KATE HANKEY, the daughter of a prosperous British banker, grew up in a stylish London suburb. She started a Bible class for girls in her neighborhood, and then, when she was only eighteen, Hankey went to London to teach a Bible class of “factory girls.” In her twenties, she started other Bible classes for factory girls.
When she was in her early thirties, Kate Hankey became seriously ill. Doctors said she needed a year of bed rest. She was forbidden to teach her Bible classes for twelve months. During her long, slow recovery, she wrote two lengthy poems. The first, at the beginning of her convalescence, later became the hymn “Tell Me the Old, Old Story.” The second, written ten months later, became “I Love to Tell the Story.”
After ten months she felt strong enough to leave her bed. She soon returned to her Bible classes in London and continued teaching for many years.
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love;
I love to tell the story because I know ‘tis true,
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story!
‘Twill be my theme in glory—
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story—’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet;
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest;
And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song,
‘Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.