Frances Ridley Havergal
All For Jesus
The following personal testimony, written by a minister of Christ who was greatly blessed in winning souls, provides evidence of the power with God and with men, which comes when there is an unreserved trust in Jesus. Frances Ridley Havergal read this little booklet in 1873, and credited this man’s experience with completely changing her life. Unfortunately the author is unknown. As a result she wrote the following to her sister:
“. . . Are you thus cut off from pleasant intercourse and kindness for nothing? Surely not; depend upon it, it means blessing, and will be a blessing if you seek that it may. Oh, Ceci, Jesus has been so much to me this winter, more than ever before. I send you a tiny book, All for Jesus, which has been an unspeakable blessing to me, and now I want you to be ‘all for Jesus.’ It is very marvelous how God lately seems to have been stirring up thousands and thousands of Christians to consecrate themselves utterly to Him, and to seek and find more in Him than ever before. I have shared this blessing, and now I want you to have it too!” (From a letter of Frances Ridley Havergal)
All For Jesus
Words fail me wherewith to describe exactly and fully the blessedness realized by Him who can say from His very heart—willingly, frankly, joyfully, “All for Jesus!” To very many, this blessedness, of which we read so much in the Word of God, is not a reality. They read for example, of “peace with God” which “passeth all understanding,” and of “joy” which is “unspeakable and full of glory,” yet, they cannot say they possess either the one or the other.
But leaving the cases of other persons, let me refer to my own. For five-and-twenty years of my life, my “believing” brought me no certainty of salvation, and no real peace and joy such as the apostles described. I reverenced the Scriptures. I accepted the full range of “evangelical truth”—took my stand upon it, defended it, was jealous of it, and sought by all means to propagate it. My whole energies were devoted unsparingly to the furtherance of Christian and philanthropic endeavors. And yet I felt I lacked the certainty which I was convinced the Christian should have as to His acceptance with God, and the full, conscious blessedness of being “in Christ,” and so, free from “condemnation.”
This distressed me deeply. I could not account for it. Clearly there was error somewhere—but where? Was it in the Word of God, or in myself? I was sure it was not in the former—it could not be. But as to myself, wherein did I fail? My views were most strictly orthodox. Did I not intensely desire and strive to be right in everything? Was not Jesus my sole hope, His sacrifice my one plea, His great redeeming work my one theme during a ministry of more than twenty years? Then why had I not the certainty and the full blessedness? “Hoping” and “trusting” did not satisfy me. Reading my Bible, it was clear I should get beyond mere “hopes” and “trusts.” But I did not. How was this? I could not tell.
Very discomforting was the state of mind above described. It continued for a long period. At length it became intolerable. Satan availed himself of the moment of my soul’s extreme bitterness, by suggesting a strong doubt as to the veracity of the Bible and its statements. Were not learned men writing about its manifold errors, denying the divinity of Jesus, assailing the atonement, and impugning almost every doctrine of the gospel? Did I not myself find some of its statements misleading? Where was the consciousness of pardon, of having peace with God, of rejoicing in Jesus with joy unspeakable and full of glory, which it promised? I had better have no more to do with it; it was only a miserable delusion.
The hour of conflict had arrived. The struggle was severe. “My feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped.” But at length the light came. As with a sunbeam the truth was revealed. I saw that I had to do with Jesus personally, and that my safety depended upon really accepting Him, and really and fully surrendering myself to Him. I fell on my knees before Him. The Spirit helped my infirmities. With all my soul I did, there and then, accept Him—my “Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption,” my Savior and my Lord; and I did, there and then, surrender myself to Him, utterly and unreservedly.
Then the blessing came. I rose from my knees rejoicing! “Jesus is mine!” I could exclaim, “and I am His.” The uncertainty was gone. The doubts and fears had departed. I had passed beyond the “hoping” and “trusting”—at last, but surely. And now it was as though Jesus Himself was speaking to my soul, and I could hear His voice. Yes, the blessing had indeed come, and such a blessing! I found I had that “peace” which “passeth all understanding,” and that which is “unspeakable and full of glory.” Ever since that day I have been living a new life. I am so happy. “All for Jesus,” is my daily, almost hourly life. And Jesus is so precious! I cannot describe the sweetness of His presence and fellowship. It is so real, so constant, so sustaining to the soul. I have trials and difficulties, toils and hardships, but they seem as nothing now. The blessing is so great, that these things are “light,” and “but for a moment.” Besides, I know that, the hand of Jesus lightens the burden: He carries the heavy end of each cross. And all the while He speaks so comfortably to my soul, so gently, encouragingly, lovingly, that I cannot but go on rejoicing in Him, whatever the present trial may be.
