One day in 1868, Fanny Crosby recalled, her friend, Dr. Doan, dropped in for a visit and told her he had to catch a train in 40 minutes. He had a melody, he said: could she, in under 40 minutes, write a hymn to it? (The story is reported by CyberHymnal.)
She could and she did (in about 20 minutes); and you can hear that hymn today, sung by the Altar of Praise Chorale.
Fanny Crosby wrote more than 8,000 hymns during her lifetime. This is one of them: Blessed Assurance, from 1873, sung here by Spring Harvest.
Father in Heaven, we thank you for the life and works of Fanny Crosby. Though she was blind, how many did she help to see!
Pressed for time this morning, I couldn’t find quite what I wanted in the form of this wonderful old Fanny Crosby hymn, Draw Me Nearer. But this plain little piano rendition is pretty close to what we sang to, in Sunday school.
I have no idea why so many artists perform this hymn as if it were a dirge. This is one you whistle as you walk down the street! And God will hear it.
There’s so much bizarre and evil news waiting to be written about this morning, I feel positively stymied. So let’s turn to the good news instead.
I’ve posted this hymn many times, and it’s the one I want just now. If there’s one that any of you want, just let me know and I’ll post that, too.
To God Be the Glory–written by Fanny Crosby, here performed by the Apostolic Church Men’s Group. Turn it up, pilgrims–turn it up.
Does not this hymn cry out to you to sing it? He Hideth My Soul, by Fanny Crosby, published in 1890–sung by the whole congregation at Temple Baptist Church in Tennessee. Turn up the volume, turn it up!
Written by Fanny Crosby in 1891, performed here by the Table Singers, My Saviour First of All has a traditional story attached to it.
There was a man in London proclaiming himself to be the returned Jesus Christ, and he was attracting a crowd of followers in the street. But then a Salvation Army band happened to pass by, playing this hymn. And someone in the crowd who knew the words cried out, “Let’s see his hands! Like the song says, ‘I shall know him by the prints of the nails in his hand!”
No nail-prints being visible, the followers went home.
Fanny Crosby was blind almost from birth, and during her lifetime composed some 1,000 hymns, many of which are still loved and sung today. Toward the end of her life, she was asked what she would most like to see, if she could have her sight restored. She surprised the questioner by saying she’d just as soon not have it restored while she lived, because the first thing she wished to see would be the face of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven. Was this woman a hero of the faith, or what?
Fanny composed Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus My Savior in 1869.
Something tells me there are a lot of people singing or listening to this hymn, yesterday and today. It’s the one that was with me when I got up today, so don’t blame me for posting it more than once: To God Be the Glory, by Fanny Crosby, 1875.
Turn up the volume! This version is great in stereo.
Erlene didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to post this classic hymn by Fanny Crosby, Take the World but Give Me Jesus. It’s sung by Voice of Praise, and I wish I knew who provided the photographs.
The beauty of nature is an important witness to God’s glory as its creator, sustainer, and redeemer. It can move us emotionally, because our God intended that it should. To separate the natural world from its Creator is folly–and I don’t think “sin” is too strong a word for it.
Our first hymn request of the day is from Erlene–showing the new visitors how it’s done.
This recording of Fanny Crosby’s Draw Me Nearer, sung by Harry Anthony and James Harrison, is 110 years old! It’s on an antique Edison Records disc.
In addition to the hymn itself, these voices from the past have a glorious message for us: Christ’s Church is forever.