“Little Pillows” by Frances Ridley Havergal (1891)

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Very often people have house clearances when someone in their family dies and invariably many books of interest are deposited with charity shops. The latter can certainly be a good source for out of print and very old or rare Christian books! It is also true to say that many people may recognise the value in an antique but are simultaneously blind to its riches in the spiritual realm.

 Just recently my daughter picked up a copy of a tiny (approximately 4.5 inches by 3 inches) antique book, “Little Pillows” by Frances Ridley Havergal from a charity shop. This little book was clearly meant for children but the beautiful simplicity in the way in which it was written has been a great comfort to me in recent days… or should I say nights. I have read a little chapter every night before going to sleep, which is clearly what the book was intended for, as it is described by the author as “A Book of Good-Night Thoughts.”

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), although her life was short, was a prolific writer. An English poet and hymn writer, she also wrote melodies, tracts and works for children. It is wonderful to think that this writer’s works are still touching and comforting souls in today’s world, although she has been with the Lord for 135 years now. It is somehow irrelevant to me that “Little Pillows” was written for children, for it has touched me with the love that inspired it to be written – more than any great work of theology.

In the first chapter an explanation is given on how the little book came to be written. An aunt, on saying goodnight to her little niece, asks her: “Now shall I give you a little pillow?” On hearing this, the little girl responds that she has one and then in the author’s words…

“Then I told her that, just as we wanted a nice soft pillow to lay our heads down at night, our hearts wanted a pillow too, something to rest upon, some true, sweet word that we might go to sleep upon happily and peacefully. And that it was a good plan always to take a little text for our pillow every night…”

As a child when I had difficulty sleeping, my mother always said to me: “Think about all the nice things.” She too loves the words from Philippians 4v8…

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

What better way to go to sleep, than with lovely, pure thoughts based upon the Word of God?

The following are two links to “Little Pillows, A Book of Good-Night Thoughts” by Frances Ridley Havergal (1891)…

https://archive.org/details/littlepillows00havegoog

http://wonder.riverwillow.com.au/books/little_pillows.htm

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