Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | September 21, 2014

A SPECIAL BATTLEFIELD

MY DEAR (I could put my own name here!),
As I have already had one bad night, and several troubled wakings, all about you, I had better get it off my mind. I write to you as one who is really wanting to follow Jesus altogether, really wanting to live and speak EXACTLY according to His commands and His beautiful example; and when there is the standard, what seems a little thing, or nothing at all, to others, is seen to be sin, because it is disobeying His dear word and not “following fully.” “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”

Now, darling, be true to yourself, and to Him, as to these His own words. Would you like any one to detail, and dwell, upon, little incidents which made you appear weak, tiresome, capricious, foolish? Yet, dear, everything which we say of another which we would not like them to say of us, (unless said with some right and pure object which Jesus Himself would approve,) is transgression of this distinct command of our dear Lord’s and therefore sin,–sin which needs nothing less than His blood to cleanse, sin in which we indulge at our peril and to the certain detriment of our spiritual life. And Jesus hears every word, and sees, to the depth, the want of real conformity to His own loving spirit, from which they spring. Do not think I am condemning you without seeing my own failures. It is just because it is a special battlefield of my own that I am the more pained and quick to feel it, when others, who love Jesus, yield to the temptation or do not see it to be temptation. I know the temptation it is to allow oneself to say things which one would not say if the person was present, yes, and if Jesus were visibly present. And I have seen and felt how even a momentary indulgence in the mildest forms of “speaking evil,” which is so absolutely forbidden, injures one’s own soul, and totally prevents clear, unclouded communion with Jesus. So I want you to recognise and shun and resolutely and totally “put away” this thing.

I should not write all this but that I long for your eyes to be opened to the principle, for others’ sake, for your own soul’s sake, and for Christ’s sake. I want you to pray over it, to search bravely to the bottom, and to put it all into the hands of Jesus, that He may not only forgive but cleanse, and so fill you with His love that it (and nothing else) may overflow into all your words, that He may “make you to increase and abound in love. . .to the end. He may establish your heart unblameable in holiness.” Oh, if you knew how I pray for this for myself, you would not wonder at my anxiety about it for you and for others! So don’t be vexed with,

Yours ever lovingly.

Frances Ridley Havergal from MEMORIALS

(This letter was written by Frances Ridley Havergal, drawing from her own experiences, to help someone God laid on her heart to be delivered from a troubling snare in her spiritual life.  It has helped me personally and ministered to me in my own spiritual life.)

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | February 19, 2014

Our Lips Kept for Jesus.

When one has given a glimmer of the tremendous difference between having Christ and being without Christ ; when one gets but one shuddering glimpse of what eternity is, and of what it must mean, as well as what it may mean, without Christ ; when one gets but a flash of realization of the tremendous fact that all these neighbours of ours, rich and poor alike, will have to spend that eternity either with Him or without Him,–it is hard, very hard indeed, to understand how a man or woman can believe these things at all, and make no effort for anything beyond the temporal elevation of those around, sometimes not even beyond their amusements !  ‘People must have entertainment,’ they urge.  I do not find that must in the Bible, but I do find, ‘We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”  And if you have any sort of belief in that, how can you care to use those lips of yours, which might be a fountain of life to the dying souls before you, merely to ‘entertain’ them at your penny reading or other entertainment ?  As you sow, so you reap.  The amusing paper is read, or the lively ballad recited, or the popular song sung, and you reap your harvest of laughter or applause, and of complacence at your success in ‘entertaining’ the people.  And there it ends, when you might have sown words from which you and they should reap fruit unto life eternal.  Is this worthy work for one who has been bought with such a price that he must say,

‘Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all’ ?

So far from yielding ‘all’ to that rightful demand of amazing love, he does not even yield the fruit of his lips to it, much less the lips themselves.  I cannot refrain from adding, that even this lower aim of ‘entertaining’ is by no means so appreciated as is supposed.  As a cottager of no more than average sense and intelligence remarked, ‘it was all so trifling at the reading ; I wish gentlefolks would believe that poor people like something better than what’s just to make them laugh.’  After all, nothing really pays like direct, straightforward, uncompromising words about God and His works and word.  Nothing else ever made a man say, as a poor Irishman did when he heard the Good News for the first time, ‘Thank ye, sir ; you’ve taken the hunger off us to-day !’

