I Know Not Why God's Wondrous Grace

Representative Text

1 I know not why God’s wondrous grace
to me is daily shown,
nor why, with mercy, Christ in love
redeemed me for his own.

But “I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I’ve committed
unto him against that day.”

2 I know not how this saving faith
to me he did impart,
nor how believing in his word
wrought peace within my heart. [Refrain]

3 I know not how the Spirit moves,
convincing us of sin,
revealing Jesus through the Word,
creating faith in him. [Refrain]

4 I know not when my Lord may come,
at night or noon-day fair,
nor if I’ll walk the vale with him,
or meet him in the air. [Refrain]

Source: Voices Together #590

Author: D. W. Whittle

[Also published under the pseudonym El Nathan.]… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I know not why God's wondrous grace To me He hath made known
Title: I Know Not Why God's Wondrous Grace
Author: D. W. Whittle (1883)
Meter: C. M. with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: But "I know whom I have believed"
Notes: Spanish translation: See "No sé por qué la gracia del Señor" by Salomón R. Mussiett; Swahili translation: See "Sijui sababu ya neema"
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
ref. = 2 Tim. 1:12

American evangelist Daniel Webster Whittle (b. Chicopee Falls, MA, 1840; d. Northfield, MA, 1901) wrote this text based on 2 Timothy 1:12, which is quoted in the refrain (King James Version). It was published with EL NATHAN in Gospel Hymns No.4 (1883).

The text contrasts the "I know not" stanzas with the certainty of the "I know" refrain We cannot understand God's saving grace to us (st. 1); we cannot explain our spiritual birth (st. 2); we are unable to comprehend the work of God's Spirit (st. 3); and we do not perceive clearly the future of our earthly lives (st. 4). But we do know by faith that God is true to his word!

Whittle was a bank cashier, Civil War soldier, and company treasurer before he became an evangelist. Earning the title of major during his military career, he was called Major Whittle throughout his life. Because of the influence of Dwight L. Moody whom he met during the war, Whittle became an itinerant evangelist in 1873. He conducted evangelistic campaigns in North America and Great Britain, often accompanied by popular gospel singers such as Philip P. Bliss (PHH 482), James McGranab and George Stebbins (PHH 63). These men not only sang at Whittle’s evangelistic meetings but also set to music many of his two hundred hymn texts (which he usually wrote under the pseudonym "El Nathan").

Liturgical Use:
As a hymn of response to preaching; for times of renewal; profession of faith; other testimonial services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


EL NATHAN (McGranahan)

James McGranahan (PHH 99), Whittle's song leader, composed EL NATHAN. The tunes title is a pseudonym used by Whittle. A typical gospel hymn tune, EL NATHAN is constructed with a few melodic lines and a very simple harmony, but it is marked by some rhythmic interest. The tune is easily sung in parts.…

Go to tune page >



You have access to this FlexScore.
Are parts of this score outside of your desired range? Try transposing this FlexScore.
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Contacting server...
Contacting server...
Questions? Check out the FAQ

A separate copy of this score must be purchased for each choir member. If this score will be projected or included in a bulletin, usage must be reported to a licensing agent (e.g. CCLI, OneLicense, etc).

This is a preview of your FlexScore.
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #337
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
The Cyber Hymnal #2865
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #495
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #714
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #407


Instances (1 - 44 of 44)
TextPage Scan

50 Uncommon Songs #16

Ambassador Hymnal #525

TextAudioPage Scan

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #337

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #353

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #588

Church Gospel Songs and Hymns #418

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #577

Page Scan

Complete Mission Praise #279

First Baptist Favorites #35

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #537

Hymnal #338

TextPage Scan

Hymns for a Pilgrim People #362

TextPage Scan

Hymns of Faith #229

Hymns of the Christian Life #319

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

Lift Up Your Hearts #690

Praise for the Lord (Expanded Edition) #291

Praise y Adoración #312a

Page Scan

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #288

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #495

Page Scan

Rejoice Hymns #388

Page Scan

Sacred Selections for the Church #338

Santo, Santo, Santo #529

TextPage Scan

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #511

TextPage Scan

Sing Joyfully #310


Small Church Music #481

Songs of Fellowship #220

Page Scan

Soul-stirring Songs and Hymns (Rev. ed.) #139


The Book of Praise #683

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

The Celebration Hymnal #527

The Christian Life Hymnal #535

Page Scan

The Covenant Hymnal #440


The Cyber Hymnal #2865

TextPage Scan

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #409


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #730

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

The United Methodist Hymnal #714

TextPage Scan

The Worshiping Church #493


Timeless Truths #578

TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #705

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #517

TextPage Scan

Voices Together #590

TextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan

Worship and Rejoice #407

TextPage Scan

Worship and Service Hymnal #229

Worship His Majesty #628

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #290

Include 220 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us