Scripture Verse

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Isaiah 1:18

Introduction

Words: El­vi­na M. Hall, 1865. Ap­peared in Sab­bath Ca­rols, ed­it­ed by Theo­dore E. Per­kins (New York: Brown &: Per­kins, 1868) page 93.

Music: John T. Grape (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Hall or Grape (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Our church was un­der­go­ing re­pairs, and the ca­bi­net or­gan was placed in my care. Thus af­ford­ed a plea­sure not be­fore en­joyed, I de­light­ed my­self in play­ing ov­er some of our Sun­day school hymns.

I de­ter­mined to give tan­gi­ble shape to a theme that had been run­ning in my mind for some time, to write, if pos­si­ble, an an­swer to Brad­bu­ry’s beau­ti­ful piece, Je­sus Paid It All. I made it a mat­ter of pray­er and stu­dy and gave to the pub­lic the mu­sic now known as All to Christ I Owe.

It was pro­nounced ve­ry poor by my choir and friends, but my dear wife per­sis­tent­ly de­clared that it was a good piece of mu­sic and would live. Time has proved the cor­rect­ness of her judg­ment.

Soon af­ter, the Rev. George W. Schreck called on me to se­lect any­thing new that I had to of­fer. On hear­ing this piece he ex­pressed his plea­sure with it and stat­ed that Mrs. El­vi­na M. Hall had writ­ten some words that would just suit the mu­sic. I gave him a co­py of it and it was soon sung in se­ve­ral church­es here in Bal­ti­more [Ma­ry­land] and well re­ceived. At the sugg­est­ion of friends I sent a co­py to Pro­fess­or Theo­dore Per­kins, and it was pub­lished in Sab­bath Ca­rols. Un­der the pro­vi­dence of God it has been go­ing ev­er since. I trust that it has not failed to ac­comp­lish some good to my fel­low-men for the glo­ry of God.

John Grape


On New Year’s night, 1886, some mis­sion­ar­ies were hold­ing op­en-air ser­vic­es in or­der to at­tract pass­ers-by to a near-by mis­sion, where meet­ings were to be held lat­er. All to Christ I Owe was sung, and af­ter a gen­tle­man had giv­en a short ad­dress he hast­ened away to the mis­sion. He soon heard foot­steps close be­hind him, and a young wo­man caught up with him and said:

I heard you ad­dress­ing the open-air meet­ing just now; do you think, sir, that Je­sus could save a sin­ner like me?

The gen­tle­man re­plied that there was no doubt about that, if she was anx­ious to be saved. She told him that she was a ser­vant girl, and had left her place that morn­ing af­ter a dis­a­gree­ment with her mis­tress.

As she had been wand­er­ing about the streets in the dark, won­der­ing where she was to spend the night, the sweet me­lo­dies of this hymn had at­tract­ed her, and she drew near and list­ened at­ten­tive­ly. As the dif­fer­ent verses were be­ing sung, she felt that the words sure­ly had some­thing to do with her.

Through the whole ser­vice she seemed to hear what met her op­pressed soul’s need at that mo­ment. God’s Spi­rit had showed her what a poor, sin­ful and wretch­ed crea­ture she was, and had led her to ask what she must do. On hear­ing her ex­pe­ri­ence, the gen­tle­man took her back to the mis­sion and left her with the la­dies in charge.

The young, way­ward wo­man was brought to Christ that night. A si­tu­a­tion was se­cured for her in a min­is­ter’s fa­mi­ly. There she be­came ill and had to be ta­ken to a hos­pi­tal. She ra­pid­ly failed and it be­came evi­dent that she would not be long on earth.

One day the gen­tle­man whom she had met on New Year’s night was vis­it­ing her in the ward. After quot­ing a few suit­a­ble vers­es of Scrip­ture, he re­peat­ed her fa­vo­rite hymn, All to Christ I owe…and she seemed ov­er­whelmed with the thought of com­ing to glo­ry…Two hours af­ter­ward she passed away.

Sankey, pp. 110–11

Lyrics

I hear the Sav­ior say,
Thy strength in­deed is small;
Child of weak­ness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.

Refrain

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crim­son stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For no­thing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my gar­ments white
In the blood of Cal­v’ry’s Lamb.

Refrain

And now com­plete in Him
My robe His right­eous­ness,
Close shel­tered ’neath His side,
I am di­vine­ly blest.

Refrain

Lord, now in­deed I find
Thy pow­er and Thine alone,
Can change the lep­er’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

Refrain

When from my dy­ing bed
My ran­somed soul shall rise,
Jesus died my soul to save,
Shall rend the vault­ed skies.

Refrain

And when be­fore the throne
I stand in Him com­plete,
I’ll lay my tro­phies down
All down at Je­sus’ feet.

Refrain