Monday, 25 February 2008

A Prayer Is Answered - and Fanny Crosby Writes Another Hymn

Among many characteristics of the blond poetess Fanny Crosby, three stand out. She always carried a little American flag. She either held it in her hand or kept it in her bag, and it was buried with her when she died in 1915 at the age of 95. Though blinded in infancy, the petite "Aunt Fanny" (she was Mrs. Alexander Van Alstyne in private life) greeted friends and strangers alike with a cheerful "God bless you dear soul." And, according to her own statement, she never attempted to write a hymn without first kneeling in prayer. If this be true, Fanny Crosby spent considerable time on her knees. She wrote no less than 8,000 songs. So many that critics have said the chief fault with her work lies in that she was too prolific. But none can deny that many "pearls are found among the oyster shells."

Under contract for three hymns a week, Miss Crosby was often under pressure to meet deadlines. It was under such circumstances in 1869 that she tried to write words for a tune Composer W.H. Doane had sent her. But she couldn't write. Then she remembered she had forgotten her prayer. Rising from her knees, she dictated - as fast as her assistant could write - the words for the famous hymn, "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross."

But one day in 1874, Fanny Crosby prayed for more material things. She had run short of money and needed $5.00 - even change. There was no time to draw on her publishers, so she simply prayed for the money. Her prayer ended, she was walking to and fro in her room trying to "get in the mood" for another hymn when an admirer called. Greeting the stranger with "God bless you dear soul," the two chatted briefly. In the parting handshake the admirer left something in the hymn-writer's hand. It was five dollars--even change. Rising from a prayer of thanks the blind poetess wrote:

By Fanny Crosby 1820-1915

All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate'er befalls me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Saviour leads me;
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Saviour leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest for to me is promised
In my Father's house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song thro' endless ages;
Jesus led me all the way.

God bless,
Country Mama


Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

What an amazing testimony and story. I love hearing the stories behind the hymns. Often times, it seems, the hymns were written as a result of God working in their life rather than just some people sitting down and writing random rhymes. Great story.

fundamentalistwives said...

Bro. Nicholas,
You are right. Many times they had to face very hard situations and circumstances and they allowed God to use that in thier lives to give us a great blessing.
God bless,
Country Mama

maranatha777 said...

I absolutely LOVE Fanny Crosby!! Great post!


fundamentalistwives said...

She has a wonderful testimony. Just imagine what we would have been missing if it weren't for the Lord using her in such a wonderful way.
Country Mama