Christ died for us.@Romans 5:8

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

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

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 shoemaker’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

Ira D. Sankey (1840–1908)

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.


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.


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.


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.