Miss Havergal refers to this hymn in a letter : "I was so overwhelmed on Sunday at hearing three of my hymns touchingly sung in Perry Church. I never before realised the high privilege of writing for the great congregation, especially when they sang ' 1 gave My life for thee,' sung to my father's tune 'baca.'"
"O Master, at Thy feet," is another very popular hymn of hers, and an account of it was found among Miss Havergal's private papers : "I felt that I had not written anything specially of praise to Christ. A longing to do so possessed me; I wanted to show forth His praise to Him, not to others, even if no mortal ever saw it. He would see every time, would have known the unwritten longing to praise Him, even if words failed utterly.
"It describes, as most of my poems do, rather reminiscent than present feeling - I cannot transcribe at the moment of strong feeling; I recall it afterwards and write it down. ' O Master' - it is perhaps my favourite title, because it implies rule and submission, and this is what love craves. Men may feel differently, but a true woman's submission is inseparable from deep love. I wrote it, ' O Master,' in the cold and twilight in the little back room, uncarpeted, at Snareshill Parsonage, December 31, 1866.
"I began my book, ' Ministry of Song,' with the expression of its devotion to God's glory. I wish to close it with a distinctive description of praise to Jesus." It was published in May, 1867.
I take the pain, Lord Jesus,
From Thine Own hand; The strength to bear it bravely
Thou wilt command.
He made this hymn his farewell to his people, sending it from his death-bed to be printed in his parish magazine. As her life went on, she became a most enthusiastic advocate for temperance, and far and wide she laboured for it.
Towards the end of her life, in order that she might get a little rest, she and her sister went to live at a little village in Wales.
One cold evening, in the summer of 1879, she went out to speak to the men and boys on temperance. This had to take place in the open air; rain began to fall, and the result was a severe cold and chill, from which she never recovered. Just before the end a great brightness came into her face. Those about her said it was as if the Lord Himself had come to fetch her. She died quite peacefully, while her brother commended her soul into her Redeemer's hand.
The following is part of the inscription written on the north side of her father's tomb in Astley Churchyard :
"Died on June 3, 1879, aged 42. By her writing in prose and verse she, being dead, yet speaketh."
She wrote so many hymns that one could not even mention them here, but one or two of them stand out as being very popular, as. for example, " Tell it out among the heathen."it was written at Winterdyne in April, 1872, one snowy morning, when she was unable to go to church. She asked for her Prayer Book in bed, as she liked to follow the services of the day. On the return of her host from church, he heard her touch on the piano, and said, " Why, Frances, I thought you were upstairs." " Yes; but 1 had my Prayer Book, and in the Psalms for to-day I read, ' Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King.' I thought what a splendid first line, and then words and music came rushing in to me. There it is, all written out." With copperplate neatness she had rapidly written out the words, music, and harmonies complete. It runs thus :
Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King.
Tell it out! Tell it out! Tell it out among the heathen, bid them shout and sing.
Tell it out! Tell it out! Tell it out with adoration that he. shall increase;
Frances Ridley Havergal, the writer of some of our most popular and beautiful hymns. She was a charming and accomplished woman, who, unfortunately died at a comparatively early age, after many years of ill health
Photo, Elliott & Fry
That the mighty King of Glory is the King of Peace ! Tell it out with jubilation, Let the song never cease : Tell it out! Tell it out!
Another is "I could not do without Thee." Another, "Light after darkness"; and there are nearly fifty others not so well known.
The hymns already given are the best known and most popular among those composed by this talented woman; but others of hers are no less beautiful, and embody the same sicere religious feeling.
Many were written specially for children, the one beginning "Golden harps are sounding" being particularly liked in America. The first verse runs thus :
Golden harps are sounding,
Angel voices sing. Pearly gates are opened Opened for the King,
According to her sister's account, it was written at a place called Perry Barr, where she happened to be on a visit, and having walked as far as the boys' school-room, she leaned against the playground wall, while the gentleman she was with went in. On his return he found her writing on the back of an old envelope, and on asking what she was doing she showed him the pencilled lines just quoted. She afterwards composed a tune for it, called "Hermas," and, it is said, sang it not long before her death.
Miss Havergal was not one of those who objected to having her words altered.
On the contrary, although her manuscripts, as a rule, showed little or no corrections, she was always ready to listen to suggestions, and would gladly alter a verse or a line if she felt it made her message plainer in any way. " Thou art coming, O my Saviour," was the first hymn written " after her King took her by the hand and led her into the goodly land." And her sister, in " The Memorials of F. R. H.," says that it was written at Winter-dyne on Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873. The character of Miss Havergal is most interesting, and pages might be filled with incidents of her daily life had we space.
Many friends followed her to the grave, in sight of the room where she was born in the rectory.
Miss Lily Brayton (Mrs. Oscar Asche), the charming actress, who gives some excellent advice to girls who are wishing to become actresses. Miss Brayton's success has been won by hard work, no less than through her beauty and charm