, an al­ien by birth,
But I’ve been adopt­ed, my name’s writ­ten down,
An heir to a man­sion, a robe and a crown.


A tent or a cot­tage, why should I care?
They’re build­ing a pa­lace for me ov­er there;
Though ex­iled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glo­ry to God, I’m a child of the King.