THE HISTORY ~ “Just As I Am”
Charlotte’s brother, the Rev. H. V. Elliott planned to hold a charity bazaar designed to give, at a nominal cost, a high education to the daughters of clergymen supported by St Mary Church.
The night before the bazaar, she was kept wakeful by distressing thoughts of her apparent uselessness; and these thoughts passed by a transition easy to imagine into a spiritual conflict, till she questioned the reality of her whole spiritual life, and wondered whether it were anything better after all, than an illusion of the emotions, an illusion ready to be sorrowfully dispelled.
The next day, the busy day of the bazaar, she lay upon her sofa in that most pleasant boudoir set apart for her in Westfield Lodge, ever a dear resort to her friends.” The troubles of the night came back upon her with such force that she felt they must be met and conquered in the grace of God. She gathered up in her soul, the great certainties, not of her emotions, but of her salvation: her Lord, His power, His promise.
And taking pen and paper from the table she deliberately set down in writing, for her own comfort, “the formulae of her faith.” Hers was a heart which always tended to express its depths in verse. So in verse, she restated to herself the Gospel of pardon, peace, and heaven. “Probably without difficulty or long pause” she wrote the hymn, getting comfort by thus definitely “recollecting” the eternity of the Rock beneath her feet. There, then, always, not only for some past moment, but ” even now ” she was accepted in the Beloved “Just as I am”.