Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | September 22, 2015

On Yielding to God

“James Mountain, a minister in England and a contemporary of Frances said ‘our souls should be like aspen leaves, responsive to the least breath of the Spirit.’ Dear one, be one of the Lord’s aspen leaves; don’t wait for great strong blasts, but yield to the least whisper from Him of ‘this is the way, walk ye in it.’ And now, expect great things! You don’t know what He is going to astonish you with. ‘Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ Go to work for Him at once, put your little sickle in, and see if the Lord does not make the sheaves fall before it! Don’t hold back from letting Him use you. Your blessing will probably, if you are quite faithful with it, result in fresh blessing all around you to those who have been blessed already, and who knows what to those who do not yet know the fulness of the blessing! Keep trusting the Lord Jesus, or ratg, and draw every word from Him; ask Him always, all day long, what to do, what to say. Pray this prayer: ‘Lord, take my lips and SPEAK through them; take my mind and THINK through it; take my HEART and set it on fire!” P.S. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | August 26, 2015

How ‘Little Pillows’ came to be written.

A LITTLE GIRL was away from home on a week’s visit. We will suppose her name was Ethel. The first night, when she was tucked up in bed, and just ready for a good-night kiss, I said ‘Now, shall I give you a little pillow?’ Ethel lifted her head to see what was under it, and said, ‘I have got one, Auntie!’ ‘It was another sort of pillow that I wanted to give you; I wonder if you will like it?’ So then Ethel saw it was not a question of feathers and pillow-case; still she did not understand, and so she laughed and said, ‘Do tell me at once, Auntie, what you mean; don’t keep me waiting to guess!’ Then I told her that, just as we wanted a nice soft pillow to lay our heads down upon at night, our hearts wanted a pillow too, something to rest upon, some true, sweet word that we might go to sleep upon happily and peacefully. And that it was a good plan always to take a little text for our pillow every night. So she had one that night, and the next night. The third night I was prevented from coming up till long after Ethel ought to have been asleep. But there were the bright eyes peeping out robin-redbreast fashion, and a reproachful little voice said, ‘Auntie, you have not given me any little pillow to-night!’ ‘Then, do you really care about having the little pillows given you, Ethel?’ ‘Oh, of course I do!” was the answer. She did not seem to think there could possibly be any doubt about it. So it seemed that perhaps other little ones would like to have ‘little pillows’ put ready for every night. For even little hearts are sometimes very weary, and want something to rest upon; and a happy little heart, happy in the love of Jesus, will always be glad to have one of His own sweet words to go to sleep upon. So here are thirty-one ‘little pillows,’ not to be used all at once, not even two at a time, but one for every night in the month. The little texts are so short, that they will need no learning; but when you have read the explanation, you will be able to keep the text quite safely and quite easily in your mind. Read the little book before you kneel down to say your evening prayers, because I hope what you read will always remind you of something to pray about. And then, when you lie down and shut your eyes, let your heart rest on the ‘little pillow’ till ‘He giveth His beloved sleep.’

Frances Ridley Havergal from LITTLE PILLOWS.

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | August 25, 2015


‘Accepted in the Beloved.’
–Ephesians 1:6

WHO is ‘accepted in the Beloved’? You, if you have come to your heavenly Father, asking Him to receive you for Jesus Christ’s sake. Dear little one, wanting to know that you are saved and forgiven, take all the beautiful comfort and joy of these words! They are for you just as much as for any grown-up person. Ask Him now to give you faith to believe them for yourself while you try to understand what they really mean for you. Suppose a king came and proclaimed among a number of poor children that he would take any one to stay with him in his beautiful palace, who really wished to go and asked him to take them. Suppose you heard this, and wished the king would take you. Then the king beckons you, and you venture near; and then the prince royal himself comes and leads you up to his father, and tells you to say what you want, and you say, ‘I do want to go, please take me!’ Will the king break his word and not take you? Why, in the first place he never breaks his promise. And then he beckoned you himself, and that was what made you go. And then the prince, who is his beloved son, took your hand and brought you; and would the king send the little one away whom he brought? There can be no mistake about it; he cannot have rejected you, and said he will not have you, so you must be ‘accepted.’ So every one who has come to Jesus, even if only a little girl or boy, is ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ Accepted, because God has said, ‘I will receive you.’ Accepted, because He Himself has called and drawn you, or you never would have wanted to come. Accepted, because the Beloved One has made the way open for you to come by His own blood, and saves all that come unto God by Him. Accepted, not because you were worth God’s accepting, but ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast; There, by His love o’ershadowed, Sweetly my soul shall rest. Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, Borne in a song to me, Over the fields of glory, Over the jasper sea.’