Frances Ridley Havergal from KEPT FOR THE MASTER’S USE

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | February 6, 2014

February, 1851.

I feel that the beginning of this year ought to be marked as the commencement of a new life-chapter, because it was then that, for the first time, I ever knew what it was to have one gleam of hope or trust in Christ, or one spark of conscious faith.  Not that I would date conversion exactly from this time;  that I cannot fix.  The time I know not, the fact I would desire to “make sure” more and more.

Having broken the ice by speaking on sacred things with a few at Belmont, it was the less difficult to do so again, and before long I had made a confidante of Miss Cooke (who afterwards became my loved mother).  I think it must have been February when she was visiting at Oakhampton at the same time with me and had several conversations with me, each of which made me more earnest and hopeful.  At last, one evening, (I remember it was twilight,) I sat on the drawing-room sofa alone with her, and told her again how I longed to know that I was forgiven.  She asked me a question which led to the hearty answer that I was sure I desired it above everything on earth, that even my precious papa was nothing in comparison,–brothers and sisters, and all I loved, I could lose everything were it but to attain this.  She paused, and then said slowly:  “Then Fanny, I think, I am sure, it will not be very long before your desire is granted, your hope fulfilled.”  After a few more words, she said:  “Why cannot you trust yourself to your Saviour at once?   Supposing that now, at this moment, Christ were to come in the clouds of heaven, and take up His redeemed, could you not trust Him?  Would not His call, His promise, be enough for you?  Could you not commit your soul to Him, to your Saviour, Jesus?”  Then came a flash of hope across me, which made me feel literally breathless.  I remember how my heart beat.  “I could, surely,” was my response; and I left her suddenly and ran away upstairs to think it out.  I flung myself on my knees in my room, and strove to realize the sudden hope.  I was very happy at last.  I could commit my soul to Jesus.  I did not, and need not, fear His coming.  I could trust Him with my all for eternity.  It was so utterly new to have any bright thoughts about religion that I could hardly believe it could be so, that I had really gained such a step.   Then and there, I committed my soul to the Saviour, I do not mean to say without any trembling or fear, but I did–and earth and heaven seemed bright from that moment–I did trust the Lord Jesus.

Frances Ridley Havergal from MEMORIALS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 21, 2014

Autobiography.

Autobiography ! So you say,
So do I not believe !
For no men or women that live to-day,
Be they as good or as bad as they may,
Ever would dare to leave
In faintest pencil or boldest ink
All they truly and really think,
What they have said and what they have done,
What they have lived and what they have felt,
Under the stars or under the sun.
At the touch of a pen the dewdrops melt,
And the jewels are lost in the grass,
Though you count the blades as you pass.
At the touch of a pen the lightning is fixed,
An innocent streak on a broken cloud ;
And the thunder that pealed so fierce and loud,
With musical echo is softly mixed.
Autobiography ? No !
It never was written yet, I trow.
Grant that they try !
Still they must fail !
Words are too pale
For the fervour and glow of the lava-f low.
Can they paint the f lash of an eye ?
How much less the f lash of a heart,
Or its delicate ripple and glitter and gleam,
Swift and sparkling, suddenly darkling,
Crimson and gold tints, exquisite soul-tints,
Changing like dawn-f lush touching a dream !
Where is the art
That shall give the play of blending lights
From the porphyry rock on the pool below ?
Or the bird-shadow traced on the sunlit heights
Of golden rose and snow ?

You say ’tis a fact that the books exist,
Printed and published in Mudie’s list,
Some in two volumes, and some in one—
Autobiographies plenty. But look !
I will tell you what is done
By the writers, confidentially !
They cut little pieces out of their lives
And join them together,
Making them up as a readable book,
And call it an autobiography,
Though little enough of the life survives.

