2007-11-09 / LifeStyles

Stories Behind The Hymns


WARREN SHIVER WARREN SHIVER Arabella Katherine Hankey was the author of a great poem of some one hundred verses. This poem was written over a period of nine months and written in two parts. The first part she called "The Story Wanted." It contained fifty verses and was dated Januarary 29,1866. The second part was titled "The Story Told." It was dated November 18,1866. We will look into the story of how this poem came about.

Katherine was born in London, England in 1834. She was born in the upper class of London. Her father was a Banker. She never wanted or needed for the better things in life since her father was very prospersous. Although she could choose her friends from the elite,she had a place in her heart for the poor and hungry people in the poorest parts of London. She and her father were devout Christians. They belonged to the Anglican Church were hymns were not sung and the music was by way of chanting the psalms. The congreation could not take part in the service. The Hankeys were aroused by the great awakening in England. The fires of revival were sweeping over all of England. This movement was started by John Wesley and his brother Charles,who provided the hymns that every one could sing.

"Kate," as her friends called her wanted to get involved and Tell the Story of how Jesus saves.She began organizing Sunday School classes through out London and not only taught each week, but wrote and published poems, and tracts to hand out in her classes. She was mission minded and volunteered to go to Africa as a nurse to assist her invalid brother who was a missionary there.

The Anglican Church taught that one had to keep the sacraments and rituals of the church to go to heaven. Katherine and her father both belonged to an influential group called "Clapham Sect." Most all the members of this group were Anglicans,but they had a different message. They taught that everyone had to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Saviour and that they commune with God though personal prayer.

Kathrine was in her thirties when she became seriously ill and was bedridden for over nine months. It was during this time that she wrote this great poem. "Tell Me The Old,Old Story, was the hymn taken from the first half of the poem and set to music. This hymn, "I Love To tell The Story," was taken from the second section of the poem and set

to music by William G. Fischer.

William Fischer was the son of a German immigrant. He was born on October 14,1835 in Baltimore, Maryland. He showed musical talent at an early age. At age eight he began to sing in a German church in Baltimore Maryland. He learned to read music in a church singing class and later took piano and organ lessons. William spent his evenings studying and practicing music after he got home from work. He later became in great demand to lead large choirs,during revivals,teach music classes, and help in the Welch music festivals. From 1858-1868 Fischer was professor of music at Girard College. He left the college and started his own music store, featuring the best made pianos in the world. He built his business up to become one of the most properous piano stores in the country.

Arabella Katherine Hankey born 1834--Died 1911 William G. Fischer born 1835--- Died 1912

Stories Behind The Hymns is written by Warren Shiver of Biscoe,NC. Shiver has been fascinated with the true stories behind the hymns since he was a 12-year old attending East Gaffney Baptist Church in Gaffney, S.C. He began studying the stories behind the hymns in 1957. If you have questions or comments, he can be reached by email at wshiver99@ embarqmail.com or by mail at PO BOX 775,Biscoe,NC 27209.


Verse 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 ' tis 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. Verse 2 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. REFRAIN: I love to tell the story, 'Twill be my theme in glory To tell the old,old story of Jesus and His love. Verse 3 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. REFRAIN: I love to tell the story, 'Twill be my theme in glory To tell the old,old story of Jesus and His love. Verse 4 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. REFRAIN: I love to tell the story, 'Twill be my theme in glory To tell the old,old story of Jesus and His love.

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