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 “Jesus Loves Even Me”

by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876


The wonder of Jesus’ deep love for each of us has been expressed in this text by beautiful but childlike language by the noted musician of early gospel music, Philip P. Bliss.  After attending a service where the hymn “O How I Love Jesus” was sung repeatedly, Bliss thought, “Have I not been singing enough about my poor love for Jesus and shall I not rather sing of His great love for me?”  Soon he completed both the words and music of one of the all-time favorite children’s hymn, which is also widely sung and enjoyed by adults as well.


Philip Bliss was the dynamic and very talented song writer and associate of evangelists D. L. Moody and Major Daniel W. Whittle.  Bliss’ commanding height and impressive personality made his singing and song leading outstanding features in any evangelistic service.  His gift for writing gospel hymns was also exceptional.  Still widely used today are such other Bliss favorites as: “Wonderful Words of Life,” “It Is Well With My Soul” (the tune), “Hold the Fort” (written after hearing Evangelist [Major] Daniel W. Whittle relate an experience in the American Civil War), “Hallelujah, What a Savior,” “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning,” and “Almost Persuaded.”  One of his music colleagues, George C. Stebbins, stated: “There has been no writer of verse since his time who has shown such a grasp of the fundamental truths of the Gospel, or such a gift for putting them into a poetic and singable form.”


The third stanza of this simple but very appealing hymn is especially meaningful when we realize that Philip Bliss died suddenly at the age of 38 in a tragic train accident.  Initially he had survived, but returned into the burning car to find and rescue his wife.  She was pinned and he refused to leave her side.  They died together.


Bliss’ many contributions to hymnody have lived on.  They focus clearly on important biblical truths, but none is perhaps more moving than the needy reminder in this text: “Jesus loves even me.”