Just As I Am

The spiritual seed behind this hymn by Charlotte Elliott (1789–1871) is sometimes regarded to be her conversion experience1. Charlotte had become an invalid in 1821, which brought her great mental distress. Her lifelong spiritual mentor César Malan, a Swiss minister and hymnologist, counselled her to replace her rage and inner conflict with peace, and simple faith in God; from that day on, she turned her literary talents to writing hymns. Although sometimes depressed by her condition, she always felt renewed by the assurance of salvation, and she responded to her Saviour in hymns with her “strong imagination and a well cultured and intellectual mind” (John D. Julian, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892). She wrote about 150 hymns. Her most famous, “Just as I Am,” is widely used in English and North American hymnals today2.

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, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
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.


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