Grace Livingston Hill – An Introduction
Grace Livingston Hill, daughter of a minister and niece to Isabella Alden, wrote novels, articles, and serialized stories all provoking the question “How can I be saved?” Then in those same stories, she leads the reader step-by-step to Christ. Her complete and simple faith in the Bible as the Word of God and a guide for life and eternity is clearly reflected in her works. She also wrote poetry and created beautiful pieces of art.
She was born on Easter Sunday in 1865, and died in 1947. Writing under both her real name and the pseudonym Marcia Macdonald, Hill wrote over 100 novels in her lifetime. Both her parents and aunt “Pansy” were writers, and encouraged her writing endeavors even when she was but a child.
Her earliest publications included stories printed in Alden’s weekly publication for children, The Pansy, and a children’s book called The Esselstynes. Lack of funds throughout her life–such as that caused by the death of her first husband, or the burden of supporting her widowed mother–motivated much of her writing, though her focus was always to show others their need of a Savior and where they might find Him, call upon Him, and be saved.
(Called by some the pioneer of Christian romance literature, many of her books would not appear on Conquest Press. However, a select few are published here for their power and faithfulness in presenting the Gospel and its message of transformation, restoration, hope, love, and peace.)
Below is a short article Hill wrote for a newspaper in 1902.
A Little Sermon
Grace Livingston Hill
Many people are going through life in a sad uncertainty about their own salvation. Some even count this humble uncertainty a virtue and look askance at bright-faced Christians who say, with a clear ring in their voices, “I know that I am saved.” But the Bible leaves no uncertainty about it. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We have then a right to this knowledge and to the freedom which it gives us.
The guide-posts along the way are plainly printed, that he who runs may read. Are our eyes hazy with the dust of the way that we cannot see, or have we missed the road entirely? The first corner beyond that of hearing is belief. Surely we have not turned aside there! It is our business to apply the tests God has given us if we would know of our salvation. Do we believe on Jesus? Yes? Then, “He that believeth in Me shall never die.” We know that we are saved, because we believe God’s promise, “He that heareth My word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Can anything be more sure?
A little further along we find another test. If we would be sure we are on the straight road to heaven let us look into our hearts and see if we “love the brethren.” Ah! Perhaps it is just here that the trouble lies. We love most of them, all but a few—perhaps all but one, and that one we cannot love because he has sinned against us, and we cannot forgive that sin. But here the road turns sharply away from the straight and narrow path, and broad and downward leads even unto death. In letters of living fire is written the warning that we must forgive if we would hope to be forgiven, and with the forgiveness we must love. Has not Christ done so with us? And if we cannot love the brethren, Christ’s children, we know we are not saved, for “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
But there are other tests. We must have the spirit of God or we are “none of His.” We must be led by that spirit. To have this spirit, to be led by Him daily, hourly, in every thought, word and action, this it is to know intimately the Lord dearest, earthly companion. Then is brought to pass within us that miracle of miracles—which never, until they have experienced it can the children of this world comprehend—the spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. We cannot explain perhaps, we do not know the reason why, but quietly, triumphantly, unanswerably, we can say, “I know!” His spirit has told us so.
F. B. Meyer says:
“Understand that you are so truly one with Him that you died in Him, lay with Him in the garden tomb, rose with Him, ascended with Him back to God, and have been already welcomed and accepted in the beloved. Remember that His Father is your Father, and that you are a son in the Son, and as you dwell in these truths, opening your heart to the Holy Spirit, He will pervade your soul with a blessed conviction that you have eternal life, and that you are a child, not because you feel it, but because God says so.”