What if we went in the sweet May weather
To a wood that I know which hangs on a hill,
And reaches down to a tinkling brook,
That sings the f lowers to sleep at night,
And calls them again with the earliest light.
Under the delicate f lush of green,
Hardly shading the bank below,
Pale anemones peep between
The mossy stumps where the violets grow ;
Wide clouds of bluebells stretch away,
And primrose constellations rise,—
Turn where we may,
Some new loveliness meets our eyes.
The first white butterf lies f lit around,
Bees are murmuring close to the ground,
The cuckoo’s happy shout is heard.
Hark again !
Was it echo, or was it bird ?
All the air is full of song,
A carolling chorus around and above ;
From the wood-pigeon’s call so soft and long,
To merriest twitter and marvellous trill,
Every one sings at his own sweet will,
True to the key-note of joyous love.

Well, it is lovely ! is it not ?
But we must not stay on the fairy spot,
So we gather a nosegay with care :
A primrose here and a bluebell there,
And something that we have never seen,
Probably therefore a specimen rare ;
Stitchwort, with stem of transparent green,
The white-veined woodsorrel, and a spray
Of tender-leaved and budding May.
We carry home the fragrant load
In a close, warm hand, by a dusty road ;
The sun grows hotter every hour ;
Already the woodsorrel pines for the shade
We watch it fade,
And throw away the fair little f lower ;
We forgot that it could not last an hour
Away from the cool moss where it grows.
Then the stitchworts droop and close ;
There is nothing to show but a tangle of green,
For the white-rayed stars will no more be seen.
Then the anemones, can they survive ?
Even now they are hardly alive.
Ha ! where is it, our unknown spray ?
Dropped on the way !
Perhaps we shall never find one again.
At last we come in with the few that are left,
Of freshness and fragrance bereft ;
A sorry display.
Now, do we say,
‘ Here is the wood where we rambled to-day ;
See, we have brought it to you ;
Believe us, indeed it is true.
This is the wood ! ’ do we say ?

So much for the bright and pleasant side.
There is another. We did not bring
All that was hidden under the wing
Of the radiant-plumaged Spring.
We never tried
To spy, or watch, or away to bear,
Much that was just as truly there.
What have we seen ?
Hush, ah, hush !
Curled and withered fern between,
And dead leaves under the living green
Thick and damp. A clammy feather,
All that remains of a singing thrush
Killed by a weasel long ago,
In the hungry winter weather.
Nettles in unfriendly row,
And last year’s brambles, sharp and brown,
Grimly guarding a hawthorn crown.
A pale leaf trying to reach the light
By a long weak stem, but smothered down,
Dying in darkness, with none to see.
The rotting trunk of a willow tree,
Leaf less, ready to fall from the bank ;
A poisonous fungus, cold and white,
And a hemlock growing strong and rank
A tuft of fur and a ruddy stain,
Where a wounded hare has escaped the snare,
Only perhaps to be caught again.
No specimens we bring of these,
Lest they should disturb our ease,
And spoil the story of the May,
And make you think our holiday
Was far less pleasant than we say.

Ah no ! We write our lives indeed,
But in a cipher none can read,
Except the author. He may pore
The life-accumulating lore
For evermore,
And find the records strange and true,
Bring wisdom old and new.
But though he break the seal,
No power has he to give the key,
No licence to reveal.
We wait the all-declaring day,
When love shall know as it is known.
Till then, the secrets of our lives are ours and
God’s alone.

Frances Ridley Havergal from Memorials, Letters, and Biographical Works

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 15, 2014

Our Light.

“I am the Light of the world ; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”–John viii.     .

SOME people don’t see what they want with this Light !  they think their own eyes and common sense, and what they call “the light of reason,” are quite enough for them.  But Jesus says, “Take heed therefore that the light that is in thee be not darkness”  (Luke xi.     ) ; and, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !”  (Matt. vi.     .)  For Jesus Himself is the true Light (John i.     ), and if we have not the true Light of course we can’t see right.

The Holy Spirit very often shows us the darkness first, so as to make us seek the Light.  A young girl said to me, “I can’t see my way through the sins.”  It was a great thing that the good Spirit was showing her the darkness.  Nothing is worse than not to know that we are “poor, and miserable, and blind”  (Rev. iii.     ), because then we do not want the Light.  Now if you feel something like that girl, just bring the sins to Jesus, bring the darkness to the Light, and in His light you shall see light.  (Ps. xxxvi.     .)  We cannot be in the dark when we come close to a bright light ; there cannot be darkness in our hearts when we open the door and let the Lord Jesus come in.

