JESUS LOVES ME
Anna B. Warner, 1820–1915
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Luke 18:17)
The story is told of a brilliant professor at Princeton Seminary who always left his graduation class with these words: “Gentlemen, there is still much in this world and in the Bible that I do not understand, but of one thing I am certain—‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’—and gentlemen, that is sufficient!”
Without doubt the song that has been sung more by children than any other hymn is this simply stated one by Anna Warner. Written in 1860, it is still one of the first hymns taught to new converts in other lands.
Miss Warner wrote this text in collaboration with her sister Susan. It was part of their novel Say and Seal, one of the best selling books of that day. Today few individuals would know or remember the plot of that story, which once stirred the hearts of many readers. But the simple poem spoken by one of the characters, Mr. Linden, as he comforts Johnny Fax, a dying child, still remains the favorite hymn of countless children around the world.
Jesus loves me! this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.
Jesus loves me! loves me still, tho I’m very weak and ill, that I might from sin be free, bled and died upon the tree.
Jesus loves me! He who died heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.
Jesus loves me! He will stay close beside me all the way. Thou hast bled and died for me; I will henceforth live for Thee.
Chorus: Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
William Bradbury, the composer of the music, was one of the leading contributors to the development of early gospel music in America. He became recognized as one of the pioneers in children’s music both for the church and in the public schools. In 1861 Bradbury composed the music for Anna Warner’s text and personally added the chorus to her four stanzas. The hymn appeared the following year in Bradbury’s hymnal collection, The Golden Sower. It had an immediate response.
For Today: Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3; Matthew 11:25; Mark 10:16
“If there is anything that will endure the eye of God, because it still is pure, it is the spirit of a little child, fresh from His hand, and therefore undefiled.” Ask God to give you this kind of spirit.