I Love to Tell the Story

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he
which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and
shall hide a multitude of sins.
James 5:19-20

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many
to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Daniel 12:3

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father
which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:32

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9
Arabella Katherine Hankey - Lyrics
Born: January 12,1834, Clapham, Middlesex, England.
Died: May 9, 1911, London, England.
William Gustavus Fischer - Composer
Born: October 14, 1835, Baltimore, Maryland.
Died: August 13, 1912, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Katherine Hankey was born in 1834, the daughter of a wealthy English banker. Early in life Katherine, or Kate, as she was affectionately known, caught the evangelical concern from her father. She began organizing Sunday School classes for rich and poor throughout London.  All of the royalties received from these publications were always directed to a foreign mission project.

When Katherine was only thirty years of age, she experienced a serious illness. During a long period of recovery she wrote a lengthy poem on the life of Christ. The poem consisted of two main sections, each containing fifty verses. The first section of the poem was entitled “The Story Wanted.” It was from this part of her poem that she later adapted the words for another of her familiar hymn texts, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story.” This hymn has since become another of the church’s classic children’s hymn.

Later that same year while still recovering from her illness, Kate Hankey completed the second part of her poem on the life of Christ. This sequel to the first section was entitled “The Story Told.” From these verses came the text for “I Love to Tell the Story,” written in the same meter but with a different accent than her other familiar hymn text.

Being musically inclined, Kate also composed her own tunes for these two texts. Her hymns received little notice, however, when used with this music. The following year, 1867, a large international YMCA convention was held in Montreal, Canada. One of the speakers at the convention Major General Russell from England, closed his emotionally charged message to the delegates by quoting the verses from Miss Hankey's two hymn texts. In the audience that day was a noted American gospel musician, William H. Doane, composer of more than 2,000 gospel songs. Mr. Doane was greatly moved by these lines an promptly composed musical settings for both texts.

Later a new musical setting, which replaced Doane’s music for “I Love to Tell the Story,” was composed by William G. Fisher, a Philadelphia musician and piano dealer. Fischer also added the refrain for the hymn, “I Love to tell the story! ‘Twill be mt theme in glory-to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” In 1875 the hymn appeared in its present from in Bliss and Sankey’s collection, Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs, which brought “I Love to Tell the Story” to the attention of evangelical congregations everywhere. Both of Katherine Hankey’s hymns are still widely used today.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Romans 10:13-16

The desire of every true Christian should be to tell the good news of the gospel and how the power of God saved them and how He is working in their life in a real and personal way.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15

This hymn is very dear to us because it speaks of our need to proclaim the Gospel to all men. As we take a closer look at each stanza we find:

Stanza 1 says that we should tell the story of Jesus and His love:

"I love to tell the story Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love;
I love to tell the story Because I know 'tis true;
It satisfies my longing As nothing else can do."

Stanza 2 says that we should tell the story to everyone:

"I love to tell the story: More wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies Of all our golden dreams;
I love to tell the story: It did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee."

  • The gospel is more wonderful than all our golden fancies and dreams because it is the message of salvation: Mark 16.15-16
  • Like the demoniac who was healed by the power of Jesus, each Christian can say that the gospel story has done so much for him or her: Mark 5.19
  • Therefore, we should want to speak of it to anyone and everyone we can: Acts 4.20

Stanza 3 says that we should tell the story over and over again:

"I love to tell the story: 'Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, More wonderfully sweet;
I love to tell the story, For some have never heard
The message of salvation from God's own holy word."

  • The gospel story by which we have been converted becomes more wonderfully sweet to us: Psalms 19:7-11
  • Furthermore, as long as the earth remains, there will always be those who need to hear the message of salvation: Acts 18.9-10
  • Thus, we must continually be teaching God's will so that people can receive it as it is in truth the word of God: 1 Thessalonians 2.13

Stanza 4 says that we should tell the story because it will be the new song of eternity:

"I love to tell the story, For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting To hear it like the rest;
And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song,
'Twill be the old, old story That I have loved so long."

  • Certainly, we need to be hungering and thirsting to hear this story as long as we live on this earth: Matthew 5.6
  • Someday, if we remain faithful to Christ, we shall experience those scenes of glory that God has reserved for His people in heaven: 1 Peter 5.1, 10
  • If we tell the old, old story here, then we will be able to sing the new, new song with the redeemed of all ages in heaven: Revelation 14.1-3.

Tell the Good News of the Gospel to someone today and boldly proclaim your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.
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