Christ at the Door

Representative Text

1 Behold a Stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
Has waited long, is waiting still:
You treat no other friend so ill.

2 O lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands:
O matchless kindness! and He shows
This matchless kindness to His foes.

3 But will He prove a friend indeed?
He will; the very friend you need;
The Friend of sinners--yea, 'tis He,
With garments dyed on Calvary.

4 Rise, touched with gratitude divine;
Turn out His enemy and thine,
That soul-destroying monster, sin,
And let the heavenly Stranger in.


Source: Worship and Service Hymnal: For Church, School, and Home #207

Author: J. Grigg

Grigg, Joseph, was born in 1728, according to the D. Sedgwick’s Manuscript," but this date seems to be some six or eight years too late. He was the son of poor parents and was brought up to mechanical pursuits. In 1743 he forsook his trade and became assistant minister to the Rev. Thomas Bures, of the Presbyterian Church, Silver Street, London. On the death of Mr. Bures in 1747, he retired from the ministry, and, marrying a lady of property, look up his residence at St. Albans. He died at Walthamstow, Essex, Oct. 29, 1768. As a hymnwriter Grigg is chiefly known by two of his hymns, "Behold a stranger at the door"; and "Jesus, and can it ever be?" His hymnwriting began, it is said, at ten years of age. His published works of various kinds… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Behold a stranger at the door!
Title: Christ at the Door
Author: J. Grigg (1765)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Behold, a stranger at the door. J. Grigg. [Expostulation.] This is one of Four Hymns on Divine Subjects, &c., 1765, in 11 stanzas of 4 lines, a second being the well-known "Jesus, and shall it ever be?" (q.v.). It came into congregational use at an early date, but usually in an abbreviated form. Both in Great Britain, and in America, various arrangements of the text are given in collections in common use. The full original text was reprinted in D. Sedgwick's edition of Grigg's Hymns, &c, 1861. It is also found in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862, and in Lyra Britannica, 1867, p. 254.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


[Behold a stranger at the door] (O'Kane)


Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

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BERA (Gould)



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Worship and Service Hymnal #207

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