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“I Must Tell Jesus”
By Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929
 
We often feel most lonely when, in time of deep sorrow, we have no one to turn to.  Everyone needs at least one person in whom they can confide. 
 
Pastor Elisha Hoffman, author and composer of more than 2,000 gospel songs.  When the roll of great preachers is called, his name is not normally heard, but E. A. Hoffman was nonetheless a mighty servant of God.  When not working in his study, he could often be found working with the poor in the homes across the tracks.  He gives the following account of the writing of “I Must Tell Jesus:”
 
During a pastorate in Lebanon, PA, there was a woman to whom God had permitted many visitations of sorrow and affliction.  Coming to her home one day, I found her much discouraged.  She unburdened her heart, concluding with the question, “Brother Hoffman, What shall I do? What shall I do?”  I quoted from the Word and then added, “You cannot do better than to take all of your sorrows to Jesus.  You must tell Jesus.”
 
For a moment she seemed lost in meditation.  Then her eyes lighted as she exclaimed, “Yes, I must tell Jesus.”  And she did!  After a period of prayer, she rose from her knees a new person.
 
As I left that home, her face illuminated joy…and I heard all along my way the echo of, “I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus.”
 
Pastor Hoffman quickly wrote the words and soon completed the music as well.  Since its publication in 1894, this hymn text has reminded many believers that have a heavenly Friend who stands ever-ready and available to hear and help.
                I must tell Jesus all of my trials; I cannot bear these burdens alone.
                In my distress He kindly will help me; He ever loves and cares for His own.
                I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone;
                I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
 
                Tempted and tried, I need a great Saviour, One who can help my burdens to bear.
                I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus; He all my cares and sorrows will share.
 
Few gospel songs have been so dear to so many.  Two other well known hymns written by Elisha Hoffman include “Down at the Cross” and “Are You Washed in the Blood.”