Frances Ridley Havergal from LITTLE PILLOWS.

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | August 24, 2015

The Invitation.

‘Come unto Me.’
Matthew 11:28
WHAT kind, sweet words for your pillow to-night! Jesus says them to you. ‘How am I to know?’ Well, they are for every one that is weary and heavy laden. Do not you know what it is to be weary and tired sometimes? Perhaps you know what it is to feel almost tired of trying to be good–weary with wishing you could be better. So, you see, it is to you that He says ‘Come!’ And if you have not yet come, you are heavy laden too, even if you do not feel it; because the burden of sin is heavy enough to sink you down into hell, unless Jesus takes it from you. So it is to you that He says ‘Come!’ And lest you should think He says it to grown-up people only, He said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.’ Are you a little child? Then it is to you that He says ‘Come!’ ‘If He were here, and if I could see Him, I should like to come.’ He is here, as really and truly as you are. Suppose your mother and you were in a dark room together, and she said, ‘Come to me!’ you would not stop to say, ‘I would come if I could see you.’ You would say, ‘I am coming, mother!’ and you would soon feel your way across the room, and be safe by her side. Not seeing her would not make any difference. Jesus calls you now, this very night. He is here, in this very room. Now, will you not say, ‘I am coming, Lord Jesus!’ and ask Him to stretch out His hand and help you to come, and draw you quite close to Himself? Yes, to Himself, the blessed, beloved Lord Jesus, who loved you and gave Himself for you, who has waited so patiently for you, who calls you because He wants you to come and be His own little lamb, and be taken up in His arms and blessed. Will you keep Him waiting any longer? Will you not ‘come’? ‘Will you not come to Him for life? Why will ye die, oh why? He gave His life for you, for you! The gift is free, the word is true! Will ye not come? Oh why will ye die?

Frances Ridley Havergal from LITTLE PILLOWS.

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | August 23, 2015

God’s Love.

“I have loved you, saith the Lord.”
–Malachi 1:2
IS not this a sweet pillow to rest upon to-night? But a pillow is of no use if you only look at it; that does not rest you. You must lay your head down upon it, and then you rest. So, do not only think, ‘Yes, that is a very nice text,’ but believe it, and lay your heart down restfully upon it; and say, ‘Yes, He loves me!’ How different these words are from what we should have expected! We should have expected God to say, ‘I will love you, if you will love me.’ But no! He says, ‘I have loved you.’ Yes, He has loved you already, poor little restless heart, that wants to be loved! He loves you now, and will love you always. But you say, ‘I wish I knew whether He loves me!‘ Why, He tells you so; and what could He say more? There it stands–‘I have loved you, saith the Lord.’ It is TRUE, and you need only believe it, and be glad of it, and tell Him how glad you are that He loves you. But you say, ‘Yes, I know He loves good people; but I am so naughty!’ Then He has a special word for you. ‘God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ He says nothing about ‘good people,’ but tells you that He loved you so much, while you were naughty, that He has sent the Lord Jesus, His own dear, dear Son, to die for you. Could He do more than that? He says in the same verse (Mal. 1:2), ‘Yet ye say, Wherein hast Thou loved us?’ Wherein? O herein! not that you loved God, but that He loved you, and sent His Son to suffer instead of you. When you lie down, think how many answers you can find to that question, ‘Wherein hast Thou loved us?’ See how many proofs of His love you can count up; and then go to sleep on this soft, safe pillow, ‘I have loved you, saith the Lord!’

‘I am so glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the book He has given;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see:
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

‘Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing
When in His beauty I see the great King;
This shall my song in eternity be,
“‘Oh, what a wonder, that Jesus loves me!'”

Frances Ridley Havergal from LITTLE PILLOWS.

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | July 20, 2015

The Consecration Hymn

TAKE my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take  my moments and my days ;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and ‘ beautiful ‘ for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.

Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold ;
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect, and use
Every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine ;
It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is thine own ;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love ; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.

