Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just as I am: a simple hymn

From The One Year Book of Hymns devotional

Charlotte Elliott seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman.  She was gifted as a portrait artist and also as a writer of humorous verse.  Then in her early thirties she suffered a serious illness that left her weak and depressed.  During her illness a noted minister, Dr. Caesar Malan of Switzerland, came to visit her.  Noticing her depression, he asked if she had peace with God.  She resented the question and said she did not want to talk about it.

But a few days later she went to apologize to Dr. Malan.  She said that she wanted to clean up some things in her life before she became a Christian.  Malan looked at her and answered, “Come just as you are.”  That was enough for Charlotte Elliott, and she yielded herself to the Lord that day.

Fourteen years later, remembering those words spoken to her by Caesar Malan in Brighton, England, she wrote this simple hymn that has been used to touch the hearts of millions who have also responded to Christ’s invitation to come just as they are.


Jesus said to them. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”
John 6:35-38 NRSV


Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, tho’ tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,
Sight, riches, healing of mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken ev’ry barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, the height to prove,
Here for a season then above,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871)

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