Just as I Am

Words by Charlotte Elliott Music by William B. Bradbury

"Just as I am, without one plea.
But that Thy blood was shed for me.”




Miss Charlotte Elliott was visiting some friends in the West End of London, and there met the eminent minister, Cesar Malan. While seated at supper, the minister said he hoped that she was a Christian. She took offense at this, and replied that she would rather not discuss that question. Dr. Malan said that he was sorry if he had offended her, that he always liked to speak a word for his Master, and that he hoped that the young lady would some day become a worker for Christ. When they met again at the home of a mutual friend, three weeks later, Miss Elliott told the minister that ever since he had spoken to her she had been trying to find her Saviour, and that she now wished him to tell her how to come to Christ. ”Just come to him as you are, ”Dr. Malan said. This she did, and went away rejoicing. Shortly afterward she wrote this hymn,” Just as I am, without ope plea.” It was first published in ”The Invalid's Hymn Book,” in 1836.

“In all my preaching,” said her brother, the Rev. H. V. Elliott, ”I have not done so much good as my sister has been permitted to accomplish by writing her one hymn, 'Just as I am.'"

A little street waif in New York City came to a missionary with a torn and dirty piece of paper, on which this hymn was printed.

“Please, sir,” he said,” father sent me to get a clean copy like that."

The missionary learned that the child's sister had loved to sing it, and that this copy had been found in her pocket after her death. The father wanted to obtain a clean copy of the verses in order to frame them.

During a service of song in a Christian church, John B. Gough was asked by a man in the pew with him what was to be sung, as the announcement had not been heard. The questioner was most repulsive in appearance, because of a nervous disease that disfigured his face and form. When the singing began, Gough was driven almost to frenzy by the harsh and discordant tones of the singer by his side. But when they came to ”Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, ”the wretched creature lifted his sightless eyes to heaven and sang with his whole soul. The great orator, in his impassioned and inimitable way, said:

“I have heard the finest strains of orchestra, choir, and soloist this world can produce, but I never heard music until I heard that blind man sing, ' O, Lamb of God, I come, I come.'"