Just as I Am

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, 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, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the 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 every 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, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Some feedback please. Do you know this precious hymn? If so, what memories of it do you have? Are they good memories or bad memories? If they are good memories, which are your favorite verses? If you don’t like the hymn why not? The story of the hymn and it’s author along with the rather mawkish tune (Woodworth) used in American Evangelical worship is here. On this page you can also find a much nicer tune–usually used in Anglican worship called ‘Saffron Walden’. For earlier posts on church music and hymns check out the label ‘church music’ in the left sidebar.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13055947542189758831 EegahInc

    Wow, that brings back memories. I spent my fair share of time in the protestant trenches and this was THE go to hymn for altar calls. Combined with the pleading tones of the preacher, it was irresistible.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02677700018308197978 Rosemary

    The hymn by itself I love. The memories of endless "altar calls" — not so much. The love and concern of dear Christian people that motivated the endless altar calls — priceless!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03743377790785262049 Lioness

    I've never heard it before… (or read it, I don't know what the music sounds like)But it took my breath away. Wow. I love it. Absolutely love it. Shame it's been tainted by over-use at "altar calls"…? :/Wow. 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, I come.Just as I am, and waiting notTo 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 aboutWith many a conflict, many a doubt,Fightings and fears within, without,O Lamb of God, I come, I come.these lines especially move me, but the whole song does. Thank you so much for posting, Father!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05660260542343577894 Les

    I loved it as a protestant, and now even more as a Catholic. Sometimes it comes to mind as I walk forward to receive Christ in the Eucharist. It's perfect.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11113999173163285252 Deborah Edwards

    From childhood to the present, my soul dances when I hear this beloved hymn. A little bit of heaven touches the earth as people surrender to the love of Jesus Christ and enter into relationship with him.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09479406473813028616 Arnold Conrad

    Wasn't that hymn sung at Billy Graham crusades as the people walked down from the stands to the center field where the Rev. Graham waited? I can almost remember the tune. I am a cradle Catholic but really liked a couple of those hymns used in the Graham crusades, including How Great Thou Art.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01306017321460701751 Paul Rodden

    I learnt this hymn at the boys’ school I attended in the mid 1970s. It was a tiny school in the Kent countryside, and we sang this often at communion from the English Hymnal (which doesn’t have the second verse).The School was Anglo-Catholic, founded by Fr Arthur Tooth (who was imprisoned for being too ‘Catholic’ in the 1870s!), and his tomb is in the Anglican shrine at Walsingham (http://tinyurl.com/6kqtop6). We had Low Mass before breakfast, said the Angelus three times a day, Compline before bed, and a Corpus Christi procession around the school grounds each year. It was a little enclave of birettas and incense when Roman Catholicism in England had thrown the baby out with the bathwater. (Of course, aged nine, I was blissfully ignorant of all that!)The hymn became one of my favourites, and one of the thing your post has brought to my mind, is how much I didn’t appreciate or understand all that beautiful liturgy and ‘monastic’ lifestyle from nine to 13 years old. That is, having my whole day punctuated by ‘the Work of God’. We’d hear the bell, and the lesson would stop, mid-sentence, as we all stood up to pray.More than anything though, this hymn has reminded me of the importance of Tradition, of something 'static', yet totally infused with meaning, transcendence, and dynamism, as a foil to the rapid change of the world. Just seeing those words has evoked a longing deep within me.It’s hymns like that one that makes one realise it’s not only catchy tunes which cause a ‘frisson’ that’s important, but the meaning of the words, and what they evoke (a hermeneutic of continuity), which ‘Lioness’ aptly proves…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16376858784972563684 Archaeology cat

    Rosemary – I understand that. My memories of this song are it sounding like a dirge (because almost all songs at my Baptist congregation sounded like dirges) while the pastor continued the altar call, sometimes with shouting. But the song itself is nice.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08383178253798427977 Anthony Brett Dawe

    where is the aislelet me walk the aislei repent Padre I repentvile backsliding and smoking fags in the gardensave our souls lest we perish