Some of you know well enough already what the difference is, and how true it comes that “Christ shall give thee light.”  (Eph. v.     .)  How the puzzles are made clear, and the doubts all go we don’t know where, and the shadows flee away, and everything seems bright, when we really come to Jesus !  Ever so many of you are saying, I know, as you read this, “Yes, yes !  that is just it !”  Why not all of you ?

This is one of the special things that God gave Jesus to be :  “a Light of the Gentiles.”  (Isa. xlii.     .)  Old Simeon was so glad when he saw the Light that he was ready to die at once.  (Luke ii.     .)  There are three names of Jesus in that beautiful little song of Simeon’s, “Lord, now lettest Thou.”  Think about them next time you sing it ; and ask Jesus to be your Salvation, your Light, and your Glory.  Then, when He lets you depart in peace, “the Lord shall be unto thee an Everlasting Light, and thy God thy Glory.”  (Isa. ix.     .)

It was not always light with me; for many a
sinful year
I walked in darkness, far from Thee ; but thou
hast brought me near,
And washed me in Thy precious blood, and
taught me by Thy grace,
And lifted up on my poor soul the brightness
Of Thy face.

My Saviour died in darkness that I might live
in light,
He closed His eyes in death that mine might
have the heavenly sight ;
He gave up all His glory to bring it down to me,
And took the sinner’s place that He the sinner’s
Friend might be.

His Spirit shines upon His word, and makes
it sweet indeed,
Just like a shining lamp held up beside me as
I read ;
And brings it to my mind again alone upon my
bed,
Till all abroad within my heart the love of God
is shed.

Frances Ridley Havergal from MORNING STARS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 13, 2014

The Bright and Morning Star.

“I am . . .the Bright and Morning Star.”–Rev. xxii.

THIS name of the Lord Jesus seems as if it must be meant especially for children ; for it is those who get up early who see the beautiful morning star, shining in the quiet sky that is just beginning to be touched with a promise of dawn, and He says, “they that seek Me early shall find Me”  (Prov. viii.     ).  A star shines out in the dark sky, and the darkness cannot put it out, but only makes it all the brighter.  So if we look up to Jesus as our Star, even if there seems nothing else to make us happy, and nothing to be seen but some dark trouble all around, He will shine in our hearts (2 Cor. iv.     ); and we shall have light and gladness in them.  (Ps. iv.     .)

A star is always true.  If we were going in a wrong direction across a wide moor, directly we caught sight of a star that we knew, we should be shown our mistake.  So when we think of Jesus we shall see whether we are going right or wrong, whether we are following Him or going away from Him.  When we stop and say to ourselves, “what would Jesus do ?”  it is like looking up at the star to see which way to go.

Jesus calls Himself the Bright Star, for He is the Brightness of the Father’s glory.  (Heb. i.     .)  Nothing makes any one look so bright as looking at His brightness and beauty.  You could not possibly have a dismal face while you are really “looking unto Jesus” (Heb. xii.     ), any more than a little mirror would look dark if you held it up to catch the rays of a bright light.

He calls Himself the Morning Star too, because when we see that shining clear and still we know that the darkness is passing, and very soon the day will break and the shadows flee away.  (Cant. ii.     .)  The sight of the morning star is the promise of the day.  And so if you get a little glimpse by faith of the brightness of the Lord Jesus Christ now, it is only a beginning of clearer sight, and a pledge of the glorious day that has no night, in the land where you shall see the King in His beauty.  (Isa. xxxiii.     .)

Frances Ridley Havergal from MORNING STARS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 13, 2014

Morning Stars

From the P R E F A C E:  To my Readers

WRITING to you does not seem the least like writing an ordinary “preface,” all stiff and proper ; for so many of you have written to ask me to write you another book, and so many loving messages have reached me from others, that we seem to be “friends,” don’t we ?  So this comes to you at least, with my love, and many a prayer that it may lead you to look oftener and more steadily at Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star.

