1 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.
2 Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow'r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper's spots
And melt the heart of stone. [Refrain]
3 For nothing good have I
Where-by Thy grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv'ry's Lamb. [Refrain]
4 And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
"Jesus died my soul to save,"
My lips shall still repeat. [Refrain]
Baptist Hymnal, 1991
|First Line:||I hear the Savior say, Thy strength indeed is small|
|Title:||Jesus Paid It All|
|Author:||Elvina M. Hall (1865)|
|Meter:||18.104.22.168 with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||Jesus paid it all, All to him I owe;|
In 1865, Elvina M. Hall wrote this hymn on the flyleaf of a hymnal, New Lute of Zion, during a Sunday morning service at a Methodist church in Baltimore. It was first published in 1868 in Sabbath Carols. The original text had five stanzas, but the standard text in modern hymnals contains four, some of which are substantially altered from the original. It is not known who is responsible for the modern version. The theme of the text is the completeness of Jesus' work on the cross, and the fact that humans have done nothing to merit such mercy, which means that we are forever in debt to Christ.
The organist at Mrs. Hall's church, John T. Grape, is the composer of the tune ALL TO CHRIST, which is the only tune to which this hymn is sung. It was written in 1868, while the church was undergoing renovation. The cabinet organ of the church had been moved to Grape's home during that period, and he took advantage of the access to the instrument to write this tune. This hymn should be sung quietly, in unison or harmony. Some hymnals indicate a fermata on the word “stain” in the refrain.
This hymn is associated with Lent and Holy Week, and is also suitable for Communion. It could be used as a short piano interlude as Communion is served, such as is found in “Hymn Miniatures for Communion.” For a time of meditation on the meaning of the sacrament, a quiet instrumental setting is appropriate. A straightforward handbell arrangement of “Jesus Paid It All” is suitable for a time of meditation. A quiet setting for piano can be found in “Hymns We Love.” This hymn can also be combined in a medley with similar hymns. “Lenten Reflections” blends “Jesus Paid It All” with “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed” in a thoughtfully paced handbell arrangement.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org