Scripture Verse

Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Introduction

Words: Eli­za H. Ham­il­ton, in A Se­lect­ion of Hymns, Sup­ple­ment to the Me­thod­ist Pock­et Hymn Book, by John Wil­son & Dan­i­el Hitt (New York: 1808).

Music: Ira D. San­key (1840–1908) (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Ham­il­ton (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

portrait
Ira D. Sankey
(1840–1908)

Years ago, while re­viv­al meet­ings were be­ing held in one of the large towns in Scot­land, a young girl be­came anx­ious about her spir­it­u­al con­di­tion. Re­turn­ing from one of the meet­ings, she went to her own min­is­ter and asked him how she might be saved.

Ah, las­sie, he said, don’t be alarmed! Just read your Bi­ble and say your pray­ers, and you will be all right.

But the poor, il­lit­er­ate girl cried out: O Min­is­ter, I can­na read, I can­na pray! Lord Je­sus, take me as I am!

In this way the girl be­came a fol­low­er of Christ; and a la­dy who heard of the girl’s ex­per­i­ence wrote this hymn…I found the vers­es in a re­li­gious news­pa­per and set them to the sim­ple mu­sic by which they are now most gen­er­al­ly known.

At the same time Mr. Steb­bins al­so found the vers­es and set them to mu­sic, and he sent them to me at the same time that I was sending my tune for the same words to him. In “Gos­pel Hymns” both tunes are pub­lished.


A min­is­ter in Eng­land writes to me about a Chris­tian wo­man, a shoe mak­er’s wife, who had a lodg­er that was an ob­stin­ate un­be­liev­er. The good wo­man oft­en tried to in­duce him to go to meet­ings, but in vain.

Tracts which she placed on the ta­ble in his room she found crushed on the floor. She would smooth them out and again place them so as to at­tract his at­ten­tion, but he would read no­thing but his no­vels and news­pa­pers.

One spring the old man fell ill with bron­chi­tis. The good wo­man act­ed as his nurse, for he had no re­la­tives who cared for him. She used the op­por­tun­ity, oft­en speak­ing to him about his soul and read­ing the Word of God; but she could make no im­pres­sion up­on him.

One day she was read­ing the hymn Je­sus, my Lord, to Thee I cry, and when she came to the re­frain, the old man called out to her sharp­ly: That’s not in the book! The wo­man an­swered, Why yes, it is. He de­clared again that he did not be­lieve it was in the book. The good wo­man told him that he could read it for him­self.

He asked for his glass­es, and read with won­der and am­aze­ment, again and again, My on­ly plea—Christ died for me! oh, take me as I am. A few weeks af­ter­ward he said to the wo­man one morn­ing, I am go­ing home to-day, and I am so hap­py, so hap­py! In an hour or two he passed away, re­peat­ing those words to the last.

Sankey, pp. 252–53

Lyrics

Jesus, my Lord, to Thee I cry;
Unless Thou help me I must die;
Oh, bring Thy free salvation nigh,
And take me as I am.

Refrain

And take me as I am,
And take me as I am,
My only plea—Christ died for me!
Oh, take me as I am.

Helpless I am, and full of guilt;
But yet for me Thy blood was spilt,
And Thou canst make me what Thou wilt,
And take me as I am.

Refrain

No preparation can I make,
My best resolves I only break,
Yet save me for Thine own name’s sake,
And take me as I am.

Refrain

Behold me, Savior, at Thy feet,
Deal with me as Thou seest meet;
Thy work begin, Thy work complete,
And take me as I am.

Refrain