The Old, Old Story, in Two Parts
by Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)

Katherine Hankey


Part 1—The Story Wanted

Tell me the old, old story
  Of unseen things above,—
Of JESUS and His glory,
  Of JESUS and His love.

Tell me the story simply,
  As to a little child;
For I am weak and weary,
  And helpless and defiled.

Tell me the story slowly,
  That I may take it in,—
That wonderful redemption,
  God's REMEDY for sin!

Tell me the story often,
  For I forget so soon!
The "early dew" of morning
  Has passed away at noon!

Tell me the story softly,
  With earnest tones and grave;
Remember, I'm the sinner
  Whom Jesus came to save.

Tell me the story always,
  If you would really be,
In any time of trouble,
  A comforter to me.

Tell me the same old story
  When you have cause to fear
That this world's empty glory
  Is costing me too dear.

Yes, and when that world's glory
  Shall dawn upon my soul,
Tell me the old, old story,

Part 2—The Story Told

You ask me for "the story
  Of unseen things above,—
Of JESUS and His glory,
  Of JESUS and His love."

You want "the old, old story,"
  And nothing else will do!
Indeed I cannot wonder,
  It always seems so new!

I often wish that some one
  Would tell it me, each day;
I never should get tired
  Of what they had to say.

But I am wasting moments!
  Oh, how shall I begin
To tell "the old, old Story,"
  How Jesus saves from sin?

Listen, and I will tell you;
  God help both you and me,
And make "the old, old story"
  His Message unto thee!

Once, in a pleasant garden,
  God placed a happy pair;
And all within was peaceful,
  And all around was fair.

But oh! they disobeyed Him!
  The one thing He denied
They longed for, took and tasted;
  They ate it, and—they died!

Yet, in His love and pity,
  At once the Lord declared
How man, though lost and ruined,
  Might after all be spared!

For one of Eve's descendants,
  Not sinful, like the rest,
Should spoil the work of Satan,
  And man be saved and blest!

[He] should be son of Adam,
  But Son of God as well,
And bring a full salvation
  From sin and death and hell.

Hundreds of years were over;
  Adam and Eve had died,
The following generation,
  And many more beside.

At last, some shepherds, watching
  Beside their flocks at night,
Were startled in the darkness
  By strange and heavenly light.

One of the holy angels
  Had come from Heaven above,
To tell the true, true story,
  Of Jesus and His love.

He came to bring "glad tidings,"
  "You need not, must not, fear;
For Christ, your new-born Saviour,
  ;Lies in the village near!"

And many other angels
  Took up the story then—
"To God on high be glory,
  Good-will and peace to men."

And was it true—that story?
  They went at once to see,
And found Him in a manger,
  And knew that it was He.

He whom the Father promised,
  So many ages past,
Had come to save poor sinners;
  Yes, He had come at last!

That was indeed His purpose,
  To seek and save the lost,
Although He knew beforehand—
  Knew all that it would cost.

He lived a life most holy;
  His every thought was love,
And every action showed it,
  To man, and God above.

His path in life was lowly,—
  He was a working-Man:
Who knows the poor man's trials
  So well as Jesus can?

His last three years were lovely!
  He could no more be hid;
And time and strength would fail me
  To tell the good He did.

He gave away no money,
  For He had none to give;
But He had power of healing,
  And made dead people live.

He did kind things so kindly!
  It seemed His heart's delight
To make poor people happy,
  From morning until night!

He always seemed at leisure
  For every one who came;
However tired or busy,
  They found Him just "the same."

He heard each tale of sorrow
  With an attentive ear.
And took away each burden
  Of suffering, sin, or fear.

He was "a Man of Sorrows!"
  And when He gave relief,
He gave it like a brother,
  Acquainted with the grief.

Such was "the Man Christ Jesus!"
  The Friend of sinful man!—
But hush! the tale grows sadder,
  I'll tell it—if I can!

This gentle, holy Jesus,
  Without a spot or stain,
By wicked hands was taken,
  And crucified, and slain!

Look! look! if you can bear it—
  Look at your dying Lord!
Stand near the cross and watch Him:
  "Behold the Lamb of God!"

His Hands and Feet are piercèd,
  He cannot hide His Face;
And cruel men stand staring,
  In crowds, about the place.

They laugh at Him and mock Him!
  They tell Him to "come down,"
And leave that cross of suffering,
  And change it for a crown.

Why did He bear their mockings?
  Was He "the Mighty God?"
And could He have destroyed them
  With one almighty word?

Yes, Jesus could have done it;
  But let me tell you why
He would not use His power,
  But chose to stay and die.

He had become our "Surety;"
  And what we could not pay,
He paid instead, and for us,
  On that one dreadful day.

For our sins He suffered;
  For our sins He died;
And "not for ours only,"
  But "all the world's" beside!

And now, the work is "finished!"
  The sinner's debt is paid!
Because on "Christ the Righteous"
  The sin of all was laid.

Oh, wonderful redemption!
  God's remedy for sin!
The door of heaven is open,
  And you may enter in!

For God released our "Surety,"
  To show the work was done;
And Jesus' resurrection
  Declared the victory won!

And now, He has ascended,
  And sits upon the throne,
"To be a Prince and Saviour,"
  And claim us for His own.

But when He left His people,
  He promised them to send
"The Comforter," to teach them,
  And guide them to the end.

And that same Holy Spirit
  Is with us to this day,
And ready now to teach us
  The "new and living way."

This is "the old, old story!"
  Say, do you take it in
This wonderful redemption,
  God's remedy for sin?

Do you at heart believe it?—
  Do you believe it's true,
And meant for EVERY SINNER,
  And, therefore, meant for you?

Then take this "GREAT SALVATION"
  [For] Jesus loves to give!
Believe! and you receive it!
  Believe! and you shall live!

And if this simple message
  Has now brought peace to you,
Make known "the old, old story,"
  For others need it too.

Let everybody see it,
  That Christ has made you free;
And if it sets them longing,
  Say, "Jesus died for thee!"

Soon, soon, our eyes shall see Him!
  And, in our home above,
We'll sing "the old, old story"
  Of "Jesus and His love!"
 —Katherine Hankey (1834-1911)

From The Old, Old Story. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.]. The poem was written in 1866 and first published in 1867. There are minor differences (primarily punctuation, capitalization, and a couple of words) between the above version and the 1875 edition published by William Macintosh, London.

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" the glory of God."