• Redemption and Regeneration,  Charlotte Elliott's Hymns

Just As I Am

Matthew 11:25-30: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 6:44,45: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

Acts 2:37-41: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871) was a poet and hymn writer, belonging to the Church of England. Towards the end of her life, when it became difficult to attend public worship services, she testified, “My Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, and a congregation of whom the world is not worthy – prophets, and apostles, and martyrs, and confessors; in short, all I can want I find there." According to John Julian, in his “Dictionary of Hymnology”:

“Elliott, Charlotte, daughter of Charles Elliott, of Clapham and Brighton, and granddaughter of the Rev. H. Venn, of Huddersfield, was born March 18, 1789. The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, "Just as I am” and "My God, my Father, while I stray." Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done. Her hymns appeared in her brother's Psalms & Hymns and elsewhere as follows:—
(1) Psalms and Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Worship; selected by the Rev. H. V. Elliott, &c., 1835-48. In this Selection her signature is "C. E." (2) The Christian Remembrancer Pocket Book. This was originally edited by Miss Kiernan, of Dublin. Miss Elliott undertook the editorship in 1834. (3) The Invalid's Hymn Book. This was originally compiled by Miss Kiernan, but before publication was re-arranged by Miss Elliott, who also added 23 hymns in the first edition., 1834. These were increased in the following edition to the sixth in 1854, when her contributions amounted to 112. From that date no change was made in the work. (4) Hours of Sorrow Cheered and Comforted; or, Thoughts in Verse, 1836. (5) Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week, printed privately in 1839 for sale for a benevolent institution in Brighton, and published in 1842. (6) Thoughts in Verse on Sacred Subjects, 1869.
Miss Elliott's Poems were published, with a Memoir by her sister, Mrs. Babington, in 1873, and an additional volume of Leaves from her unpublished Journals and Poems, also appeared in 1870.
In addition to her more important hymns, which are annotated under their respective first lines, there are in common use:—
i. From The Invalid's Hymn-book, 1834-1841:—
1. Clouds and darkness round about thee. (1841.) Resignation.
2. Not willingly dost Thou afflict [reject]. (1841.) Divine Chastisement.
3. O God, may I look up to Thee. (1841.) Teach us to Pray.
4. This is enough; although 'twere sweet. (1834.) On being debarred from Divine Worship.
5. With tearful eyes I look around. (1841.) The Invitation "Come Unto Me."
ii. From H. V. Elliott's Psalms & Hymns, 1835-1839:—
6. Glorious was that primal light. Christmas.
7. Hail, holy day, most blest, most dear. Easter.
8. My only Saviour, when I feel. Jesus His people's Rest.
9. Now let our heavenly plants and flowers. Monday Morning.
10. The Sabbath-day has reached its close. Sunday Evening.
iii. From Miss Elliott's Hours of Sorrow, 1836:—
11. Father, when Thy child is dying. Prayer for a Departing Spirit.
12. Leaning on Thee, my Guide, my Friend. Death Anticipated.
13. My God, is any hour so sweet? The Hour of Prayer.
14. O faint and feeble-hearted. Resignation enforced.
15. There is a holy sacrifice. The Contrite Heart.
iv. From her Hymns for a Week, 1839:—
16. Guard well thy lips; none, none can know. Thursday Morning.
17. There is a spot of consecrated ground. Pt. i.
18. This is the mount where Christ's disciples see. Pt. ii. Monday Evening.
19. This is the day to tune with care. Saturday Morning.
v. From Thoughts in Verse on Sacred Subjects, 1869:—
20. As the new moons of old were given. On a Birthday.
21. I need no other plea. Pt. i.
22. I need no prayers to saints. Pt. ii. Christ, All in All.
23. Jesus, my Saviour, look on me. Christ, All in All.
Several of the earlier of these hymns were repeated in the later works, and are thus sometimes attributed to the wrong work. [J.D.]