Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hymns & Hymn Writers: None of Self & All of Thee

The lyrics of this hymn were written in 1874 by Theodore Monod while visiting England. The song has also been referred to as “O The Bitter Shame and Sorrow” which is the first line of the hymn. The music we sing these lyrics with was composed by James McGranahan in 1876. McGranahan deleted a line from each stanza and altered the words to fit the music.

Theodore Monod (1836–1921), Lyricist

Theodore Monod was born in Paris on November 6, 1836. His father was a Pastor for the French Reformed Church. He obtained a Bachelor of Science and Mater of Arts, after which he practiced law. When he came to the United States, he completed theological training at the Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. He preached for the Presbytery in Allegheny. In 1861 he was ordained and moved to work with the Presbyterian Church in Kankakee, IL. He returned home to France in 1864. In France he continued his work in religion including working for a Home Mission, plus editing a newspaper entitled Le Liberateur. He also authored several books that were widely received in his day. He died in Paris on February 26, 1921.

James McGranahan (1840–1907), Composer

James McGranahan was born July 4, 1840 in Adamsville, PA. His father was a farmer and desired his son to continue farming. James McGranahan became interested in music through a local singing school. When he was 19 years old, he enrolled in the Normal Music School in Geneseo, NY which was founded by William B. Bradbury. He married Addie Vickery in 1863. He worked as a Singing Evangelist which he began in 1877 among the United Presbyterian Church. He did evangelistic work in the United States, England, and Ireland. He also popularized all male choirs for gospel music in his day. Besides this hymn, he also composed music for “I Know Not Why God’s Wondrous Grace,” “I Will Sing of My Redeemer,” “Sinners Jesus Will Receive,” “There’s A Royal Banner,” and others. In 1887, he built a house and retired in Kinsman, Ohio. James McGranahan died July 9, 1907 in Kinsman after a prolonged battle against diabetes. He is buried in New Kinsman Cemetery.

None of Self And All of Thee

Christianity is not only a taught religion, but a religion of growth and development too. The apostle Peter encouraged the Christians of Asia Minor to add knowledge to their lives in order to fortify their walk (cf. 2 Pet 1:5). This reference is not to general knowledge but to specific knowledge—God and His word (cf. 2 Pet 1:2). God has provided us all that we need to know to live a life pleasing to Him (cf. 2 Pet 1:3). This knowledge is not infused into our minds as our five senses, but is to be learned as we would learn other matters of the world. Some choose not to study about God and His word to detriment of their lives and souls (cf. Rom 1:28f.). As we learn and apply, we grow. This is true in both the physical and spiritual realms. We may find ourselves starting out feeble in our estimation, but with God and the Bible as our guide we can grow and mature to a full stature in Christ (cf. Eph 4:13).

Notice the progression or development of the Christian in the verses of this hymn:

Verse 1 All of Self, None of Thee—100 percent me with no room for God.
Verse 2 Some of Self, Some of Thee—50 percent of me and 50 percent for God.
Verse 3 Less of Self, More of Thee—25 percent of me and 75 percent for God.
Verse 4 None of Self, All of Thee—All for God!

This does not mean that God is not mindful of our physical needs (cf. Matt 6:31–34), and that includes our having to work to meet these needs (cf. 2 Thess 3:10). There is a difference in working on our own and working with God! This is the message of the hymn too.

We may grow and come to the thoughts of the first verse “Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow,
 That a time could ever be, When I let the Savior’s pity Plead in vain,” Delaying obedience or obeying the gospel later in life may lead to feelings of regret which can become damaging to our ability to grow in the love of God (as spoken of in verse 4.) Remember what the apostle Paul stated—“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 1:12-14 NKJV). The Lord is exceedingly abundant with love for all!


“James McGranahan.” No Pages. Cited 30 December 2017. Online:

 “James McGranahan.” No Pages. Cited 30 December 2017. Online:

James McGranahan. Pittsburg: Murdoch, Kerr & Co. 1907.

John P. Wiegand, Editor, Praise for the Lord, Nashville, TN: Praise Press, 1997.

“None of Self And All of Thee.” No Pages. Cited 30 December 2017. Online:

Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1937.

“Theodore Monod.” No Pages. Cited 30 December 2017. Online:

V. E. Howard and Broadus E. Smith, eds. Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX: Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.

No comments: