This volume has the definitive 1884 Nisbet edition of Havergal's poems, and all of the other poems found in research for the new edition of The Complete Works of Frances Ridley Havergal. How does one describe F.R.H.'s poetry? Rich both in content and presentation, full of truth and love, probing thought conveyed with beautiful art. One contemporaneous reviewer of her first published book, The Ministry of Song, wrote this: "Genuine poetry. Many a bowed-down heart can in its pages be reminded of the way of peace, and of Him who can alone give that peace which the world cannot give, and in a way which is not the world's way."-Press and St. James's Chronicle. Another reviewer wrote, "Critical nicety and power of phrase, variety of treatment, wealth and naturalness, lucid exposition. The grace, tenderness, purity, and devotional spirit of Miss Havergal's volume will make it warmly welcomed wherever Christian song and Christian sentiment are loved and appreciated."-Morning Advertiser. One more reviewer wrote, "Pure and elevating thoughts, pleasant fancy, and musical verse; remarkable for originality of thought as well as for graceful treatment."-Literary World. Charles Spurgeon said: "There is a centre to every storm where perfect calm reigns. There is a point within the circle of the most consumeing flame where life is possible without any danger to its being consumed. Miss Havergal seems to me to have got into the very centre of the storms that are disturbing others, and abides in perfect peace. She seems to have penetrated to the very heart of God who is a consumeing fire, and rests absolutely in His love. She could never have written as she has except for an extraordinary intimacy with God." In our own time, Rev. Iain H. Murray, founding trustee of the Banner of Truth Trust, wrote: "Frances Ridley Havergal was one of the most gifted poets ever to write for the Christian church. To this day some of her hymns are sung and loved all over the world, yet much of her no-less valuable writing and poetry has long been scarce and little known. I am thankful that the Havergal Trust has been founded to remedy this lack, and the Havergal books that they have already so attractively brought back into circulation deserve to be widely known. They show unusual natural gifts wedded to a strong evangelical theology, and like all the foremost Christian writers she speaks to the heart as well as to the mind.
About the Author Frances Ridley Havergal's formal education ended when she was seventeen, with one term at a young women's school in Dusseldorf, Germany, yet she was a true scholar all her life. Fluent in German and French and nearly so in Italian, she read and loved the Reformers in Latin, German, and French. Knowledge was never an end in itself, only a means to know better her Lord and Saviour and to help to bring others to know Him. The Bible was her only Book, and she studied deeply the Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture, memorized nearly all the New Testament and large portions of the Old Testament, and loved the Author with all her being. Frances was brought to a saving knowledge of Christ when she was fourteen, and the rest of her life was consecrated to her Savior, the Lord Jesus. Keenly aware of her own sinfulness and inability, her sole desire was to please and glorify Him alone. Very finely gifted, she was truly diligent with her gifts: her poetry is among the finest Christian verse in the English language, after George Herbert; her prose works are deeply beneficial; a musician to the core, she left behind important compositions. Like her works, her life richly touched the ones near her and countless many who met or heard her. The Lord Jesus Christ was her alone, only beauty, and she glowed Him and His truth. These books are taken from the newly prepared edition of The Complete Works of Frances Ridley Havergal. Never wanting attention to herself, Frances' desire of her heart was for herself and for others to know her King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Her works are a gold-mine of help and enrichment. As her sister Maria, wrote, Knowing her intense desire that Christ should be magnified, whether by her life or in her death, may it be to His glory that in these pages she, being dead, "Yet speaketh !" David L. Chalkley and Glen T. Wegge, editors