'Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee

Representative Text

1 Lord, 'tis not that I did choose you;
that, I know, could never be,
for this heart would still refuse you
had your grace not chosen me.
You removed the sin that stained me,
cleansing me to be your own;
for this purpose you ordained me,
that I live for you alone.

2 It was grace in Christ that called me,
taught my darkened heart and mind;
else the world had yet enthralled me,
to your heav'nly glories blind.
Now I worship none above you;
for your grace alone I thirst,
knowing well that, if I love you,
you, O Father, loved me first.

3 Praise the God of all creation,
praise the Father's boundless love.
Praise the Lamb, our expiation,
Priest and King enthroned above.
Praise the Spirit of salvation,
him by whom our spirits live.
Undivided adoration
to the great Jehovah give.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #581

Author: Josiah Conder

Josiah Conder was born in London, in 1789. He became a publisher, and in 1814 became proprietor of "The Eclectic Review." Subsequently to 1824, he composed a series of descriptive works, called the "Modern Traveller," which appeared in thirty volumes. He also published several volumes of poems and hymns. He was the author of the first "Congregational Hymn Book" (1836). He died in 1855. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: 'Tis not that I did choose Thee
Title: 'Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee
Author: Josiah Conder (1836)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 1 = John 15:16, Eph. 1:4, 2 Thess. 2:13
st. 2 = I John 4:10, 19

Originally beginning "'Tis not that I did choose thee," this hymn by Josiah Conder (b. Aldersgate, London, England, 1789; d. St. John's Wood, London, 1855) was published in Leifchild's Original Hymns (1843). Although not as well known as other hymn texts by Conder (e.g., "Bread of Heaven, On Thee We Feed" or “The Lord Is King, Lift Up Thy Voice”), this text has been treasured in the songbooks of the Christian Reformed Church because of its focus on the doctrine of election. The text simply confesses that God chose us as his people long before any of us responded to his love.

A prolific poet and author of books on a variety of topics, Conder was a Congregational layman who took over his father's bookshop and for some twenty years edited the Eclectic Review. His hymns were published posthumously in Hymns of Praise, Prayer, and Devout Meditation (1856). Isaac Watts' (PHH 155) hymns had dominated the Congregational Church for many years, but in 1836 the Congregationalist Union published The Congregational Hymn Book, a supplement to Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns edited by Conder. That hymnbook contained fifty-six of Conder's hymns.

Liturgical Use:
During the service of confession/assurance; with confessional preaching on the doctrine of election.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Said to be a "Greek Air," CALCUTTA was one of the popular national tunes used by Dublin's Thomas Moore (1779-1852) in his Sacred Songs (1816). Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) adapted it for congregational singing and published it in his Church Hymns with Tunes (1874). [The tune was earlier adapted for c…

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Originally a folk song ("Sollen nun die grünen Jahre") dating from around 1700, O DU LIEBE MEINER LIEBE was used as a hymn tune in the Catholic hymnal Bambergisches Gesangbuch (1732). The tune name is the incipit of the text to which it was set in Johann Thommen's Erbaulicher Musicalischer Christen…

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Instances (1 - 13 of 13)

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #289


Christian Worship (1993) #380

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Christian Worship #581

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #222

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Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #107

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Lutheran Service Book #573

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #496

The Baptist Hymnal #96


The Cyber Hymnal #4284


The Cyber Hymnal #6794

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #471

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #428

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Worship Supplement 2000 #776

Include 63 pre-1979 instances
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