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

El­vi­na M. Hall, 1865.

John T. Grape (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

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