One thing I want you very much to be quite clear about.  No amount of “good little books” will do you any good unless they lead you to love the Book of books.  If you really love Jesus you are quite sure to love His word.  But one reason why some of you do not love it half as much as you wish you did, is because you do not know enough of it, and you only read, you don’t “search” ;  which is what God expressly tells you to do.  A capital piece of advice was given by a man who did a very great deal towards leading people to love and know their Bibles.   He said :  “When you take your Bibles, you should be always hunting for something !”*  So I have given you something to hunt for every day.  You will see that nearly every time I have quoted a text I only tell the chapter where it is to be found, and leave a little blank space for the verse.  Now, not one of you is to consider your copy of the book complete till you have found out all these verses and put them in yourself with a nice fine pen or sharp pencil !  So, you see, I have left you to finish the book, and thus given you each “something to do” and something to hunt for, which I hope will be only a beginning of your hunting for a great deal more.  Every verse that you find I should like you also to mark in your own Bibles ; then you will find them again much more easily, and be often reminded of them in time to come.

Though you will find here thirty-one names of the Lord Jesus Christ, you must not think these are nearly all.   Some I had written about before, such as “My King,” “Our Surety,” and others ; and the rest had to be left out for want of room.  But this is something else to be hunted for.  Find out all the rest, and write them at the end of this book.  And then, not till then, you may write “Finis” !

Morning Stars:  Names of Christ for His Little Ones

1. Saviour
2. Bright and Morning Star
3. Friend
4. Brother
5. Redeemer
6. Master
7. Physician
8. Substitute
9. Shepherd
10. Passover
11. Intercessor
12. Unspeakable Gift
13. Leader
14. Commander
15. Head
16. Light
17. Life
18. Rock
19. Righteousness
20. Captain
21. Apostle
22. High Priest
23. Wonderful
24. Counsellor
25. Mighty God
26. Everlasting Father
27. Prince of Peace
28. Messiah
29. Judge
30. Hope
31. Himself

Frances Ridley Havergal from MORNING STARS

(This was a sequel to LITTLE PILLOWS and MORNING BELLS–some of her children’s works–and the last book she wrote before her death).
[*Emphasis mine.]

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 8, 2014

The Ministry of Song.

IN God’s great field of labour
All work is not the same ;
He hath a service for each one
Who loves His holy name.
And you, to whom the secrets
Of all sweet sounds are known,
Rise up ! for He hath called you
To a mission of your own.
And, rightly to fulfil it,
His grace can make you strong,
Who to your charge hath given
The Ministry of Song.

Sing to the little children,
And they will listen well ;
Sing grand and holy music,
For they can feel its spell.
Tell them the tale of Jephthah ;
Then sing them what he said,–
‘ Deeper and deeper still,’ and watch
How the little cheek grows red,
And the little breath comes quicker ;
They will ne’er forget the tale,
Which the song has fastened surely,
As with a golden nail.

I remember, late one evening,
How the music stopped, for, hark !
Charlie’s nursery door was open,
He was calling in the dark,–
‘ Oh no !  I am not frightened,
And I do not want a light ;
But I cannot sleep for thinking
Of the song you sang last night.
Something about a “valley,”
And “make rough places plain,”
And “Comfort ye;” so beautiful !
Oh, sing it me again !’

Sing at the cottage bedside ;
They have no music there,
And the voice of praise is silent
After the voice of prayer.
Sing of the gentle Saviour
In the simplest hymns you know,
And the pain-dimmed eye will brighten
As the soothing verses flow.
Better than loudest plaudits
The murmured thanks of such,
For the King will  stoop to crown them
With His gracious ‘Inasmuch.’

Sing, where the full-toned organ
Resounds through aisle and nave,
And the choral praise ascendeth
In concord sweet and grave.
Sing, where the village voices
Fall harshly on your ear ;
And, while more earnestly you join,
Less discord you will hear.
The noblest and the humblest
Alike are ‘common praise,’
And not for human ear alone
The psalm and hymn we raise.

Sing in the deepening twilight,
When the shadow of eve is nigh,
And her purple and golden pinions
Fold o’er the western sky.
Sing in the silver silence,
While the first moonbeams fall ;
So shall your power be greater
Over the hearts of all.
Sing till you bear them with you
Into a holy calm,
And the sacred tones have scattered
Manna, and myrrh, and balm.

