Scripture Verse

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19



Crowning with Thorns
Antony van Dyck

Words: Will­iam R. Fea­ther­ston, 1864. Fea­ther­ston was on­ly 16 years old at the time.

Music: Gor­don Ado­ni­ram J. Gor­don, 1876 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • Amo Te Eng­lish tune, ar­ranged by John T. Lay­ton, Sr. in The Af­ri­can Me­thod­ist Epis­co­pal Hymn and Tune Book (Phi­la­del­phia, Penn­sylv­ania: Af­ri­can Me­thod­ist Epis­co­pal Book Con­cern, 1898), num­ber 554 (🔊 pdf nwc)

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

Adoniram J. Gordon


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[, Mis­sou­ri].

“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.

Sankey, pp. 198–99


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 lov­èd 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.