I stand at the door and knock.@Revelation 3:20
William W. How (1823–1897)
Β© National Portrait Gallery

William W. How, 1867.

I composed the hymn early in 1867, after I had been reading a very beautiful poem, entitled, Brothers and a Sermon. The pathos of the verses impressed me very forcibly at the time. I read them over and over again, and finally, closing the book, I scribbled on an old scrap of paper my first idea of the verses, beginning, O Jesus, Thou art standing. I altered them a good deal subsequently, but I am fortunate in being able to say that after the hymn left my hands it was never revised or altered in any way.

Nutter, p. 152

St. Edith Justin H. Knecht, 1799, & Edward Husband, 1871 (πŸ”Š pdf nwc).

Justin H. Knecht (1752–1817)

O Jesus, Thou art standing,
Outside the fast closed door,
In lowly patience waiting
To pass the threshold o’er:
Shame on us, Christian brothers,
His name and sign who bear,
O shame, thrice shame upon us,
To keep Him standing there!

O Jesus, Thou art knocking;
And lo, that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle,
And tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge,
So patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal,
So fast to bar the gate!

O Jesus, Thou art pleading
In accents meek and low,
I died for you, My children,
And will you treat Me so?

O Lord, with shame and sorrow
We open now the door;
Dear Savior, enter, enter,
And leave us nevermore.