Frances Ridley Havergal
Serving Jesus Exclusively
At the meeting, Mr. W_____ opened it and then went away. Then I told them I had meant to sing them beautiful songs of Handel, but I could not and dare not; that I could not, after what my King had shown me last week, sing even partly to please them, it must be “only for my King.” Then I told them about this “only,” not merely totality of surrender but exclusiveness of allegiance, and how I wanted everyone there to take this step with me that night, and to accept with me “ONLY for Jesus,” as our life motto, henceforth. To keep my word as to singing, I just sang “Precious Saviour, may I live only for Thee”* (to “Onesimus”). After prayer, I resumed the subject and then distributed the Consecration Hymns (very systematically done in one minute without disturbance); and, after running through it, asked those and those only to sign their names who meant it. Oh, M_____, it was such singing, one felt it was so real!
Then I gave an interval of silent prayer which I felt was a time of real consecration. I was sure of His presence, so sure that He was bowing the hearts before Him by the Holy Spirit’s power. Was it not strange that the first “consecration meeting” I ever came in for should have been in my own hands?
After, I gave each at the door “Enough.” I hardly liked giving my own leaflets, but I really couldn’t think of anyting else just suitable for what I wanted. One, whom I had spoken to after church on Sunday evening, stayed to tell me how bright her hope continued; but she needn’t have spoken, the change of expression was quite enough to tell. Well, dear M_____, I felt there had been real blessing.
. . .I came to Newport with the idea of not being responsible for any one’s soul at all! I enjoyed the first three days in a general sort of way, but no real gain to myself. I declined addressing the Y.W.C.A. meeting, but was present and was asked to sing. I sang my arrangement of Isaiah xii. After a few more words, and prayer from Mr. W_____, I sang for them “When thou passest.”* After that I had to shake hands with many. It was all very nice but not real work. I felt dissatisfied, notwithstanding the affectionate greetings and thanks for singing. Saturday I said I should like to go to work, and went with Mr. W______ to the Infirmary. In the women’s ward I read and prayed and sang, and then spoke to each alone. I saw there was sowing and reaping work wanted, and many entreated me to come again. When I went again God sent much blessing. One, very suffering, and who had a most distressed expression the day before, had found peace soon after I left her. She lay looking so happy, saying, “I’ve left it all with Him now, and oh it’s so beautiful!” Another a moping groping Christian, told me that the words God helped me to say to her lifted her straight up into the sunlight. Before I left the ward, I do think another was enabled by God’s Spirit to trust in the Lord Jesus. From that time, it pleased God to send such continuous blessing. But (I hardly know how it began, I think from my own couplet “. . .let me sing, Always, only, for my King,” in connection with that Thursday evening) somehow I felt that on both sides, singer and listeners, it was not really “only for Him,” but too much of F.R.H. The word “only” seemed to be pressed on my own heart. I saw it as I never saw it before, and that the “all for Jesus” must be supplemented and sealed with “only for Jesus.” It was a great and humbling revelation to me of failure in full consecration, where I really did not see it before; and of course, I dare not and would not hold back from accepting and following, at any cost, what I felt God’s Holy Spirit was teaching me. I felt I could not, and would not, sing again the next Thursday as before, and that I must pass on this “only” to the Y.W.C.A. Then I had copies printed of the Consecration Hymn, and had my name left out, and a blank line instead for the signature, which each might fill up alone and prayerfully.
Taken From Maria Havergal's Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal, pp. 166,167