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[Frances Havergal]

Frances Ridley Havergal, the British musician and devotional writer, left us such classic hymns as Like a River Glorious, Who is on the Lord’s Side?, I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, and Take My Life and Let It Be.

One day in January, 1858, while visiting the art museum in Dusseldorf, Germany, she sat down wearily opposite Domenico Feti’s picture of Christ under which was this caption: “I Did This For Thee! What Hast Thou Done For Me?”

Deeply moved, Frances scribbled some lines that flashed into her mind, writing in pencil on a scrap of paper.

Reading them over, they did not satisfy her so she tossed them into the fire, but they fell out untouched.

Some months later she showed them to her father who encouraged her to preserve them.

Being a musician himself, he even wrote a melody to accompany them.

The resulting hymn, “I Gave My Life For Thee” was first published in 1860, and launched Frances Ridley Havergal as a serious composer of hymns:

I gave My life for thee,

My precious blood I shed,

That thou might’st ransomed be,

And quickened from the dead.

I gave, I gave my life for thee;

What hast thou given for Me?

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