On 20 Mar 2001 Burke wrote:
The music is by Robert Lowry, who wrote a lot of tunes for evangelical hymns in the late 19th century. The words are sometimes attributed to Anna Warner, but from another list I've been told: The Dictionary of American Hymnology regarded the matter as unsettled, >author unknown.
Its original printing (with tune) was in Rob't. Lowry, ed., Bright Jewels for the Sunday School (Boston: H.A. Brown & Co., 1869), p. 16. It was republished many times after that.
The qualification with tune is significant. The words alone were published in The Christian Pioneer, vol 20, 1866, page 39, with no author given.