Sing !  that your song may gladden ;
Sing like the happy rills,
Leaping in sparkling blessing
Fresh from the breezy hills.
Sing !  that your song may silence
The folly and the jest,
And the ‘idle word’ be banished
As an unwelcome guest.
Sing !  that your song may echo
After the strain is past,
A link of the love-wrought cable
That holds some vessel fast.

Sing to the tired and anxious
It is yours to fling a ray,
Passing indeed, but cheering,
Across the rugged way.
Sing to God’s holy servants,
Weary with loving toil,
Spent with their faithful labour
On Oft ungrateful soil.
The chalice of your music
All reverently bear,
For with the bless’ed angels
Such ministry you share.

When you long to bear the Message
Home to some troubled breast,
Then sing with loving fervour,
‘Come unto Him, and rest.’
Or would you whisper comfort,
Where words bring no relief,
Sing how  ‘ He was despis’ed,
Acquainted with our grief.’
And, aided by His blessing,
The song may win its way
Where speech had no admittance,
And change the night to day.

Sing, when His mighty mercies
And marvellous love you feel,
And the deep joy of gratitude
Springs freshly as you kneel ;
When words, like morning starlight,
Melt powerless,–rise and sing !
And bring your sweetest music
To Him, your gracious King.
Pour out your song before Him
To whom our best is due ;
Remember, He who hears your prayer
Will hear your praises too.

Sing on in grateful gladness !
Rejoice in this good thing
Which the Lord thy God hath given thee,
The happy power to sing.
But yield to Him, the Sovereign,
To whom all gifts belong,
In fullest consecration
Your Ministry of Song,
Until His mercy grant you
That resurrection voice,
Whose only ministry shall be,
To praise him and rejoice.

Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | January 7, 2014

New Year’s Wishes.

WHAT shall I wish thee ?
Treasures of earth ?
Songs in the spring-time,
Pleasure and mirth ?
Flowers on thy pathway,
Skies ever clear ?
Would this ensure thee
A Happy New Year ?

What shall I wish thee ?
What can be found
Bringing thee sushine
All the year round ?
Where is the treasure,
Lasting and dear,
That shall ensure thee
A Happy New Year ?

Faith that increaseth,
Walking in light ;
Hope that aboundeth,
Happy and bright ;
Love that is perfect,
Casting out fear ;–
These shall ensure thee
A  Happy New Year.

Peace in the Saviour,
Rest at His feet,
Smile of His countenance
Radiant and sweet,
Joy in His presence,
Christ ever near !–
This will ensure thee
A Happy New Year !

Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS

Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | July 12, 2013

Conclusion of FRH’s Article on Charlotte Elliott

This is the third, final part of Frances Ridley Havergal’s article on Charlotte Elliott’s hymns.

 

We may remark here that Miss Elliott is exceptionally happy in refrain, and the short, simple, always telling words which she thus uses form the point to nearly all the swiftest and brightest arrows in her quiver. Most hymns leave a merely general impression; good memories quote whole verses, but others only retain a vague idea that it was “a very nice hymn.” But once read, or, still better, once sung, the very essence of many of Miss Elliott’s hymns is carried away in a single phrase, impossible to forget, and containing the one thought which all the rest unfolds or illustrates. “Just as I am” is a volume of divinity in four syllables. “We cling to Thee” and “Oh, plead for me,” come back again and again, when a whole hymn, or even verse, would not be dwelt upon. “Let me be with Thee where Thou art” is all one’s loving and longing set to music in one bar.

 

     Sometimes her refrain is taken from the most musical as well as the most poetical Book that ever was written, as in this hymn: ­—

 

     “IT IS I; BE NOT AFRAID.”

 

When waves of trouble round me swell,
My soul is not dismayed:
I hear a voice I know full well —
“‘Tis I; be not afraid.”

 

When black the threatening skies appear,
And storms my path invade,
Those accents tranquillize each fear —
“‘Tis I; be not afraid.”

 

There is a gulf that must be crossed;
Saviour, be near to aid!
Whisper, when my frail bark is tossed —
“‘Tis I; be not afraid.”