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14873681229902155435 Brother

    I remember this hymn from my Protestant days. Oh, how I long to hear my sister and brother Catholics actually sing….anything, let alone good old-fashion hymns.As a Methodist my theology was in the hymnal, especially the hymns of Charles Wesley. As an Anglican my theology was in the B.C.P. As a Catholic my theology is in the Tabernacle, so to speak. Bad or non-existent singing is a small price to pay to enjoy the fullness of Christian faith found in the Catholic Church.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09745844560524461840 Johanna Lamb =)

    I can't remember if I learned this hymn in my home as a child from an elderly neighbor or if it was a song sung at the Baptist church where I went all the way thru AWANA. I always found it very meditative, that as we come, Jesus wraps his arms around us in welcome. Now I'm a Catholic, there are many great hymns like this that I miss and wish could be a part of the service. Music is a powerful tool. Luckily, at our church the organist is also an anglican convert so he makes sure good music gets into the service, but I feel like this is the exception. There are many beautiful, wonderful Protestant hymns that so many Catholics are unfamiliar with. Even Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", although it may represent a Reformation anthem, has nothing against Catholic theology in it. I wish the Catholic church would embrace these hymns more because they are wonderful pieces in western hymnody.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02883096095980241281 Sheila

    Another convert here, but LOVE the song. It was interesting to see the other comments about alter calls. My church didn't do that – there was an invitation, but it was fairly short and not an emotional plea type thing. But for the song, I love it. I love how clearly it state that we are nothing without Christ and his sacrifice.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08383178253798427977 Anthony Brett Dawe

    Sheila'we are nothing without Christ and His sacrifice.Amen.I used to serve as an Acolyte at St Andrews, Greenville under the Saintly Fr. David Bryce.'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence'An hymn that burnt itself into my mind kneeling at the altar rail there.Just recently I noticed the hymn is, in fact, the original 'Cherubic Hymn' of the massive Liturgy of St James- still celebrated in places and takes several hours, like four or five I've heard to celebrate- Brilliant.Then recently I was in Lampeter Wales and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Three Holy Hierarchs were using the setting of the music for the Cherubic hymn in the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.Awesome and awe-full (full of awe)There is no more 'passions' or wild, distempered emotions or faded sepia of sin and vile smoke of burning 'tares' among the wheat.All is as it is, was and ever shall be. World without end.The angels are and always have been inviolate before the face of the Triune God.'Rank on rank the host descendeth,our full homage to demand.'mankind in its vain pride and self-delusion will kneel then[so let us kneel first at the altar call good Padre... we repent.. bring on the tents]

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12044861299107622964 Riley

    The altar call song in my Baptist Church of 50 years ago. Play another verse until someone comes down. At times we wnet through it all. Glad I am becoming Catholic on Easter Vigil; I am so excited.Father, thank you for your influence in my journey to the true Church.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13883761718979175423 CJ

    Yes. I have fond memories of this hymn from my earliest days. It was often used to prepare us for Communion in the (Protestant) church I grew up in.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11404638468437546854 Susan C.

    It immediately makes me think of The Old Palace School For Girls (Anglican), which I attended in the 80s. We sung two traditional hymns every day at assembly, and many of them are imprinted on my mind for ever. How I wish my two girls were learning words like this instead of the 'praise songs' that are the main fodder of their nondenominational Christian school!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10513938057971538855 Josephine

    I read this hymn at my father's funeral. He was an alcoholic with many broken relationships. I hoped that his relationship with God was intact… I thought it would be an appropriate poem to read.~Joanne

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03097572935671785197 A’ine

    New follower…I grew up Baptist…still am…Preacher's Kid as well.This hymn was sung regularly in the churches I've been a part of, but we don't do altar calls, so I have no association with that. Ever since I can remember, I've always been moved to tears singing this hymn at church…because I always felt like I couldn't be "just as I am" but this hymn was God speaking to me that I can be "just as I am" with Him…He takes me as I am to make me what He wants me to be in Him. I don't need to put on a show for God…He knows the truth anyway!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06497593765013433443 Katie

