Words: , 1865.

Music: :

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 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.

Here’s a story about the song:

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.

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


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.


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


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


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


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