Grace! 'tis a charming sound

Full Text

1 Grace has a thrilling sound
To each believer's ear;
That peace with God through Christ is found
Is news I gladly hear.

2 Grace first inscribed my name
In God's eternal book,
And grace has brought me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took.

3 Grace led my wand'ring feet
To tread the heav'nly road,
And grace supplies each hour
I meet While pressing on to God.

4 Grace taught my soul to pray
And made my eyes o'erflow;
His grace has kept me to this day
And will not let me go.

5 Grace all our work shall crown
Through everlasting days;
The heav'nly home God gives his own
Shall echo with our praise.

Source: Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #381

Author: Philip Doddridge

Doddridge, Philip, D.D., was born in London, June 26, 1702. His grandfather was one of the ministers under the Commonwealth, who were ejected in 1662. His father was a London oilman. He was offered by the Duchess of Bedford an University training for ordination in the Church of England, but declined it. He entered Mr. Jennings's non-conformist seminary at Kibworth instead; preached his first sermon at Hinckley, to which Mr. Jennings had removed his academy. In 1723 he was chosen pastor at Kibworth. In 1725 he changed his residence to Market Harborough, still ministering at Kibworth. The settled work of his life as a preceptor and divine began in 1729, with his appointment to the Castle Hill Meeting at Northampton, and continued till in the… Go to person page >


Grace, 'tis a charming sound. P. Doddridge. [Salvation by Grace.] First published in his (posthumous) Hymns, &c, by J. Orton, in 1755, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, as follows:—

"cclxxxvi. Salvation by Grace. Eph. ii. 5.
1. Grace! 'tis a charming Sound,
Harmonious to my Ear!
Heav'n with the Echo shall resound,
And all the earth shall hear.
2. Grace first contriv'd a Way
To save rebellious Man,
And all the Steps that Grace display,
Which drew the wond'rous Plan.
3. Grace taught my wand'ring Feet
To tread the heav'nly Road,
And new Supplies each Hour I meet,
While pressing on to God.
4. Grace all the Work shall crown
Thro' everlasting Days;
It lays in Heav'n the topmost Stone,
And well deserves the Praise."

This text was repeated in J. D. Humphreys's edition of the Hymns, &c., 1839, with the change in stanza i., line 2, of "my ear," to "mine ear."
In his Psalms & Hymns, 1776, A. M. Toplady gave a cento as No. 134 which was thus composed:—
i. Doddridge, stanza i., with line2, "the ear" for "my ear."
ii. Doddridge, stanza ii.
iii. Toplady:—

" Twas grace that wrote my name
In Thy eternal book;
'Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took."

iv. Doddridge, stanza iii., with, in line 1, "forc'd" for “taught."
v. Toplady:—

"Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o'erflow.
'Twas grace which kept me to this day,
And will not let me go."

vi. Doddridge, stanza iv.
vii. Toplady:—

"O let Thy grace inspire
My soul with strength divine!
May all my powers to Thee aspire,
And all my days be Thine."

From the original, or from this cento, all modern versions of the hymn are derived, and their construction can be determined by collation with the texts as given above. The use of the hymn in various forms is very extensive in all English-speaking countries. It is sometimes given as "Grace! 'tis a joyful sound," as in Harland's Church Psalter & Hymnal, No. 282. Doddridge's text, slightly altered, is rendered into Latin as “Gratia, quain dulcis vox nostris auribus ilia!" in R. Bingham's Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Although this tune is widely attributed to Isaac Smith and was published in Smiths Collection of Psalm Tunes, London, ca. 1780, Smith does not claim to be the composer. The tune also appeared in other books of similar or earlier date. Southern Harmony, 1835 attributes the tune to J. Street. - From T…

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[Grace! tis a charming sound] (Sankey)




Instances (1 - 13 of 13)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #381Text
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #296AudioPage Scan
Rejoice Hymns #129
Small Church Music #273Audio
Small Church Music #2434Audio
Small Church Music #3291Audio
The Baptist Hymnal: for use in the church and home #93
The Christian Harmony: in the seven-syllable character note system of music;... 2010 Revised Edition #50
The Cyber Hymnal #2042TextScoreAudio
The Sacred Harp (Rev. Cooper Ed.) #31a
The Sacred Harp: the best collection of sacred songs, hymns, odes, and anthems ever offered the singing public for general use (1991 rev.) #31aText
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #462TextPage Scan
Worship Supplement 2000 #778Page Scan
Include 740 pre-1979 instances
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