    I know it from a Johnny Cash album.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14289638427772926576 Trent

    Love this song. I'm a convert from the American Southern Baptist tradition. It's a simple song that to me represents a simple soul's song to the Lord. The first verse is the one I'm most familiar with. I can only hope that I'm as humble as this song sounds when I meet Our Lord.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06684142528414196410 JM

    LOVE … THIS … SONG!Echo Brother's comments fully. Methodism's genius is its hymns, and I miss them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    It's a beautiful hymn. It reminds me that I know very little of Christ's suffering, but that He never stops hearing from me, about mine.Also, without wanting to sound Lutheran, it nudges me to stop trying to be good enough and to let go and let God. However, my self will is stronger than I first realised. A lot stronger. Nothing but the blood will conquer it. My mission is the surrender of it, that will be a life long task for me, I reckon, unless He decides to remove it's defective parts instantly and miraculously. Still, there are good moments and not so good in everyday. Keep on, keeping on.Regarding the alcoholic father mentioned in this thread, may he rest fully recovered and in peace and may his family find healing for their own sufferings, Amen.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09087270710114392727 Magister Christianus

    Just saw this post…late to the party, I guess. I loved this hymn as a boy growing up in our non-denominational church, where it was regularly sung at the conclusion of worship. I love every aspect of it. Yes, it pulls at the heart, but then again, the heart, along with soul, mind, and strength, is a part of our how we love our Lord.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06473483708470868430 piddingworth

    This is a wonderfully sublime hymn, full of the simplicity of a faithful heart. It does have an emotional appeal beyond the lyrics by the association with the popular Billy Graham broadcasts that I heard since I was a boy. That is my first experience of it. And yet, even during those programmes I was always left wanting to hear more of the singing of it.I don't agree about the superior tune. These words suit the popular tune that breathe more the song of the untrained voice. At Mass I would sometimes have the choir sing this at holy communion. It comes from within the corporate eucharistic prayer and appeals to the individual heart. I have asked that this be sung at my funeral Mass. Come ye blessed of my Father, and receive the inheritance prepared for you from the foundation of the world.I come. I come.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12183603289940405914 Musings

    I love this song, even though I am a cradle Catholic. I have heard the melody and it floats in and out my song reservoir from time and time and I find myself whistling it. When our German Lutheran friend who had converted to the faith after the death of his only child died, his Lutheran family asked me to sing this hymn at his mass. I was honored to have sung it for the ultimate altar call.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09479295064252517217 Mary

    I like this sort of hymn because it can almost, if given a chance, put one in a frame of mind like that of contemplatives such as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, if one only concentrates on the simplicity of those who are wholly abandoned to the love of Christ. I like this stanza:"Just as I am, Thy love unknown"Hath broken every barrier down;"Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,"O Lamb of God, I come, I come."…thinking of it not so much as an "altar call" (except to the altar where Jesus Himself is present in the Blessed Sacrament!), but as what might, perhaps, go through the mind of a religious at the clothing of a novice, or a life profession.When I have finished thinking about "Just as I am", I look at a crucifix and read "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus", in just such patterns of thought as are common to most people while making the Stations of the Cross.Being a bit careful not to drift into 'theories of atonement', I read this verse toward the end of "Nothing but the Blood":"This is all my hope and peace,"Nothing but the blood of Jesus;"This is all my righteousness,"Nothing but the blood of Jesus."Now, I would look at a picture of the Sacred Heart, or the Divine Mercy.It's amazing how, when one is alone and just meditating on either the Passion of Our Lord or the prayer of various saints, one can almost sense a kind of intangible holiness. I don't sing these hymns–my voice could not carry the tunes– so I just sort of pray them.Mary