GRACE! ’TIS A CHARMING SOUND
Philip Doddridge, 1702–1751 (verses 1, 3)
Augustus Toplady, 1740–1778 (verses 2, 4, 5)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
“Jesus died for all mankind”—every race and nation—and yet, He “died for me.” And now the benefits of that death, a personal salvation and restored fellowship with Almighty God, are available to all who respond in faith and appropriate that truth. With the author of this hymn we cry out with heartfelt gratitude, “Saved by grace alone! This is all my plea.”
Grace is the gift of God freely given to those who never deserved it. No merit or goodness precedes the forgiving love of God. Not only does God’s grace relate to our eternal redemption, but it is a divine provision for our every daily need—spiritual, material, emotional, and physical.
“Grace! ’Tis a Charming Sound” is the work of two well-known 18th century English ministers, Philip Doddridge and Augustus Toplady. Doddridge was known as a man of great ability and learning, authoring almost 400 hymns. Toplady was known for his strong Calvinistic convictions. Although he was converted as a young man through the influence of John Wesley and his Methodist followers, Augustus Toplady in later life became an ardent critic of the Wesleys and their Arminian or “free will” theology. Yet today Toplady is best remembered for his hymns such as this and “Rock of Ages,” which transcend such theological barriers.
Grace! tis a charming sound, harmonious to the ear; Heav’n with the echo shall resound and all the earth shall hear.
’Twas grace that wrote my name in life’s eternal book; ’twas grace that gave me to the Lamb, who all my sorrows took.
Grace taught my wand’ring feet to tread the heav’nly road; and new supplies each hour I meet, while pressing on to God.
Grace taught my soul to pray, and made mine eyes o’er-flow; ’twas grace which kept me to this day, and will not let me go.
O let Thy grace inspire my soul with strength divine; may all my pow’rs to Thee aspire, and all my days be Thine.
Chorus: Saved by grace alone! This is all my plea; Jesus died for all mankind, and Jesus died for me.
For Today: Acts 15:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Titus 3:7; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 5:10
Go forth joyfully with this musical testimony—