JESUS PAID IT ALL                                                                         written in 1865

The Story

            John T. Grape (awesome name, by the way), the church organist and a successful coal merchant in Baltimore, MD, composed the music for the woman who wrote the lyrics to this song. He said he only dabbled in music. But, one day as he dabbled, he came up with a tune he liked. He called it, “All to Christ I Owe”. Grape gave a copy to his pastor, who wasn’t very impressed with it.

Elvina Hall wrote this hymn when she should have been listening to her pastor preach. Instead, she was sitting in the choir loft of her Baltimore church, the Monument Street Methodist Church, looking for paper to write on. Finding no paper, she scribbled on the flyleaf of her hymnal, and ended up writing 4 verses – but not the chorus – of this hymn, “Jesus Paid It All”. After the service, she handed the words to her pastor. Did he smile a little smile at this evidence of her “naughty” behavior? We may never know.

When the pastor read the hymn she had written, he remembered the organist’s music. Surprisingly, Grape’s music fit Elvina’s words, except Grape also had a chorus with his tune… “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

Elvina Hall was 45 when she wrote this hymn. She was married first to Richard Hall and then, after his death, to a Methodist minister, Thomas Meyers. She died in 1899.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – thank God for the payment Jesus made.

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 pow’r, and Thine alone,
can change the *leper’s spots [*leopard’s], 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)

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