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Frances Ridley Havergal

Frances HavergalFrances Ridley Havergal, the daughter of Canon W. H. Havergal, of the Church of England, was born at Astley, Worcestershire, December 14, 1836. She is the most gifted and popular lady hymn writer that England has produced in the last half century, being the author of a larger number of hymns in this and other recent Church hymnals than any other woman. Her father was the author of about one hundred hymns, but was more distinguished as a musician and composer of Church music than as a poet. Everything that inheritance, a literary and musical environment, and a cultured Christian home could do to make a Christian singer and hymn writer belonged to Frances Havergal in her youth. "When fifteen years old," she says, "I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment." This was the beginning of a beautiful Christian life. Her knowledge of Hebrew and Greek and modern languages was extensive. Few poets have consecrated their gifts of head and heart and pen more fully to Christ than she did, and few lives ending at forty-three years of age have left behind more pleasing and precious literary treasures than are found in her poems of Christian faith and love and service. She died at Caswall Bay, Swansea, June 3, 1879. Her popularity and influence as an author and hymn writer have steadily increased ever since her death. About seventy-five of her hymns are in common use, and are taken from her various volumes: The Ministry of Song, 1869; Twelve Sacred Songs for Little Singers, 1870; Under the Surface, 1874; Loyal Responses, 1878; Life Mosaics, 1879; Life Chords, 1880; Life Echoes, 1883; Poems, 1884. Eight of her hymns are contained in this collection.

—Another year is dawning
—From glory unto glory
—Golden harps are sounding
—I could not do without thee
—Lord, speak to me that I may speak
—Take my life, and let it be
—Tell it out among the nations
—True-hearted, whole-hearted

From The Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church: An Annotated Edition of the Methodist Hymnal by Charles S. Nutter and Wilbur F. Tillet. New York: Eaton & Main, 1911.

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