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How Much I Owe

Representative Text

1 When this passing world is done,
when has sunk yon glaring sun,
when we stand with Christ on high
looking o'er life's history,
then, Lord, shall I fully know,
not till then, how much I owe.

2 When I hear the wicked call
on the rocks and hills to fall,
when I see them start and shrink
on the fiery deluge brink,
then, Lord, shall I fully know,
not till then, how much I owe.

3 When I stand before the throne,
dressed in beauty not my own,
when I see thee as thou art,
love thee with unsinning heart,
then, Lord, shall I fully know,
not till then, how much I owe.

4 When the praise of heav'n I hear,
loud as thunders to the ear,
loud as many waters' noise,
sweet as harp's melodious voice,
then, Lord, shall I fully know,
not till then, how much I owe.

5 Chosen not for good in me,
wakened up from wrath to flee,
hidden in the Savior's side,
by the Spirit sanctified,
teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
by my love, how much I owe.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #470

Author: Robert Murray McCheyne

McCheyne, Robert Murray, son of Adam McCheyne, W. S., was b. at Edinburgh, May 21, 1813, and educated at Edinburgh University. In 1835 he became Assistant at Larbert,near Stirling, and was ordained in 1836 Minister of St. Peter's Established Church, Dundee. In 1839 he went to Palestine as one of the Mission of Enquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland. He d. at Dundee, March 25, 1843. His hymns, a few of which were written in Palestine, appeared in his Songs of Zion to cheer and guide Pilgrims on their way to the New Jerusalem, By the late Rev. B. M. McCheyne....Dundee, W. Middleton, 1843. These hymns were reprinted in his Memoir and Remains, edited by Dr. Andrew A. Bonar, 1844. The Songs as reprinted in 1844 number 14, and date from… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When this passing world is done
Title: How Much I Owe
Author: Robert Murray McCheyne (1837)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


When this passing world is done. B. M. McCheyne. [Debtor to Christ.] Printed in the Scottish Christian Herald, May 20, 1837; and repeated, in his Songs of Zion appended to his Memoir and Remains, 1844, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines, and headed "I am Debtor." As a whole it is not in common use but the following centos therefrom are in common use:—
1. When this passing world is done. Various centos of unequal length, with this as the opening stanza are in common use in Great Britain and America.
2. When I stand before the throne. This cento, in Kennedy, 1863, and others begins with stanza iii.
3. Chosen, not for good in me. This cento is in extensive use. It begins with stanza vi.
4. Oft I walk beneath the cloud. In use in Great Britain and America. It opens with stanza vi.
When these centos are taken into account it is found that this is the best known and most widely used of the author's hymns. Original text in Lyra Britannica 1867.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


MOUNT ZION (Sullivan)


REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as P…

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Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #652

Hymns of the Christian Life #385

Praise for the Lord (Expanded Edition) #758


The Cyber Hymnal #7690

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #545

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #470

Include 134 pre-1979 instances
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