 

There is a dark and fearful vale,
Death hides within its shade;
Oh, say, when flesh and heart shall fail —
“‘Tis I; be not afraid.”

 

     Tender experimental hymns were not the only outflow of this life of seclusion and suffering. Sometimes a clear trumpet-note rang out. Andthen, with that sensitive perception of metre which is analogous to an artist’s choice of key in musical composition, she exchanged her usual meditative iambics for bright ringing trochaics. For instance, take the following: —

 

     “WATCH AND PRAY.”

 

“Christian! seek not yet repose”;
Hear thy guardian angel say,
“Thou art in the midst of foes —
“Watch and pray!’”

 

Principalities and powers,
Musteringtheir unseen array,
Wait for thy unguarded hours —
“Watch and pray!”

 

Gird thy heavenly armour on,
Wear it ever, night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one —
“Watch and pray!”

 

Hear the victors who o’ercame:
Still they mark each warrior’s way;
All, with one sweet voice, exclaim —
“Watch and pray!”

 

Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,
Him thou lovest to obey;
Hide within thy heart His word —
“Watch and pray!”

 

Watch, as if on that alone
Hung the issue of the day;
Pray that help may be sent down —
“Watch and pray!”

 

Or again this: —

 

“O FAINT AND FEEBLE HEARTED!”

 

O faint and feeble hearted!
Why thus cast down with fear?
Fresh aid shall be imparted,
Thy God unseen is near.

 

His eye can never slumber,
He marks thy cruel foes;
Observes their strength and number,
And all thy weakness knows.

 

Though heavy clouds of sorrow
Make dark thy path to-day,
There may shine forth to-morrow
Once more a cheering ray.

 

Doubts, griefs, and foes assailing,
Conceal heaven’s fair abode;
Yet now faith’s power prevailing
Should stay thy mind on God!

 

     We have spoken of Miss Elliott’s realizing faith; we find it joined, as such faith always is, with earnest desire and effort to attain practical holiness. This comes out beautifully in, —

 

     THE BELIEVER’S WANTS.

 

I want that adorning Divine
Thou only, my God, canst bestow;
I want in those beautiful garments to shine,
Which distinguish Thy household below.

 

Iwant every moment to feel
That Thy Spirit resides in my heart:
That His power is present to cleanse and to heal,
And newness of life to impart.

 

I want, oh, I want to attain
Some likeness, my Saviour, to Thee;
Thatlonged-for resemblance once more to regain;
Thy comeliness put upon me.

 

I want to be marked for Thine own,
Thy seal on my forehead to wear;
To receive that “new name” on the mystic white stone,
Which none but Thyself can declare.

 

I want in Thee so to abide,
As to bring forth some fruit to Thy praise!
The branch which Thou prunest, though feeble and dried,
May languish, but never decays,

 

I want Thine own hand to unbind
Each tie to terrestrial things, —
Too tenderly cherished, too closely entwined,
Where my heart too tenaciously clings.

 

I want by my aspect serene,
My actions and words, to declare
That my treasure is placed in a country unseen, —
That my heart’s best affections are there.

 

Iwant, as a traveller, to haste
Straight onward, nor pause on my way,
Nor forethought nor anxious contrivance to waste
On the tent only pitched for a day.

 

Iwant, — and this sums up my prayer, —
To glorify Thee till I die;
Then calmly to yield up my soul to Thy care, —
And breathe out, in faith, my last sigh!

 

     A very striking means of giving effect and actuality to such desires is pointed out in her hymn for “Saturday Morning.” This gives a glimpse of the detail, so to speak, of her own practical efforts in this direction, and sets a very lovely and stimulating example of holy preparation for Sabbath blessing. Our Sundays would often be very different, if our Saturdays thus “tuned with care each unseen chord within.”

 

     SATURDAY MORNING.

 

This is the day to tune with care
Each unseen cord within:
Would we for Sabbaths well prepare,
To-day we should begin.

 

Before the majesty of Heaven
To-morrow we appear;
No honour half so great is given,
Throughout man’s sojourn here.

 

Yet if his heart be not prepared,
His soul not meetly dressed,
In vain that honour will be shared,
No smile will greet the guest.

