Words: , Hymns for Those That Seek and Those That Have Re­demp­tion in the Blood of Je­sus Christ, 1747.

Music: Hurs­ley, Ka­thol­isch­es Ge­sang­buch (Vi­en­na: 1774); adapt­ed from the Me­tric­al Psal­ter, 1855. Al­ter­nate tune:

  • Winchester New, har­mo­nized by , 1847, alt.

In Ju­ly, 1790, Jesse Lee preached the first Meth­od­ist ser­mon ev­er de­liv­ered in Bos­ton [Mass­a­chu­setts]. Hav­ing spent a week try­ing to find a place to preach, but find­ing all plac­es of wor­ship closed against him and his Meth­od­ist Ar­min­ian “her­e­sy,” he con­clud­ed to preach in the open air on the Com­mon. He bor­rowed a ta­ble from some one liv­ing near by, and, plac­ing it un­der the shade of the fa­mous Old Elm lo­cat­ed near the cen­ter of the Com­mon, he mount­ed it, and, with an au­di­ence of on­ly five per­sons, be­gan sing­ing [this hymn]…They had ne­ver heard such hymns and such preach­ing in Cal­vin­is­tic New En­gland be­fore. Be­fore he had fin­ished his se­rmon he had an au­di­ence of near­ly three thou­sand, and on the suc­ceed­ing Sab­bath an even larg­er num­ber [q.v. Acts 3:41]. In 1876, we may add, this his­tor­ic old elm tree was blown down in a se­vere storm. The Meth­od­ist preach­ers of the ci­ty re­solved to have a large arm­chair made of some of the wood of the tree.

Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast;
Let every soul be Jesus’ guest.
Ye need not one be left behind,
For God hath bid all humankind.

Sent by my Lord, on you I call;
The invitation is to all.
Come, all the world! Come, sinner, thou!
All things in Christ are ready now.

Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
Ye restless wanderers after rest;
Ye poor, and maimed, and sick, and blind,
In Christ a hearty welcome find.

Come, and partake the Gospel feast;
Be saved from sin; in Jesus rest;
O taste the goodness of your God,
And eat His flesh, and drink His blood!

You vagrant souls, on you I call;
(O that my voice could reach you all!)
You all may now be justified,
You all may live, for Christ hath died.

My message as from God receive;
Ye all may come to Christ and live.
O let His love your hearts constrain,
Nor permit Him to die in vain.

His love is mighty to compel;
His conquering love consent to feel,
Yield to His love’s resistless power,
And fight against your God no more.

See Him set forth before your eyes,
That precious, bleeding Sacrifice!
His offered benefits embrace,
And freely now be saved by grace.

This is the time, no more delay!
This is the Lord’s accepted day.
Come thou, this moment, at His call,
And live for Him Who died for all.

The following stanzas are commonly omitted:

Jesus to you His fullness brings,
A feast of marrow and fat things.
Do not begin to make excuse,
Ah! do not you His grace refuse.

Your grounds forsake, your oxen quit,
Your every earthly thought forget,
Seek not the comforts of this life,
Nor sell your Savior for a wife.

“Have me excused,” why will ye say?
Why will ye for damnation pray?
Have you excused—from joy and peace!
Have you excused—from happiness:

Excused from coming to a feast!
Excused from being Jesus’ guest!
From knowing now your sins forgiven,
From tasting here the joys of Heaven.

Excused, alas! why should you be
From health, and life, and liberty,
From entering into glorious rest,
From leaning on your Savior’s breast?

Sinners my gracious Lord receives,
Harlots, and publicans, and thieves;
Drunkards, and all ye hellish crew,
I have a message now to you.

The worst unto My supper press,
Monsters of daring wickedness,
Tell them My grace for all is free.
They cannot be too bad for Me.