Ada Habershon was born in London, England, on January 8, 1861, the youngest daughter to “earnest, uncompromising parents”. She devoted her life to the Lord’s service and became a keen student of the Bible.
As a schoolgirl she sat under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and in 1884 found herself helping in the Dwight Moody/Ira Sankey meetings, when that American duo arrived in England. “On several occasions she sang with Mr Sankey”! (The Romance of Sacred Song, by D. Beattie, page 61).
Whilst not being able to testify to a specific date for her conversion, she knew that she had passed “from death unto life”, and sought to lead others to that life-changing experience.
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Her wealth of Biblical insight is evidenced in the books which she wrote, with an emphasis on Biblical types and such themes as “How the New Testament is Concealed in the Old Testament”. It is said of her that “Few women have made a contribution to the cause of biblical scholarship equal to that of Ada Habershon”.
Following her meeting with Moody, he invited her to the USA to deliver lectures on the Old Testament.
Her first hymn was written in 1901 at the suggestion of Charles M. Alexander, and in the following twelve months 200 Gospel songs flowed from her pen. From that time on, until her death seventeen years later, there came a steady stream of over 1000 Gospel songs. Charles Alexander, famous for the Alexander Hymn Book, once described her as the “best Gospel song-writer in the world.” He continued, “She was an invalid all the time, but those who suffer best know how to touch the heart. Miss Habershon is well read, too; she has the Bible in her head as well as in her heart, and all her songs have a Scriptural foundation.”
Among those great hymns is …
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m climbing every day,
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on Higher Ground!”
Also from her pen came such Gospel songs as:
He will hold me fast, and
Come to the Saviour, make no delay.
Besides her hymn writing Miss Habershon also penned some helpful volumes … The Study of Types, Outline Studies on the Tabernacle, Studies in the Parables, .. and others.
This remarkable Bible student/hymn writer was called Home on 1 February, 1918.
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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com