Take myself, and I will be
Ever. only, ALL for Thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS.

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 4, 2015


The golden glow is paling
Between the cloudy bars ;
I’m watching in the twilight
To see the little stars.
I wish that they would sing to-night
Their song of long ago ;
If we were only nearer them,
What might we hear and know !

Are they the eyes of Angels,
That always wake to keep
A loving watch above us,
While we are fast asleep ?
Or are they lamps that God has lit
From His own glorious light,
To guide the little children’s souls
Whom He will call to-night ?

We hardly see them twinkle
In any summer night,
But in the winter evenings
They sparkle clear and bright.
Is this to tell the little ones,
So hungry, cold, and sad,
That there’s a shining home for them,
Where all is warm and glad ?

More beautiful and glorious,
And never cold and far,
Is He who always loves them,
The Bright and Morning Star.
I wish those little children knew
That holy, happy light !
Lord Jesus, shine on them, I pray,
And make them glad to-night.

“When the morning stars sang together.”–Job xxxviii.7.
Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | October 23, 2014

Self-examination of FRH

From the close of her Autobiography darkness seems often to have clouded her path.  From time to time she writes:

I had hoped that a kind of table-land had been reached in my journey, where I might walk awhile in the light, without the weary succession of rock and hollow, crag and morass, stumbling and striving ; but I seem borne back into all the old difficulties of the way, with many sin-made aggravations.  I think the great root of all my trouble and alienation, is that I do not now make an unreserved surrender of myself to God ; and until this is done I shall know no peace.  I am sure of it.  I have so much to regret :  a greater dread of the opinion of the worldly friends, a loving of the world, and proportionate cooling in heavenly desire and love.  A power utterly new and unexpected was given me (singing and composition of music), and rejoicing in this I forgot the Giver, and found such delight in this that other things paled before it.  It need not have been so ; and, in better moments, I prayed that if it were indeed hindering me the gift of song might be withdrawn.  And now that through my ill health it is so, and that the pleasure of public applause when singing in the Philharmonic concerts is not again to exercise its delicious delusion, I do thank Him who heard my prayer.  But I often pray in the dark, as it were, and feel no response from above.  Is this to test me ?  Oh that I may be preserved from giving up in despair, and yielding, and I so often do, to the floodtide enemy.

I want to make the most of my life and to do the best with it, but here I feel my desires and motives need much purifying :  For, even where all would sound fair enough in words, an element of self, of lurking pride, may be detected.  Oh, that He would indeed purify me and make me white at any cost !  No one professing to be a Christian at all could possibly have had a more cloudy, fearing, doubting, sinning, and wandering heart history than mine has been through many years.

The first part of this year (1865) I was very poorly, and on the old regime of having to give up everything, Sunday school, and Saturday evening class, visiting, music, etc.  It was very trying to me, specially so because I had rather built upon being stronger, and several points of interest had arisen which made me feel the more being shut off from all.  But it was very good for me  :  I was able to feel thankful for it, and to be glad that God had taken me in hand as it were.  I do not think I would have chosen otherwise than as He ordered it for me  ; but it seems as if my spiritual life would never go without weights, and I dread needing more discipline.

Deep borings, even down into darksome depths, often precede the supply of unfailing springs of refreshing water.  Thus my dear sister knew much of doubt and gloom, so that she might be able to comfort others and reveal to them God’s deep teachings in the darkness.  Then, when she afterwards found such joy in the wells of salvation, she drew forth these teachings, refreshing other weary and thirsty ones with her words of sympathy both in poetry and prose.


Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | October 19, 2014


A little group of boys and girls were gathered around me on a pleasant evening
in the Easter holidays. We were talking about the Lord Jesus, and all the
wonderful and solemn things which our Church services had so lately brought
before us ; His agony and bloody sweat, His cross and passions, His precious
death and burial, and His glorious resurrection. There was such a quieted and
tender tone among them, such wistful looks and gentle voices ; and the hearts of
more than one were so evidently burning within them, that one could not doubt
that “ Jesus Himself drew near,” and that while we spoke one to another He not
only hearkened and heard, but was really present in our midst.

Then we spoke of what we owed to Him who had done so much for us.

How much do we owe Him ? and how much shall we give Him ?

