Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.
Brought up with by strict Christian parents, Hart fell away from faith. He says: ‘…I began to sink deeper and deeper into conviction of my nature’s evil, the deceitfulness and hardness of my heart, the wickedness of my life, the shallowness of my Christianity, and the blindness of my devotion…’
Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Hart’s hymn, used by many Christian traditions as a closing invitation for those present to come forward, is based on the words of Jesus: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.’
Hart continues: ‘In this abominable state I continued, a loose backslider, an audacious apostate, for nine or ten years, not only committing acts of lewdness myself, but infecting others with the poison of my delusions.’
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.
Hart responded to Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come’: ‘The week before Easter, 1757, I had such an amazing view of the agony of Christ in the garden, as I know not well how to describe. I was lost in wonder and adoration.’
And on Whitsunday 1757: ‘…I felt myself melting away into a strange softness of affection; which made me fling myself on my knees before God. The horrors were immediately dispelled, and such light and comfort flowed into my heart, as no words can paint. The Lord by his Spirit of Love came…’
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Saviour,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.