I think when I read that sweet story of old

I think when I read that sweet story of old (Luke)

Author: Jemima Luke (1841)
Published in 775 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 I think when I read that sweet story of old,
when Jesus was here among men,
how he called little children as lambs to his fold,
I should like to have been with them then.

2 I wish that his hands had been placed on my head,
that his arm had been thrown around me,
and that I might have seen his kind look when he said,
"Let the little ones come unto me."

3 Yet still to his footstool in prayer I may go,
and ask for a share in his love;
and if I now earnestly seek him below,
I shall see him and hear him above;

4 In that beautiful place he has gone to prepare
for all who are washed and forgiv'n;
and many dear children are gathering there,
for of such is the kingdom of heav'n.

Source: Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #190

Author: Jemima Luke

Luke, Jemima Thompson, the wife of Rev. Samuel Luke, an Independent minister of England, was the daughter of Thomas 422 Thompson, a philanthropist, and was born at Colebrook Terrace, Islington, August 19, 1813. When only thirteen years of age she began writing for the Juvenile Magazine. She published a volume titled The Female Jesuit in 1851 and A Memoir of Eliza Ann Harris, of Clifton, in 1859, but her name is known to the Christian world almost wholly through the one hymn found in this volume. Mrs. Luke died February 2, 1906. I think when I read that sweet 682 Hymn Writers of the Church, 1915, Charles Nutter… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I think when I read that sweet story of old (Luke)
Title: I think when I read that sweet story of old
Author: Jemima Luke (1841)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


I think when I read that sweet story of old, p. 703, i. In his Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church Hymnary, 1899, p. 272, the Rev. J. Brownlie says: "From an account which she [Mrs. Luke] has kindly sent of the origin of her popular hymn, we take the following:—

“I went in the year 1841 to the Normal Infant School in Gray's Inn Road to obtain some knowledge of the system. Mary Moffat, afterwards Mrs. Livingstone, was there at the same time, and Sarah Roby, whom Mr. and Mrs. Moffat had rescued in infancy when buried alive and had brought up with their own children. Among the marching pieces at Gray's Inn Road was a Greek air, the pathos of which took my fancy, and I searched Watts and Jane Taylor and several Sunday- school hymn books for words to suit the measure, but in vain. Having been recalled home, I went one day on some missionary business to the little town of Wellington, five miles from Taunton, in a stage coach. It was a beautiful spring morning; it was an hour's ride, and there was no other inside passenger. On the back of an old envelope I wrote in pencil the first two of the verses, now so well known, in order to teach the tune to the village school supported by my stepmother, which it was my province to visit. The third verse was added afterwards to make it a missionary hymn.'"

The Rev. James Mearns has traced out some of its earliest appearances in print:—
1. Both hymn and tune (Salamis) were printed in the Sunday School Teacher's Magazine, 1841, on two unnumbered pages after p. 911 with the title "The Child's Desire: a Greek Air. Words by Miss Thompson, of Poundsford Park."
2. In the Union Hymn Book for Scholars, 1842, No. 67.
3. The Union Hymn Book for Sunday Schools, 9th ed., Bristol, 1844, No. 291.
4. In the Juvenile Missionary Magazine, June 1846, with the third stanza added.
The Greek Melody, commonly called "Salamis," is in the musical edition of The Church Hymnary, 1898; the S.P.C.K. Church Hymns, 1903, and other hymnals.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



This is very similar to SALAMIS (12323), but the contour of the melody is strikingly different in the second phrase.

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Instances (1 - 100 of 775)
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A Book of Hymns and Tunes #147

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A Book of Song and Service #108

A Child's Book of Hymns #d8

A Chord #d47

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A Collection of Hymns #216

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A Companion to the Canadian Sunday School Harp #60

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A First Book in Hymns and Worship #27

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A Hymnal and Service Book for Sunday Schools, Day Schools, Guilds, Brotherhoods, etc. #403

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A Manual of Devotion and Hymns for the House of Refuge, City of New York #416

A Messenger for Jesus #d122

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A New Hymnal for Sunday Schools #97

A New Service and Tune Book for Sunday Schools. New ed. #d58

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A Selection of Hymns #333

A Selection of Spiritual Songs for the Sunday School #d108

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A Selection of Spiritual Songs #182

A Treasury of Hymns, the Best-Loved Hymns, Carols ... #d108

A. M. E. C. Hymnal #550

A. M. E. C. Hymnal #567

A.M.E. Hymnal #d170

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African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #542

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Alexander's Hymns No. 3 #214

Alexander's Hymns No. 3 #d18

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Alleluia #44

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Alleluia #44

Ambassador Hymnal #599

American Church and Church School Hymnal #d142

American Church and Church School Hymnal #d142

American Junior Church School Hymnal #d78

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American Sunday School Hymn Book. 2nd ed. #a85

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American Sunday School Hymn Book. New ed. #aa85

Angelic Songs #d89

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Anniversary and Sabbath School Hymns #17

Anniversary and Sabbath School Hymns; or The Child's Sunday School Music Book #d40

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Assembly Songs #144

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Augsburg Songs for Sunday Schools and other services #173

Augsburg Songs, Nos. l and 2 Combined #d139

Banner of Love Songs #d71

Baptist Hymnal (1956) #506

Beautiful Songs of Heaven #d37

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Beginner and Primary Songs for use in Sunday School and the Home #16

Bells of Heaven #d161

Bells of Heaven #d142

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Best Hymns #153

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Bible Songs #114

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Bible Study Songs #136b

Book of Common Praise #d234

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Book of Praise for the Sunday School #55[92]

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Book of Worship (Rev. ed.) #499

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Book of Worship with Hymns and Tunes #450

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Bright Beautiful Bells #84

Bright Blossoms of Song #d33

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Calvary Songs #156e

Calvary Songs for Sunday School & Families. Words ed. #d71

Canadian Sabbath-School Hymn Book #d126

Carmina for Social Worship #d115

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Carmina for the Sunday School and Social Worship #83

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Carols of Hope #65

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Chants, Carols and Tunes #48

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Chapel Treasures (Christ Chapel Sabbath-School, Lebanon, PA) #110

Cherub Choir #d6


Children's Hymnal #81

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Children's Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada #32

Children's Praise #d62

Children's Praise and Worship #d71

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Children's Praise No. 1 #96

Children's Praises #d16

Children's Primary Hymn Book. 1st ed. #d34

Choice Collections #d72

Choice Gospel Songs #d78

Choral Song #d88

Choruses of Calvary #d29

Christ in Song #d249

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Christ in Song #68

Christian Hymnal #d209

Christian Hymns #d80

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Christian Hymns #301

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Christian Life Songs #76

Christian Song #d135

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Christian Songs #86b

Christian Worship, a Hymnal. Special ed. #d177

Christian Worship #213

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Church and Sunday School Hymnal with Supplement #342

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Church Hymnal #488

Church Hymnal, Third Edition #618

Church Hymns #d47

Church Hymns #d58

Church Hymns and Services, Published under License of the Church Pension Fund #d99

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Church Hymns #627

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Common Praise #657

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Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church #557

Companion of Praise for the Sunday School, Family and Prayer Meeting #d98

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Concordia #203

Conquest Hymns, New and Old for all Services #ad89

Conquest Hymns, New and Old for all Services #d89

Convention Hymnal #d29

Coronation Hymns #228

Cross and Crown Hymnal, 3rd ed. #d163


Exclude 766 pre-1979 instances
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