1836-1879
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December 14, 1836, Astley, Worcestershire, England.

June 3, 1879, Caswell Bay (near Swansea), Wales.

Astley, Worcestershire, England, the city of her birth. On her tombstone was the Scripture verse she claimed as her own:

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

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Daughter of William Havergal, Frances was a bright but short lived candle in English hymnody. She was baptized by hymnist John Cawood, was reading by age four, and began writing verse at age seven. She learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament. Her works include:

Havergal wrote this to another hymn writer:

A SEEING HEART

To Fanny Crosby

Sweet blind singer over the sea,
Tuneful and jubilant, how can it be
That the songs of gladness, which float so far,
As if they fell from the evening star,
Are the notes of one who never may see
Visible music of flower and tree,
Purple of mountains, or glitter of snow,
Ruby and gold of the sunset glow,
And never the light of a loving face?
Must not the world be a desolate place
For eyes that are sealed with the seal of years,
Eyes that are open only for tears?
How can she sing in the dark like this?
What is her fountain of light and bliss?

O, her heart can see, her heart can see!
And its sight is strong, and swift and free;
Never the ken of mortal eye
Could pierce so deep, and far, and high
As the eagle vision of hearts that dwell
In the lofty, sunlit citadel
Of Faith that overcomes the world.
With banners of Hope and Joy unfurled,
Garrisoned with God’s perfect Peace,
Ringing with paeans that never cease,
Flooded with splendor bright and broad,
The glorious light of the Love of God.

Her heart can see, her heart can see!
Well may she sing so joyously!
For the King Himself, in His tender grace,
Hath shown her the brightness of His face;
And who shall pine for a glowworm light
When the sun goes forth in His radiant might?
She can read His law, as a shining chart,
For His finger hath written it on her heart;
She can read His love, for on all her way
His hand is writing it every day
Bright cloud indeed must that darkness be
Where Jesus only the heart can see.

Her heart can see! her heart can see,
Beyond the glooms and the mystery,
Glimpses of glory not far away,
Golden crystal and emerald bow,
Luster of pearl and sapphire glow,
Sparkling river and healing tree,
Evergreen palms of victory,
Harp and crown and raiment white,
Holy and beautiful dwellers in light,
A throne, and One thereon, whose face
Is the glory of that glorious place.

Dear blind sister over the sea
An English heart goes forth to thee.
We are linked by a cable of faith and song,
Flashing bright sympathy swift along;
One in the East and one in the West,
Singing for Him whom our souls love best,
Singing for Jesus, telling His love,
All the way to our home above.
Where the severing sea, with its restless tide,
Never shall hinder, and never divide.
Sister! what will our meeting be,
When our hearts shall sing and our eyes shall see!

PRELUDE TO HAVERGAL’S Ministry of Song, 1870

Amid the broken waters of our ever-restless thought,
Oh be my verse an answering gleam from higher radiance caught;
That where through dark o’erarching boughs of sorrow, doubt and sin,
The glorious Star of Bethlehem upon the flood looks in,
Its tiny trembling ray may bid some downcast vision turn
To that enkindling Light, for which all earthly shadows yearn.
Oh be my verse a hidden stream, which silently may flow
Where drooping leaf and thirsty flower in lonely valleys grow;
And often by its shady course to pilgrim hearts be brought,
The quiet and refreshment of an upward-pointing thought;
Till, blending with the broad bright stream of sanctified endeavor,
God’s glory be its ocean home, the end it seeketh ever.

  1. Another Year Is Dawning
  2. Begin at Once! In the Pleasant Days
  3. Certainly I Will Be with Thee
  4. Church of God, Beloved and Chosen
  5. From Glory unto Glory
  6. God Almighty, King of Nations
  7. God Doth Not Bid Thee Wait
  8. God in Heaven, Hear Our Singing
  9. God Will Take Care of You
  10. God’s Reiterated All
  11. Golden Harps Are Sounding
  12. Half Has Never Been Told, The
  13. Happy New Year, A
  14. Have You Not a Word for Jesus?
  15. He Hath Spoken in the Darkness
  16. He Is with Thee
  17. Hear the Father’s Ancient Promise
  18. Holy and Infinite! Viewless, Eternal
  19. Holy Brethren, Called and Chosen
  20. Holy Father, Thou Hast Spoken
  21. I Am Trusting Thee
  22. I Bring My Sins to Thee
  23. I Could Not Do Without Thee
  24. I Gave My Life for Thee
  25. I Know I Love Thee Better, Lord
  26. I Love, I Love My Master
  27. In Full and Glad Surrender
  28. In God’s Great Field of Labor
  29. In the Evening There Is Weeping
  30. Increase Our Faith, Beloved Lord
  31. Is It for Me?
  32. Israel of God, Awaken
  33. Jehovah’s Covenant Shall Ensure
  34. Jesus, Blessèd Savior
  35. Jesus, Master, Whose I Am
  36. Jesus, Only! In the Shadow
  37. Jesus, Thy Life Is Mine
  38. Joined to Christ by Mystic Union
  39. Just When Thou Wilt, O Master, Call
  40. King Eternal and Immortal
  41. Leave Behind Earth’s Empty Pleasure
  42. Light After Darkness
  43. Like a River Glorious
  44. Live Out Thy Life Within Me
  45. Lord, Speak to Me
  46. Master, How Shall I Bless Thy Name?
  47. Master, Speak! Thy Servant Heareth
  48. New Mercies, New Blessings
  49. Nobody Knows but Jesus
  50. Not Your Own, but His Ye Are
  51. Now Let Us Sing the Angels’ Song
  52. Now the Daylight Goes Away
  53. Now the Sowing and the Weeping
  54. O Glorious God and King
  55. O Savior, Precious Savior
  56. O Thou Chosen Church of Jesus
  57. O What Everlasting Blessings
  58. On Our Way Rejoicing
  59. Only a Mortal’s Power
  60. Our Father, Our Father
  61. Our Savior and Our King
  62. Precious, Precious Blood of Jesus
  63. Resting on the Faithfulness
  64. Sing, O Heavens, the Lord Hath Done It
  65. Singing for Jesus, Our Savior and King
  66. Sit Down Beneath His Shadow
  67. Sovereign Lord and Gracious Master
  68. Standing at the Portal
  69. Take My Life and Let It Be
  70. Tell It Out
  71. Tempted and Tried
  72. Thou Art Coming, O My Savior
  73. To Thee, O Comforter Divine
  74. Truehearted, Wholehearted, Faithful and Loyal
  75. Through the Yesterday of Ages
  76. What Know We, Holy God, of Thee
  77. Unfurl the Christian Standard
  78. Unto Him That Hath Thou Givest
  79. What Thou Hast Done for Me
  80. When Christ Came Down on Earth of Old
  81. Who Is on the Lord’s Side?
  82. With Quivering Heart and Trembling Will
  83. Will Ye Not Come to Him for Life?
  84. Worthy of All Adoration
  85. Ye Who Hear the Blessed Call
  86. Yes, He Knows the Way Is Dreary
  1. Eirene
  2. Epenetus
  3. Hermas