Hymn Story: Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart

In 1898, Mrs. Lelia Morris was at a camp meeting in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.

Lelia Naylor Morris

When the invitation was called, a woman “of culture and refinement” responded to the invitation.  Leila Morris joined the lady, where she placed “an arm around her shoulder” and whispered, “Just now your doubting’s give o’er”.

The song leader joined the two women and said “Just now reject Him no more”.

The evangelist then added, “Just now throw open the door”.

Mrs. Morris made “the last appeal” to the woman “Let Jesus come into your heart”.

A short time later, Morris sat down and wrote the sentiments down.  Before the camp meetings ended, she added the music.

The song was first published in 1898 and has been included in over 200 hymnals.

The author of the hymn Lelia Naylor Morris was born on April 15, 1862 in Pennsville, Ohio.  In 1881, she married Charles H. Morris. The couple were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the local camp meetings in the area. By the 1890s, she was writing hymns and gospel songs, eventually composing more than one thousand songs and tunes.

It is said she often composed while going about her housework.  When her eyesight began to fail around 1913, her son built her a 28 foot blackboard with oversized staff lines so she could continue to compose.

She died on July 23, 1929 in Auburn, New York.  She is buried in McConnelsville, Ohio.

She is the author of other hymns such as Can the World See Jesus in You, For God So Loved This Sinful World, Nearer Still Nearer, The Stranger of Galilee, ‘Tis Marvelous and Wonderful and Sweeter as the Years Go By.

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