Scripture Verse

I pray that you…may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17–18

Introduction

portrait
Anna B. Warner (1827–1915)

Words: An­na B. War­ner, 1860; re­frain by Will­iam Brad­bury. First ap­peared in the no­vel Say and Seal, by War­ner’s sis­ter Su­san (Phi­la­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: J. B. Lip­pin­cott, 1860), Vol­ume 2, pag­es 115–16. She want­ed a song for a Sun­day School teach­er to sing to a dy­ing boy, and asked An­na to write it.

Music: Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, 1862 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William B. Bradbury (1816–1868)

Anecdotes

The Rev. Dr. Ja­cob Cham­ber­lain, who for ma­ny years has been work­ing among the Hin­dus, writes as fol­lows re­gard­ing this hymn, long one of the most po­pu­lar child­ren’s songs in the world: “Ma­ny years ago I trans­lat­ed in­to Te­le­gu the child­ren’s hymn, ‘Je­sus loves me’ and taught it to the child­ren of our day-school.

Scarcely a week lat­er, as I was go­ing through the nar­row streets of the na­tive town on horse­back, I heard sing­ing that sound­ed na­tur­al, down a side street. I stopped to list­en, cau­tious­ly draw­ing up to the cor­ner, where un­ob­served I could look down the street and see and hear.

And there was a lit­tle hea­then boy, with hea­then men and wo­men stand­ing around him, sing­ing away at the top of his voice: ‘Je­sus loves me this I know…’ As he com­plet­ed the verse some one asked the quest­ion: ‘Son­ny, where did you learn that song?’ ‘Ov­er at the Mis­sion­ary School,’ was the an­swer.

‘Who is that Je­sus, and what is the Bi­ble?’ ‘Oh! the Bi­ble is the book from God, they say, to teach us how to get to hea­ven, and Jesus is the name of the di­vine Re­deem­er that came in­to the world to save us from our sins; that is what the mis­sion­ar­ies say.’ ‘Well, the song is a nice one. Come, sing us some more.’

And so the lit­tle boy went on—a hea­then him­self, and sing­ing to the hea­then—about Je­sus and his love.

‘That is preach­ing the Gos­pel by proxy,’ I said to my­self, as I turned my po­ny and rode away, well sa­tis­fied to leave my lit­tle proxy to tell his in­ter­est­ed au­di­ence all he him­self knew, and sing to them ov­er and ov­er that sweet song of sal­va­tion.”

Sankey, pp. 179–80


In 1891, when my grand­fa­ther, Rev. Ha­ru­tune S. Jen­an­yan, took his wife and lit­tle daugh­ter on a pe­ril­ous and dan­ger­ous mis­sion­ary jour­ney from Tar­sus, Asia Mi­nor, the ci­ty of St. Paul, to Si­vas in Ar­me­nia [now Tur­key], they tra­veled on horse-back through rob­ber-in­fest­ed coun­try for four­teen days.

Two of the lead­ing rob­ber chiefs on that ter­ri­to­ry were Chol­lo, whose name cast ter­ror on ev­ery side since he had suc­cess­ful­ly evad­ed pur­su­ing Gov­ern­ment forc­es for ma­ny months, and Ka­ra Ag­ha, a fa­mous Koor­ish chief, whose name caused ev­en the fear­some Chol­lo to trem­ble.

Harutune took his small par­ty di­rect­ly in­to the heart of Ka­ra Ag­ha’s coun­try, tell­ing those he met en­route that he was go­ing to be Ag­ha’s guest in his own vil­lage.

When they reached the brig­and’s head-quar­ters, the mis­sion­ary asked that they be re­ceived as guests for the night.

The sur­prised rob­ber chief gave them ac­com­mo­da­tions, en­tertain­ing Ha­ru­tune in his own spa­cious tent while his wife, He­lene, and their lit­tle daught­er, Grace were cared for in an­oth­er tent by the wo­men of the vi­llage.

The next morn­ing, be­fore tak­ing their leave, the mis­sion­ary asked for per­mis­sion to read a por­tion of the Ho­ly Scrip­ture, and then of­fered a pray­er.

Seeing that the chief was some­what af­fect­ed, he then said, Do you wish to have the lit­tle child sing for you? The chief re­plied, Oh yes; can she?

Then lit­tle Grace, on­ly three & a-half years old, came for­ward and stood be­fore the tall old man and sang two songs she had re­cent­ly learned in the Sun­day School in Tar­sus, sing­ing them in the na­tive tongue, Je­sus loves me, this I know and I want to be an an­gel.

The chief was so deep­ly touched, that he sent his own son, Bek­keer Ag­ha, mount­ed on a hand­some Ara­bi­an steed, to lead the small mis­sion­ary par­ty through the rest of his ter­ri­to­ry.

Emurian, p. 61

Lyrics

Jesus loves me—this I know,
For the Bi­ble tells me so;
Little ones to Him be­long—
They are weak, but He is strong.

Refrain

Yes, Je­sus loves me!
Yes, Je­sus loves me!
Yes, Je­sus loves me!
The Bi­ble tells me so.

Jesus loves me—He who died
Heaven’s gate to op­en wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His lit­tle child come in.

Refrain

Jesus loves me—loves me still,
Though I’m ve­ry weak and ill;
From His shin­ing throne on high
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Refrain

Jesus loves me—He will stay
Close be­side me all the way,
Then His lit­tle child will take
Up to Hea­ven for His dear sake.

Refrain