Daniel Webster Whittle and James McGranahan, author and composer of this hymn, supplied many other choice gospel songs, including “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing,” “The Banner of the Cross,” and “Christ Liveth in Me.” Whittle was a Civil War veteran who accompanied Union general William Sherman on his march through Georgia. At the close of the war Whittle was promoted to the rank of major and was thereafter known as Major Whittle. After the war he returned to Chicago, where he became treasurer of the Elgin Watch Company. In 1873, at the urging of D. L. Moody, the major left his successful position to become an evangelist. He enjoyed a most effective ministry for the rest of his life. He was ably assisted musically by P.P. Bliss and later James McGranahan. Many of Whittle’s hymns bear the pseudonym “El Nathan.” The piece “I Know Whom I Have Believed” is known by that name.
This is a lovely hymn that reminds us of our confidence in Christ. Indeed, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has loved us, redeemed us, and keeps us safe till the end. Amen.
Lyrics: Daniel W Whittle
Music: James McGranahan
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.