I Love to Tell the Story

Representative Text

1 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 it's true;
it satisfies my longings
as nothing else can do.

Refrain:
I love to tell the story;
'twill be my theme in glory
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.

2 [A seasonal stanza may be sung.]

3 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.

[Christ's Birth]
4 An angel brought glad tidings:
"Send all your fears away,
for Christ, your Lord and Savior,
is born for you this day."
Then many other angels
sang praise for Jesus' birth:
"To God on high be glory,
and peace to all the earth." [Refrain]

5 [Christ's Death]
Christ Jesus, pure and holy,
without a spot or stain,
by wicked hands was taken,
was crucified and slain!
And now the word is finished,
the sinner's debt is paid,
because on Christ the Righteous
the sin of all was laid. [Refrain]

[Christ's Resurrection]
6 O wonderful redemption!
The price for sin is paid,
salvation is accomplished,
my heart is unafraid,
for God has raised Christ Jesus
to show the work was done;
his glorious resurrection
declared the vict'ry won! [Refrain]

[Christ's Commission]
7 The Savior of all people
has brought his peace to you;
now go and tell the story,
for others need it too.
To ev'ry land and nation
ring out the gospel call;
proclaim that Christ is risen
and grants his peace to all. [Refrain]

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #746

Author: Kate Hankey

Arabella Katherine Hankey (b. Clapham, England, 1834; d. Westminster, London, England, 1911) was the daughter of a wealthy banker and was associated with the Clapham sect of William Wilberforce, a group of prominent evangelical Anglicans from the Clapham area. This group helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society, promoted the abolition of slavery, and was involved in improving the lot of England's working classes. Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Her publications include Heart to Heart (1870) and The Old, Old Story and Other Verses (1879). Bert Polman… Go to person page >

Author (refrain): William G. Fischer

William Gustavus Fischer In his youth, William G. Fischer (b. Baltimore, MD, 1835; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1912) developed an interest in music while attending singing schools. His career included working in the book bindery of J. B. Lippencott Publishing Company, teaching music at Girard College, and co-owning a piano business and music store–all in Philadelphia. Fischer eventually became a popular director of music at revival meetings and choral festivals. In 1876 he conducted a thousand-voice choir at the Dwight L. Moody/Ira D. Sankey revival meeting in Philadelphia. Fischer composed some two hundred tunes for Sunday school hymns and gospel songs. Bert Polman Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I love to tell the story Of unseen things above
Title: I Love to Tell the Story
Author: Kate Hankey (1866)
Author (refrain): William G. Fischer (1869)
Meter: 7.6.7.6 D with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: I love to tell the story
Notes: Spanish translation: See "Grato es contar la historia" by Juan Bautista Cabrera Ivars; Swahili translation: See: "Napenda kulitangaza"
Copyright: Public Domain
Article: Article -"I Love to Tell the Story!" by Mary Kay Beall (from The Hymn)

Notes

Scripture References:
all st. = Ps. 66: 16, John 15:27

"I Love to Tell the Story" is one of two hymn texts derived from a long poem on the life of Christ written by A. (Annabelle) Catherine Hankey (b. Clapham, England, 1834; d. Westminster, London, England, 1911) in 1866. Hankey wrote the poem during a long period of convalescence following a serious illness. The first part of the poem, 'The Story Wanted," is the source of the children's gospel song "Tell Me the Old, Old Story," while the second part, "The Story Told," contains this text. Beginning in 1866 different versions of the full poem were printed in various publications. This hymn text, with the tune HANKEY and a refrain written by William G. Fischer, were published in Joyful Songs (1869).

Apart from the context of the larger poem, some of the couplets of this text appear rather shallow or repetitious; thus the Psalter Hymnal includes only the original stanzas 1, 3, and 4. But the entire original poem provides a fine autobiographical testimony to Hankey's evangelical fervor, which she expressed in her writings and in her support of foreign and home missions (she taught church school classes to the rich and poor of London). The text simply affirms the Christian's zeal to "tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love" to the unsaved as well as to the saved, here on earth and in glory.

Hankey was the daughter of a wealthy banker and was associated with the Clapham sect of William Wilberforce, a group of prominent evangelical Anglicans from the Clapham area. This group helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society, promoted the … abolition of slavery, and was involved in improving the lot of England's working classes. Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Her publications include Heart to Heart (1870) and The Old, Old Story and Other Verses (1879).

Liturgical Use:
Worship that expresses missionary fervor; children's church school classes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

HANKEY (Fischer)

HANKEY has many characteristics of a gospel song: stepwise melodic motion, verse refrain form, and simple harmony. After hearing both hymn texts from Hankey's poems quoted by one of the speakers at an 1867 YMCA convention in Montreal, Quebec, gospel hymn writer William H. Doane (PHH 473) was inspire…

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