Precious promise God hath given. N. Niles. [The Divine Guide.] Concerning this hymn and its writer, S. W. Duffield says in his English Hymns, 1886, p. 461:—
"This well-known ‘Moody and Sankey' hymn was written by Mr. Nathaniel Niles, a resident of Morristown, New Jersey, and, at that time, a lawyer in New York City. Mr. Niles was born at South Kingston, Rhode Island, September 15th, 1835. He composed these verses on the margin of a newspaper in the railway car while on his way to business."
The hymn was published in The Episcopalian; and again in P. Bliss's Gospel Songs, 1874, with music by Bliss. The text and music in I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, are from the Gospel Song.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)