How Sweet the NameJesusSounds
I'm Not Ashamed to Own My Lord
He Hideth My Soul
Words: Fanny Crosby
Music: William J. Kirkpatric
_Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), usually known as Fanny Crosby in the United States and by her married name, Frances van Alstyne, in the United Kingdom, was an American Methodist rescue mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer.
Fanny Crosby was probably the most prolific hymnist in history; she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she said:
It seemed intended by the blessed
providence of God that I should be
blind all my life, and I thank him for the
dispensation. If perfect earthly sight
were offered me tomorrow I would not
accept it. I might not have sung hymns
to the praise of God if I had been
distracted by the beautiful and
interesting things about me.
When six weeks old, Crosby caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharges. According to Crosby, this procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her. Many physicians today, however, "suggest it is much more likely that her blindness was congenital", and that "at such an early age her sightless condition may well have escaped her parents".
At the age of eight Crosby wrote her first poem, which described her condition:
Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don't;
o weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't.
With the encouragement of her grandmother, and later Mrs. Hawley, from the age of ten, Crosby had memorized five chapters of the Bible each week, until by the age of fifteen Crosby had memorized the four gospels, the Pentateuch, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms.
In 1835, just before her 15th birthday, Crosby enrolled at the New York Institution for the Blind (NYIB), a state-financed asylum. She remained there for eight years as a student, and another two years as a graduate pupil, during which she learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and became a good soprano singer.
On January 24, 1844, Crosby was one of seventeen students from the NYIB who gave a concert for Congress, and she recited a thirteen stanza original composition that called for the creation of an institution for the education of the blind in every state. This "drew calls for an encore", and earned the congratulations of John Quincy Adams.
In 1846 Crosby was an instructor at the NYIB, and was listed as a "graduate pupil". She subsequently joined the school's faculty, teaching grammar, rhetoric, and history; While teaching at the NYIB Crosby befriended future US president Grover Cleveland then aged 17. Cleveland and Crosby spent many hours together at the end of each day, and Cleveland often transcibed the poems Crosby dictated to him.
In addition to poems of welcome to visiting dignitaries, Crosby wrote songs of a political nature, such as about the major battles of the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. By the 1840 US Presidential election, Crosby was "an ardent Democrat" and wrote verse against the Whig candidate (and ultimate winner), William Henry Harrison. By 1852 Crosby switched her political allegiance from support for the Jacksonian Democrats to the anti-slavery Whigs, writing the poem "Carry Me On" for the Whigs in 1852. After the election of Democrat Franklin Pierce as US President in November 1856, she wrote:
The election's past and I'm pierced at lastThe locos have gained the day. A "strict abolitionist", Crosby supported Abraham Lincoln and the newly-created Republican Party.
He Hideth My Soul
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.
With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!
When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high.
_On her 85th birthday, American president Grover Cleveland wrote to Fanny:
My dear friend:
It is more than fifty years ago that our acquaintance and friendship began; and ever since that time I have watched your continuous and interested labor in uplifting humanity, and pointing out the way to an appreciation of God’s goodness and mercy.
Though your labors have, I know, brought you abundant rewards in your consciousness of good accomplished, those who have known of your works and sympathized with your noble purposes owe it to themselves that you are apprized of their remembrance of these things. I am, therefore, exceedingly gratified to learn that your eighty-fifth birthday is to be celebrated with a demonstration of this remembrance. As one proud to call you an old friend, I desire to be early in congratulating you on your long life of usefulness, and wishing you in the years yet to be added to you, the peace and comfort born of the love of God.
Yours very sincerely,
Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.] Like many of the lyricists of the day, Crosby was exploited by copyright conventions that assigned rights not to the lyricist but to the composer of the music; ... Crosby was paid a flat fee of one or two dollars a hymn.
See list of pseudonyms Here
Crosby was "the most prolific of all nineteenth-century American sacred song writers". By the end of her career she had written almost 9,000 hymns, using scores of noms de plume assigned to her by publishers who wanted to disguise the proliferation of her compositions in their publications. It is estimated that books containing her lyrics sold 100 million copies. However, due to the low regard for lyricists in the popular song industry during her lifetime, and what June Hadden Hobbs sees as "the hypocrisy of sacred music publishers" which resulted for Crosby in "a sad and probably representative tale of exploitation of female hymn writers", and the contemporary perception that "Crosby made a very profitable living off writing songs that were sung (and played) by the masses", "like many of the lyricists of the day, Crosby was exploited by copyright conventions that assigned rights not to the lyricist but to the composer of the music... Crosby was paid a flat fee of one or two dollars a hymn". In her 1906 autobiography, Crosby insisted that she wrote her hymns "in a sanctified manner", and never for financial or commercial considerations, and that she had donated her royalties to "worthy causes". Crosby set a goal of winning a million people to Christ through her hymns, and whenever she wrote a hymn she prayed it would bring women and men to Christ, and kept careful records of those reported to have been saved through her hymns.
1. Narrate brief history of Fanny Crosby
2. Learn hymn
3. Notebook page
4. What did Fanny say about her blindness?
5. Truth in Real Life: Fanny Crosby