The words for this hymn was written and the tune was composed both by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876). It was first published in his 1873 book Sunshine for Sunday Schools. Daniel Webster Whittle in his Memoirs of Philip P. Bliss wrote, “Just before Christmas, 1871, Mrs. Bliss asked a friend, ‘What shall I get my husband for a Christmas present?’ and, at the suggestion of this friend, purchased and presented him with the bound volume of a monthly English periodical called Things New and Old. Many things in these books of interpretation of Scripture and illustrations of Gospel truth were blessed to him, and from the reading of something in one of these books in connection with Romans 8 and Hebrews 10, suggested this glorious Gospel song.”1 Of this song, worship leader Zac Hicks writes: “I first heard this lesser-known hymn by Philip Bliss when it was read from the pulpit by the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, where I serve as Pastor of Worship. I was immediately struck by its clarity of delineating what is called “God’s two words” of Law and Gospel for the believer”. Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus hath bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.
Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O friend, now believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.
Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation;
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.
“Children of God,” O glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call,
Blessed salvation once for all.