I Know Whom I Have Believed

Words: Daniel W. Whittle (1840-1901)

Music: James McGranahan (1840-1907)

#337, ’91 Baptist Hymnal

History Behind the Hymn

 

Daniel W. Whittle was an American lyricist born in Massachusetts in 1840. He fought with the Union in the American Civil War, serving in the 72nd Illinois Infantry under General Sherman. He was wounded in Vicksburg, but continued to serve through the end of the war and left the army a major; he is often still referred to as “Major Whittle” by many hymnologists.

While home injured from Vicksburg, Whittle met famed evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody; Moody encourage Whittle to become an evanglelist himself. He wrote many hymns and evangelical works under the pseudonym “El Nathan” – ironically the name of the tune to which “I Know Whom I Have Believed” is sung. Whittle was also associated with hymn writer and composer Philip P. Bliss (“It Is Well”, “I Will Sing of My Redeemer”), and edited Bliss’ memoirs.

Whittle was an avid hymn writer and devout follower for much of his life, largely thanks to the influence of D.L. Moody; he wrote over 200 hymns during his life. He was very particular about the integrity of his words, saying, “I hope that I will never write a hymn that does not contain a message — there are too many hymns that are just a meaningless jingle of words; to do good a hymn must be founded on God’s word and carry the message of God’s love.”

 

Sources:

 

Hall, J. (n.d.). Major D. W. Whittle: Evangelist and Hymn Writer. Retrieved July 27, 2020, from https://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bwhittle.html

Lyrics

 

 

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.

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 the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

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 what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

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 when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

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.