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Updated 05/31/2013

 

Just As I Am, Without One Plea


Charlotte Elliott
Miss Charlotte Elliott was vi­sit­ing some friends in the West End of Lon­don, and there met the em­i­nent min­is­ter, Cé­sar 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 had of­fend­ed her, that he al­ways liked to speak a word for his Mas­ter, and that he hoped that the young la­dy would someday 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 Savior, 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 the hymn, "Just As I Am, Without One Plea".

The music was written by William Batchelder Bradbury (6 October 1816 – January 7, 1868) a musician who composed many hymns including "He Leadeth Me," "Sweet Hour of Prayer", "Jesus Like a Savior Lead Us" and The Solid Rock." All of these songs can be found in the Christian Reformed Church's Psalter Hymnal and many other song books.


William Bradbury

Bradbury was born in York, Maine where his father was the leader of a choir. By age fourteen he had mastered every musical instrument available, but never saw an organ or a piano until 1830, when his parents moved to Boston. There he met Dr. Lowell Mason, and by 1834 was known as an organist. In 1840, he began teaching in Brooklyn, New York, where he gained popularity by his free singing-schools, and by his concerts, at which the performers, all children, sometimes numbered 1,000. In 1847 he went to Germany, where he studied harmony, composition, and vocal and instrumental music with the best masters.

In 1854, he started the Bradbury Piano Company, with his brother, Edward G. Bradbury in New York City. William Bradbury is best known as a composer and publisher of a series of musical collections for choirs and schools. He was the author and compiler of fifty-nine books. The first book was published in 1841 In 1862, Bradbury found Jesus Loves Me in a book in which the words were spoken as a comforting poem to a dying child. Along with his tune, Bradbury added his own chorus "Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus Loves me..." After publication the song became one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the world.


Lyrics by Charlotte Elliott

  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!