Havergal’s First Hymn

Posted by Allen Cantrell

 

Let’s pause over these words and rejoice in the rich grace of God in Christ to do all this on behalf of His elect people;  and simultaneously,  let’s weep before our Lord that we have returned to Him such slack, half-hearted, formal, insincere, praise and obedience.- Pastor Allen

 

This was Franc­es R. Hav­er­gal’s first hymn. She wrote it af­ter see­ing Stern­berg’s paint­ing Ec­ce Ho­mo in Düs­sel­dorf, Ger­ma­ny. A cap­tion on the paint­ing read, “This have I done for thee; what has thou done for Me?” Here is what Miss V. G. Ha­ver­gal wrote about this hymn:

In F. R. H’s MS. co­py, she gives this ti­tle, “I did this for thee; what hast thou done for Me?”  On Jan­u­a­ry 10, 1858, she had come in wea­ry, and sit­ting down she read the mot­to, and the lines of her hymn flashed up­on her. She wrote them in pen­cil on a scrap of pa­per. Read­ing them over she thought them so poor that she tossed them on the fire, but they fell out un­touched. Show­ing them some months lat­er to her fa­ther, he en­cour­aged her to pre­serve them, and wrote the tune Ba­ca spe­cial­ly for them.

 

Frances R. Havergal, 1858.

I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, and raised up from the dead
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?

 

My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne
I left for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone;
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?

 

I suffered much for thee, more than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitterest agony, to rescue thee from hell.
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

 

And I have brought to thee, down from My home above,
Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?

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