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“I Gave My Life for Thee”
By Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879
A vivid painting of Christ, wearing His crown of thorns as He stands before Pilate and the mob, is displayed in the art Museum of Dusseldorf, Germany.  Under the painting by Sternberg are the words, “This have I done for thee; what hast thou done for me?”  When Frances Havergal viewed the painting during a visit to Germany, she was deeply moved.  As she gazed at it in tears, she scribbled down the lines of this hymn text on a scrap of paper.  After returning to her home in England, she felt the poetry was so poor that she tossed the lines into a stove.  The scorched scrap of paper amazingly floated out of the flames and landed on the floor, where it was found by Frances’ father, Rev. William Havergal, an Anglican minister, noted poet, and church musician.  He encouraged her to preserve the poem by composing the first melody for it.  The tune found in our hymnals today was composed by American Gospel songwriter, Philip P. Bliss, and was first published in 1873.
When Christ cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” victory over sin was won.  All that is required of each of us is to personally appropriate  that finished work and show our gratitude.  Miss Havergal would become known as the “consecration poet.”  Though her body was sickly, her life radiated with the love of her Saviour.  She began to write at the age of seven and would later study music to become an accomplished singer and pianist.
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 giv’n for me?