 

We must beforehand lay aside
Our own polluted dress,
And wear the robe of Jesu’s bride
His spotless righteousness.

 

We must forsake this world below,
Forget all earthly things;
Strive with a seraph’s love to glow,
And soar on angel wings.

 

The altar must be cleansed to-day,
Meet for the offered Lamb:
The wood in order we must lay,
And wait to-morrow’s flame.

 

Lord of the sacrifice we bring,
To Thee our hopes aspire;
Our Prophet, our High Priest and King,
Send down the sacred fire!

 

     After such preparation of heart, what wonder that her Sunday morning song was so rich and full. The very page seems to glow with the holy sunshine lighting up her own heart. It is a golden litany; perhaps the brightest intercessory prayer ever written, as well as one of the most comprehensive.

 

  THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

Thou glorious Sun of Righteousness,
On this Day risen to set no more,
Shine on me now, to heal, to bless,
With brighter beams than e’er before.

 

Shine on Thy work of grace within,
On each celestial blossom there;
Destroy each bitterroot of sin,
And make Thy garden fresh and fair.

 

Shine on Thy pure eternal Word,
Its mysteries to my soul reveal;
And whether read, remembered, heard,
Oh, let it quicken, strengthen, heal!

 

Shine on the temples of Thy grace;
In spotless robes Thy priests be clad;
There show the brightness of Thy Face,
And make Thy chosen people glad.

 

Shine on those unseen things, dispayed
To faith’s far penetrating eye;
And let their splendour cast a shade
On every earthly vanity.

 

Shine in the hearts of those most dear,
Disperse each cloud ‘twixt them and Thee,
Their glorious heavenward prospects clear;
“Light in Thy light,” oh, let them see!

 

Shine on those friends for whom we mourn,
Who know not yet Thy healing ray:
Quicken their souls and bid them turn
To Thee, “the Life, the Truth, the Way.”

 

Shine on those tribes no country owns,
On Judah , once Thy dwelling-place;
“Thy servants think upon her stones,”
And long to see her day of grace.

 

Shine on the missionary’s home,
Give him his heart’s desire to see.
Collect thy scattered ones who roam;
One fold, one Shepherd, let there be!

 

Shine, till Thy glorious beam shall chase
The blinding film from every eye;
Till every earthly dwelling-place
Shall hail the Dayspring from on high.

 

Shine on, shine on, Eternal Sun!
Pour richer floods of life and light;
Till that bright Sabbath be begun,
That glorious day which knows no night!

 

     “That glorious day which knows no night” has begun for her. She does not regret now, she never did, that in early life she turned away from paths which had fair promise of earthly fame, and gave her talents all and entirely to Him who lent them to her. He gave her better things even in this life, I think Healways does. And now, and henceforth, and for ever and ever, she has “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” and the never-ending fulfilment of her prayer, “Let me be with Thee where Thou art.”

 

     Her transition to this consummation was another page in the ever-filling records of the Saviour’s faithfulness and tender love to His children. Her sister writes:

 

     “In the last years and days of her life — days of increased weakness and suffering — she was sustained and blessed with a sense of her Saviour’s love and her Saviour’s presence, and with a sure and abiding trust in Him. … The last manifestation of consciousness was on the morning of her death, when, on her sister repeating to her the text for the day, ‘Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off,’ she clasped her hands together; and as she raised her eyes to heaven, a beam came over her countenance which showed that she fully entered into the precious words, and was realizing the glorious vision she was so soon to behold. On the evening of that day, September 22nd, 1871, without any apparent suffering or the slightest struggle, she fell asleep in Jesus.”

  

                         Frances Ridley Havergal

[Note:  Frances Ridley Havergal wrote a series of articles on hymnwriters and hymns, published individually in a magazine edited and published by her friend and colleague, Rev. Charles Bullock.  After F.R.H. died, Rev. Bullock gathered together and published the completed articles by F.R.H. on hymnwriters in the book Specimen Glasses for the King’s Minstrels, given in Volume II of the new (soon to be published, if the Lord wills) edition of The Complete Works of Frances Ridley Havergal.]  
See http://www.havergaltrust.com.

 

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