COME, YE SINNERS, POOR AND NEEDY written in 1759
Many Christian worship services have the custom of singing a closing invitation hymn. This is an opportunity for those present to come forward to either make a profession of faith or to seek guidance and prayer. When Joseph Hart, a Calvinist of London, England, wrote this hymn, he wrote it as an invitation hymn.
For a number of years, Hart drifted from the faith of his family, and by his own confession became a “loose backslider, an audacious apostate, and a bold-faced rebel.” In 1757, at the age of 45, he experienced a spiritual awakening after attending a service at a Moravian chapel in London… and was converted by the Moravian Brethren. Hart became an independent Calvinist preacher, and during the two years that followed his renewal he wrote many hymns marked by earnestness and love for Christ.
This hymn never made it into any of the collections published by John and Charles Wesley, maybe because Hart was critical of one of John Wesley’s sermons in a tract he published, “The Unreasonableness of Religion, Being Remarks and Animadversion on the Rev. John Wesley’s Sermon on Romans 8:22.”
Though the Wesleys were not interested in this hymn, it was included in Spence’s Pocket Hymn-Book (1785). But its popularity was greatest across the Atlantic Ocean. According to Baptist hymnologist William J. Reynolds, “the hymn has been a favorite of evangelicals in the United States for two hundred years.”
You may know it by one – or both – of the 2 tunes that have been put with Hart’s lyrics…
Read this hymn, and – if you do not yet know Jesus in a personal relationship – use it as your own personal invitation…
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore.
Jesus ready, stands to save you; full of pity, love and power.
I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms.
In the arms of my dear Saviour, O, there are ten thousand charms.
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome; God’s free bounty glorify.
True belief and true repentance; every grace that brings you nigh.
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, lost and ruined by the fall.
If you tarry ’til you’re better, you will never come at all.
View Him prostrate in the garden; on the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him; sinner will this not suffice?
Lo! The incarnate God ascended; pleads the merit of His blood.
Venture on Him, venture wholly; let no other trust intrude.