How Charlotte Elliot Came






Charlotte Elliott, of Brighton, England, was visiting some friends in the West End of London, and thee met the eminent minister, Caesar Malan, of Geneva.  During the visit, the minister  said he hoped she was a Christian.  She resented it, but afterwards, stricken in spirit by his words, came to him with apologies and an inquiry that confessed a new concern of mind. “You speak of coming to Jesus, but how? I’m not fit to come.”


“Come just as you are,” said Dr. Malan.


This she did, and went away rejoicing.  Shortly afterward she wrote the hymn, “Just as I am without one Plea.”  It was first published in the “Invalid’s Hymn-book” in 1836.


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Illustravtive of the way this hymn appeals to the afflected, a little anecdote was told by the eloquent John B. Gough of his accidental seat – mate in a city church service. A man of strange appearance was led by the kind usher or sexton to the pew he occupied.  Mr. Gough eyed him with strong aversion. The man’s face was mottled, his limbs and mouth twitched, and he mumbled singular sounds.  When the congregation sang he attempted to sing, but made fearful work of it.  During the organ interlude he leaned toward Mr. Gough and asked how the next verse began. It was –



“Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind.”



“That’s it,” sobbed the strange man, “I’m blind – God help me!” – and the tears ran down his face –“and I’m wretched – and paralytic,” and then he tried hard to sing the line with the rest.


“After that,” said Mr. Gough, “the poor paralytic’s singing was as sweet to me as a Beethoven symphony.”


* * * * *


“Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, 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!


Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I nee, in Thee to Find,

O Lamb of God, 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!


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 !”