Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Full Text

1 Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
they are weak, but he is strong.

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

2 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]

3 Jesus loves me, this I know,
as he loved so long ago,
taking children on his knee,
saying, "Let them come to me." [Refrain]

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: Anna Bartlett Warner

Warner, Anna, daughter of Henry W. Warner, and sister of Sarah Warner, author of Queechy, and other novels, was born near New York City about 1822. She is the author of the novel, Say and Seal, 1859, and others of a like kind. She also edited Hymns of the Church Militant, 1858; and published Wayfaring Hymns, Original and Translated, 1869. Her original hymns in common use include:— l. Jesus loves me, this I know. The love of Jesus. In Say and Seal. 1859. 2. 0 little child, lie still and sleep. A Mother's Evening Hymn. In Temple Choir. 1867. 3. One more day's work for Jesus. Evening. From Wayfaring Hymns. 1869. 4. The world looks very beautiful. A Child Pilgrim, circa 1860. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] -- John Ju… Go to person page >

Author (addtional stanzas): David Rutherford McGuire

(no biographical information available about David Rutherford McGuire.) Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Eph. 5:2, Jer.31:3
st. 2 = Gal. 2:20
st. 3 = Matt. 18:2-4, Matt. 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17

Anna B. Warner (b. Long Island, NY, 1827; d. Constitution Island, near West Point, NY, 1915) wrote this beloved children's hymn text in 1859. It was published in Say and Seal (1860), a novel Warner wrote in collaboration with her sister Susan, author of another popular children's hymn, “Jesus Bids Us Shine.” In this now-forgotten novel a dying boy, Johnny Fax, is comforted by his church school teacher, who sings to him the four original stanzas of this hymn. Warner and her sister Susan wrote popular novels under the pen names Amy Lothrop and Elizabeth Wetherell. They also taught Bible classes for the cadets at West Point, who were ferried to the Warner home on Constitution Island. After she died, Warner was buried with military honors at West Point in honor of this service. She wrote devotional poetry and compiled two collections: Hymns of the Church Militant (1858) and Wayfaring Hymns, Original and Translated (1869).

Both Anna and Susan Warner's writings are marked by what some judge to be "undistinguished religious sentimentality." But those who are critical of the text's simplicity may do well to remember what the great theologian Karl Barth once said when asked about his most profound theological discovery:

Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.

The text has been translated into many other languages. [The 1987 Psalter Hymnal] includes the original stanzas 1 and 2 and adds a stanza derived from David R. McGuire's rewriting of the text, which he prepared for the Canadian Anglican and United Hymn Book (1971).

McGuire (b. St. Catherines, ON, Canada, 1929; d. Richmond Hill, ON, Canada, 1971) was educated at University College and Wycliffe College, both at the University of Toronto. Ordained in the Anglican Church, he served four congregations in Ontario including Church of Christ the King in Etobicoke, Toronto (1959-1969). McGuire was strongly interested in hymnody and was on the committee that produced The Hymn Book (1971), published by two Canadian denominations-the Anglican Church and the United Church. He also edited a collection of contemporary folk hymns, Sing 1(1972).
“Jesus loves me” weaves together some of the most basic truths of the childlike Christian's experience with the Lord: Jesus loves me, Jesus saves me, and Jesus invites me to come to him. The refrain simply emphasizes that we know Jesus' love from the Bible.

Liturgical Use:
A fine children's hymn of testimony to Jesus' love but also appropriate for children of God of all ages.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


[Jesus loves me! this I know]

William B. Bradbury (PHH 114) added a refrain line to Warner's stanzas and wrote the tune JESUS LOVES ME in 1861. The hymn was published in Bradbury's church school collection The Golden Shower (1862). The tune is also known as CHINA in some hymnals, presumably because of its popularity among missio…

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #344
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #571
Timeless Truths #599
Worship and Rejoice #437


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