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I Gave My Life for Thee

Full Text

1 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?
I gave, I gave My life for thee,
What hast thou giv'n for Me?

2 My Father's house of light,
My glory circled throne,
I left for earthly night,
For wanderings sad and lone;
I left, I left it all for thee,
Hast thou left aught for Me?
I left, I left it all for thee,
Hast thou left aught for Me?

3 I suffered much for thee,
More than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitt'rest agony,
To rescue thee from hell;
I've borne, I've borne it all for thee,
What hast thou borne for Me?
I've borne, I've borne it all for thee,
What hast thou borne for Me?

4 And I have brought to thee,
Down from My home above,
Salvation full and free,
My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
What hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
What hast thou brought to Me?

Source: Baptist Hymnal 2008 #174

Author: Frances R. Havergal

Havergal, Frances Ridley, daughter of the Rev. W. H. Havergal, was born at Astley, Worcestershire, Dec. 14, 1836. Five years later her father removed to the Rectory of St. Nicholas, Worcester. In August, 1850, she entered Mrs. Teed's school, whose influence over her was most beneficial. In the following year she says, "I committed my soul to the Saviour, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment." A short sojourn in Germany followed, and on her return she was confirmed in Worcester Cathedral, July 17, 1853. In 1860 she left Worcester on her father resigning the Rectory of St. Nicholas, and resided at different periods in Leamington, and at Caswall Bay, Swansea, broken by visits to Switzerland, Scotland, and North Wales. She died… Go to person page >


I gave My life for thee. Frances M. Havergal. [Christ desiring the entire devotion of His Servants.] Miss M. V. G. Havergal's manuscript account of this hymn is:—

"In F. R. H.'s manuscript copy, she gives this title, 'I did this for thee; what hast thou done for Me?' Motto placed under a picture of our Saviour in the study of a German divine. On Jan. 10, 1858, she had come in weary, and sitting down she read the motto, and the lines of her hymn flashed upon her. She wrote them in pencil on a scrap of paper. Heading them over she thought them so poor that she tossed them on the fire, but they fell out untouched. Showing them some months after to her father, he encouraged her to preserve them, and wrote the tune Baca specially for them. The hymn was printed on a leaflet, 1859, and in Good Words, Feb., 1860. Published also in The Ministry of Song, 1869. Though F. R. H. consented to the alterations in Church Hymns, she thought the original more strictly carried out the idea of the motto, ‘I gave My life for thee, What hast thou done for Me?'" (Havergal manuscript).

Miss F. R. Havergal also refers to this hymn in a letter quoted in her Memoirs, p. 105:—

"I was so overwhelmed on Sunday at hearing three of my hymns touchingly sung in Perry Church, I never before realized the high privilege of writing for the ‘great congregation’ especially when they sang ‘I gave My life for thee' to my father's tune Baca."

The recast of this hymn for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871, referred to above, begins, "Thy life was given for me." The original appeal of Christ to the disciple is thus changed into an address by the disciple to Christ. This recast has not become popular. The original, as in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, is in extensive use in Great Britain and America.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Thy life was given for me is a widespread recasting of this text, with an added stanza.



Instances (1 - 16 of 16)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #233TextPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #484
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #606TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #174TextPage Scan
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #454TextPage Scan
Hymns of Faith #417Text
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #436
Rejoice Hymns #420
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #281
Small Church Music #1390Audio
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #7
The Baptist Hymnal: for use in the church and home #459
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #675TextPage Scan
The Cyber Hymnal #10538TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #453Text
The New National Baptist Hymnal #82
Include 446 pre-1979 instances