And He so honors me! I am aware that my talents, abilities, and attainments do not warrant the expectation that I shall be very useful; and yet I find that the Lord does own my endeavors to serve Him. He often blesses me more to souls in a single week now than (as far as I know) He did in a whole year, or in many years, in former times. And so I am going on consciously, joyously, to the home above, asking daily, and about everything, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” “To me,” I can say without presumption, “to live is Christ.” And at every step I want to prove, by His grace, that my affections, my desires, my efforts, yea, my very words and thoughts, are “All for Jesus.”
And, now, why have I written all this about myself? First, to magnify the grace of God in so working upon me by His Spirit, as to bring me out into this region of most blessed and heavenly sunshine. And then, secondly, that many who read it may be led, by the gracious operations of the same Spirit, to desire to realize similar certainty and blessedness, through a true and full acceptance of Christ, accompanied by such an unreserved and heartfelt surrender to Him as shall impel them to exclaim, “All for Jesus!”
I appeal to the “hoping,” “trusting,” “doubting,” and “fearing” professors of religion into whose hands this tract may come. I know what I am saying. I know the disconsolations of uncertainty. I know the wretchedness of crying for five-and-twenty years, “Lord, Lord,” without ever truly realizing the preciousness of Jesus, or the blessedness of His pardoning love. I know, too, the unutterable sweetness of finding myself at His side, consciously His, enjoying His company, and going on daily with the light of His countenance falling full upon my soul, with His heart, as it were, beating against me, with His dear, loving words ever and anon reaching me, “Fear thou not; I am with thee,” and with His Spirit sanctifying and strengthening me for His blessed service more and more. And from my heart’s depths I implore you, give up all for Him! Let the world go; let everything go; count it but dross and dung that you may win Christ, and be found in Him! Offer Him all you are and have; lay it at His feet. Keep nothing from Him. And with your whole heart and soul cry, “All for Jesus!”
Then for the sunshine. Away will go the clouds, the fogs, the mists; away will go the doubts, the fears, the misgivings; away will go the agitations and tremblings as to death and judgment! The sunshine will straightway come down upon your heart, filling it with light and with joy. You will be “accepted in the Beloved.” The weary load of sin will be cast into the depth of the sea. You will feel the Father’s arms, as it were, round about your neck. The kiss will assure you that your sins and iniquities shall be remembered no more. And then the homeward course, the loving communings by the way, and, at length, the abundant entrance, the joyous welcome, the everlasting rest!
Shall it be so? Before God, who is waiting to be gracious, and before Jesus, who shed His blood for you, I ask you solemnly, shall it be so? No longer, I pray you, insult the Lord by your half-heartedness? Bring it to an end; have done with it for ever: and resolve to be true, sincere, fully surrendered, fully consecrated, fully devoted—”All for Jesus!”
For many years now I have tried to locate "All For Jesus," the book that made such a difference for Frances Ridley Havergal, but was unsuccessful. Reading more of her books where the booklet was mentioned, I found additional clues that led me to an old magazine where it was published. I don't know if this is the whole booklet, but I am quite certain it is at least a portion of it, perhaps all of it. Havergal mentions writing the author, but she never mentions the author's name. If I am ever in Birmingham England I hope to visit the library where her papers are archived to see if I can learn more about the booklet and confirm my finding. Two other "lost" documents that I've been able to track down are the book behind McCarthy's letter to Hudson Taylor on Holiness—it wasn't Stephen Tyng as many supposed, and the words of the pamphlet "Living on Christ" by Harriet Beecher Stowe, that Taylor sent all the missionaries. I checked with the foundations, who were aware of the documents but did not have answers. I discovered the latter document was taken from a preface that Stowe wrote for a book on Anne Peck.