Songs – Just as I Am

Charlotte Elliott was born on March 18, 1789, in Westfield Lodge, Brighton (England). She was the third of six children, with two brothers and three sisters. Charlotte was highly educated and developed a great passion for music and art at an early age and was surrounded by great refinement and piety in her family.

While still young, Charlotte became “aware of her sinful nature and realized her need to resist sin’s enticements. She felt unworthy to receive God’s grace, and wholly incapable of facing a righteous and perfect God.” She was a frequent visitor at many different churches and the pastors advised her to pray more, study the Bible more, and to do more virtuous deeds.

The first 32 years of her life were spent in Clapham, a district in S.W. London, where she was popular as a portrait artist and wrote humorous verses. In 1821, she suffered a serious illness that removed her from the whirl of social life in London and put her in a position to feel her dire need of a personal Saviour. A pastor visiting in her father’s home, asked her, “Are you at peace with God?” She resented the question at first, but some days later, she called for the pastor to return. She apologized for her behavior and told him that she wanted to cleanse her life before becoming a Christian. But the pastor replied, “Come just as you are.” Charlotte committed her life to Christ that very day.

She had a weak constitution thereafter, but in 1834, undertook the editorial supervision of The Christian Remembrancer Pocket Book and in 1836, the Invalid’s Hymn Book. This she did for the next 25 years and many of her own hymns can be found in these annual publications.

In 1835, Charlotte wrote the hymn Just As I Am. It is sung to at least four different hymn tunes, but the tune Woodworth, written by William B. Bradbury, is the best known and used by congregations the world over today.

Charlotte Elliott died on September 22, 1871. Little did she know that her most famous hymn would become the number one altar call song in the world. It was the song to which Billy Graham gave his heart to the Lord and then used for decades during his own crusades.

Just imagine the number of people who will come to Charlotte Elliott, if she remained faithful, to tell her how this beloved song touched their hearts and helped them to come, just as they were, to the Saviour.

“Jesus loves to have you come to Him just as you are, hopeless and helpless, and cast yourself upon His all-abundant mercy and believe that He will receive you just as you are.” In Heavenly Places, 119



Just as I am – without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid’st 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 – though toss’d about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, 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!