All to Christ I Owe

Words by Mrs. Elvina M. Hall Music by John T. Grape

“I hear the Saviour say,
Thy strength indeed is small.”




"Our church was undergoing some alterations, ”writes Mr. Grape,” and the cabinet organ was placed in my care. Thus afforded a pleasure not before enjoyed, I delighted myself in playing over 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 Mr. 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 the tune to 'All to Christ I owe.' It was pronounced very poor by my choir and my 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. Mr. Schrick called on me to select anything new in music 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 which he thought would just suit the music. I gave him a copy of it, and it was soon sung in several churches and well received. At the suggestion of friends, I sent a copy to Professor Theodore Perkins, and it was published in 'Sabbath Chords.' Under the providence of God, it has been going ever since. I trust that it has not failed in the accomplishment of some good to my fellow-men, for the glory of God."

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 uark, 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 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.” On coming to the fourth verse—

"When from my dying bed

My ransomed soul shall rise,
Then 'Jesus paid it all,'
Shall rend the vaulted skies,”

she seemed overwhelmed with the thought of coming glory, and repeated the chorus so precious to her,
“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.”

Two hours afterward she passed away.