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Jesus Loves Me - Anna and Susan Warner


If you have been a Christian for very long, then you have probably heard the famous children’s song, “Jesus Loves Me.” It is played in most churches and Christian homes across the world. Have you ever wondered about its origin or the author’s story? 

Two sisters, Anna and Susan Warner, became writers after their father passed away. They were left with very little and needed the means to survive. Both women became quite the writers, with Susan publishing several well-known novels and Anna publishing collections of hymns. They lived together on the Hudson River in New York. Their house was next to a military academy for young boys, so they soon began to teach the Bible at the Academy. They spent many years teaching the boys in Sunday School. What started as a Bible Study on the one day a week the boys had for free time quickly became a sizeable weekly ritual. The boys loved to hear Susan tell the stories, and Anna gave life advice and application. The Academy was so appreciative that they buried the women with military honors and turned their house into a national shrine. 

The song “Jesus Loves Me” was written as part of a novel by the two sisters. It began as a poem that the lead male character sang to a dying boy in the novel the sisters co-wrote, Say and Seal. The singer was a schoolteacher, and the boy was one of his students. The boy suddenly fell ill, and the family sent for his teacher. As the boy was dying, the teacher held him and sang the words of “Jesus Love Me” to him. However, it was just words on a page. It was not until hymn writer William Bradbury read the novel that the little poem was given a tune. Thus came the popular children’s song sung by children across the world and even in other languages and cultures. Taught by missionaries in countless missions, by Sunday School teachers to untold students, the number of people who grew up singing this song must total in the millions.

 

Little did the Warner sisters know, the little poem in their novel would become so instrumental in the lives of millions of children across time. How many children can say that “Jesus Loves Me” was the first spiritual song they learned? More importantly, how many children attribute its lyrics to their spiritual growth? The impact this little song has had upon the world may never be known this side of heaven, but God keeps record to these dear ladies’ accounts. 

 

  “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,– he who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let his little child come in.”
 
  “Jesus loves me – loves me still,
Though I’m very weak and ill;
From his shining throne on high
Comes to watch me where I lie.”
 
  “Jesus loves me,– he will stay
Close beside me all the way.
Then his little child will take
Up to heav’n for his dear sake.”
 
Refrain
 
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

 

Melody Publications' focus is to reawaken the melody of truth in believers' hearts and minds at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing "Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs" in praise and worship to our God.

 

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2 comments

  • I may have written before, I do not remember. But I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy these emails. They are a great start to Monday mornings at work. Thank you for sending them. Please keep it up, Thank you and God bless you. – Ruth

    Ruth Back
  • This is beautiful … we sing this song for Bible Study at Founders Plaza in Wylie Texas … the residants love it!
    Thank you for this insiteful message! God bless you.

    Jim Furman

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