Can there be any hesitation as to the answer ? Shall it not be, joyfully and
gratefully, “ All ! yes, all for Jesus ! ”

But “ all ” means a great deal ; it really does mean all ; all our hearts, all our
lives, all that we have, all that we are. And if truly “ all,” it must be for always
too ; no reserve, and no taking back.

I heard a little sigh by my side as we spoke of this. Did it seem too hard ?
Could we ever hope to keep to it ? Was it more than we dared say ? Then we
looked at the bright side of it, the grand shining of gladness which Satan tries
to hinder us from seeing. If we are “ all for Jesus,” He will be all for us, and always
all for us, too. When we give Him all, He gives us all ; all His tender love,
all His wonderful peace and joy, all His grace and strength. On His side there
will be no reserve and no taking back. And with “ all ” this we shall find, nay we
do find, that life is quite a different thing ; ever so much happier than we imagined
it could be, and that He does for us exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think.

As this was dwelt upon, I saw a very bright smile on a face that was generally
the merriest of the party. After a little while, “ good-night ” was said, and we separated.

But I went upstairs to two quiet rooms. In the first I found the author of
that little sigh. She was, I had every reason to hope, a dear Christian child, who
had for some time past “ known and believed the love which God hath for us,”
and had tried to follow her Saviour in the little steps of home and school life.

I put my arms round her, and said, “ Well, A——, how much for Jesus ? ”
The great dark eyes that just before had looked up so lovingly into my face fell,
with such a mournful look that I shall never forget it. That was no answer.
“ How much, darling ? Is it not all for Jesus ? Again came the little sigh, and a
sad whisper, “ I don’t know.”

In the other room another warm kiss awaited me, and there was something
in the merry face which made me ask quite hopefully, “ Well, M—— how much
for Jesus ? ”

Oh if I could describe to you the utter gladness in the bright eyes, and the
very joy that seemed to over  flow the lips, as she answered, not hastily but very
firmly and resolutely, “ All, auntie, all ! ” That too was a look never to be forgotten;
the words and the tone were sweet and strong, but the look told more than
either. One could not but take knowledge of her that she had been with Jesus.
She had given her heart to Him, and He had given His joy to her.

Let me put the question to you—“ How much for Jesus ? ” Is your answer
a sigh or a smile ?

Only one heart to give,
Only one voice to use ;
Only one little life to live,
And only one to lose.Poor is my best, and small :
How could I dare divide ?
Surely my Lord shall have it all,
He shall not be denied.

All ! for far more I owe
Than all I have to bring ;
All ! for my Saviour loves me so ;
All ! for I love my King.

All ! for it is His own,
He gave the tiny store ;
All ! for it must be His alone ;
All ! for I have no more.

All ! for the last and least
He stoopeth to uplift :
The altar of my great High Priest
Shall sanctify my gift.

Frances Ridley Havergal from BEN BRIGHTBOOTS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | October 2, 2014


Although the Swiss peasants are what we should consider very poor, working
very hard and earning very little ; doing without many little comforts which
are almost necessaries in an English cottage, and dressing at less cost than our
own cottagers ; one hardly ever hears of any real poverty or suffering from want
or cold, yet their winters are far longer and more severe than ours. In the valley
from which I write this (September), the snow lies from November till April.
One of their contrivances for winter warmth is so very simple that it might
surely add to the comfort of many an English cottage, where there are many little
ones to be kept warm at night and not many warm blankets or counterpanes
to cover them. It is a hay quilt ; and as I have several times slept cosily under one
of them, on cold nights among the mountains, I can tell from experience how
comfortable they are.

They are nothing but a large square cotton bag, with a few good handfuls of
hay, shaken lightly into it ; but they are as warm as two or three thick blankets.
They need cost almost nothing. The breadths of a very old cotton dress run together,
or old curtains, or any other used-out or washed-out material will do for
the large double squares, which should be quite as wide as the bed which it is intended
to cover. Any farmer would give a few handfuls of hay to shake into it ;
and there is a coverlet which will keep out any amount of cold !
A Hay Quilt Working Party would in one afternoon provide almost as
much comfort as an expensive Blanket Fund. Or poor mothers might themselves,
with little trouble and less expense, make their little children or aged parents
nice and warm at night, if they would only try this simple plan of the poor
Swiss mountaineers.

Frances Ridley Havergal published posthumously in Swiss Letters and Alpine Poems

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