Standing at the Portal
of the Opening Year
Standing at the portal of the opening year
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836‑1879) is one of Victorian Britain’s most well‑known and prolific hymn writers. This poem was composed on 4th January 1873 in Hastings and was printed in ‘Under The Surface’ in 1874. She was born in Astley, Worcestershire to an Anglican minister. Other hymns include ‘Take my life and let it be’ also written in 1874 and ‘Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace’ written in 1878. She died in the Gower in South Wales.
Here are some scriptures which are reckoned to have inspired her.
Deuteronomy 31:6‑8 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Psalm 41:10 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
John 7:37‑38 (NKJV) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
Hebrews 13:5‑6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
2 Cor.1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Hebrews 13:20‑21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well‑pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Common tunes for this hymn are Hermas, St. Alban, St. Gertrude