“Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All”

"Lord…Thou knewest that I love Thee" (Jn. 21:17)

     INTRO.: A hymn which shows a commitment to love Jesus more and more is "Jesus, My Lord, My Life, My All." The text was written by Henry Augustine Collins, who was born on Apr. 28, 1827, at Barningham in Yorkshire, England, the son of Thomas Collins, a minister with the Church of England. Graduating from Oxford with an M.A. in 1854, Henry also became an Anglican minister in 1853. In 1854, he published his Hymns for School and Missions which included this hymn. The book contained 37 hymns, but only two were by Collins, the other one being "Jesu, Meek and Lowly." Three years later, in November of 1857, he converted to Roman Catholicism. Joining the Cistercian Order in 1860, the following year he entered Mount St. Bernard Abbey at Coalville in North Leicster where he lived until 1882, when he was appointed chaplain to the Cistercian nuns at Holy Cross Abbey in Stapehill, Dorsetshire. Serving there until 1913, he returned to Mt. St. Bernard Abbey at Coalville, where he died on Jan. 29, 1919. His other works include the Life of the Rev. Father Gentili in 1861 and The Spirit and Mission of the Cistercian Order in 1866.

     Several melodies have been used or suggested with "Jesus, My Lord, My Life, My All," but the only one of our books to include the hymn has a tune (Palestine) composed by Joseph Mazzinghi (1765-1844). Born in London, England, he was an English composer of Corsican origin. A child prodigy, after studying with J. C. Bach in London, he became music director and harpsichordist for the King’s Theatre at age 19. Before leaving there in 1798 he presented over twenty ballets, most of which included pieces by other composers, along with two English and two Italian operas. Later he taught the piano, notably to the Princess of Wales. Also, he composed other English stage works, numerous instrumental works for amateurs, especially piano sonatas with violin accompaniment, and beginning in 1810 variations and arrangements for piano, harp and flute, as well as many songs and glees. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater.

     The song expresses pure devotion and love to Jesus Christ for who He is and what He means to us.

I. Stanza 1 asks Jesus to hear us
"Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
Hear me blest Savior, when I call;
Hear me, and from Thy dwelling place,
Pour down the riches of Thy grace."
 A. Jesus is our Lord: Jn. 13:13
 B. Because He is our Lord, God, and Savior, we can call upon Him to hear us: Ps. 4:1
 C. We can ask Him to pour down the riches of His grace: Eph. 1:6-7

II. Stanza 2 extols the name of Jesus
"Jesus, too late I Thee have sought;
How can I love Thee as I ought?
And how extol Thy matchless fame,
The glorious beauty of Thy name?"
 A. Because of what He has done for us, we can never love Jesus as much as we ought, but we do need to love Him with all our heart: Matt. 22:37
 B. One way we show our love for Him is by extolling His matchless fame: Ps. 145:1
 C. His name should be beautiful to us because it is in His name that we have salvation: Acts 4:12

III. Stanza 3 wonders why Jesus loved us
"Jesus, what didst Thou find in me,
That Thou hast dealt so lovingly?
How great the joy that Thou hast brought,
So far exceeding hope or thought!"’
 A. We might wonder why, when we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and died for us: Rom. 5:6-8
 B. Yet, He did and brought great joy to mankind: 1 Jn. 1:1-4
 C. The love and joy that He gives us far exceeds any hope or thought: Eph. 3:20-21

IV. Stanza 4 manifests a desire to belong to Jesus
"Jesus, of Thee shall be my song;
To Thee my heart and soul belong.
All that I have or am is Thine,
And Thou, blest Savior, Thou art mine."
 A. Remembering what Jesus has done for us, of Him should be our song as we sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord: Col. 3:16
 B. Not only should we sing to Jesus, but we should desire to belong to Jesus, heart and soul, by denying self, taking up the cross, and following Him: Matt. 16:24
 C. And if we truly belong to Jesus, then He will be ours and be with us even till the end of the age: Matt. 28:20

    CONCL.: The refrain at the end of each stanza once again expresses adoration and love for Jesus.
"Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore;
O make me love Thee more and more."
Through the years some hymnbook editors have, for various reasons, been squeamish about hymns which call Jesus God. Therefore, either Slater or the source from which he drew the song changed the opening line of the first stanza to read, "Jesus, my Lord, my Life, my All." However, John wrote about Jesus that "The Word was God" (Jn. 1:1), and Thomas called Jesus "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Personally, I can see no good reason for not addressing Christ in song as "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My


7 thoughts on ““Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All”

  1. I saw this beautiful hymn displayed in an old church in Ireland while I was on holidays…the words brought tears to my eyes as I completely agree with every word. Jesus is my Lord, my God, my All. Amen

    • My response to this hymn is very similar and I think Joseph Barnby’s music is a most apt vehicle for the lyrics. Together they take you through deep introspection and contemplation. Powerful!

  2. i love this great hymn and i want to use it in a concert coming up here in nigeria.
    I need a background story on this hymn.
    I want to know what inspired the hymn.
    I want to know why Henry A. Collins wrote this great hymn.
    I know the stories behind other hymns like H.G spafford’s “it is well with my soul”
    I am working on having several hymns presented with their background stories serving as introduction, to put audience in the mood the composers were when they wrote the hymns.


  3. My response to this hymn is similar. The music of Joseph Barnby is a most apt vehicle for these lyrics and together foster deep introspection and contemplation. Brings to life words of my favourite apostle, Thomas. Powerful!

  4. I need a background story on this hymn. Does anyone know?
    I want to know what inspired the hymn.
    I want to know why Henry A. Collins wrote this great hymn.


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