Thursday, 17 January 2008

I'd better be born blind!

inspired by Hendy's blog

Fanny Crosby, known as an American hymn writer and poetess, Fanny Crosby wrote over 9,000 hymns during her life. She entered the NY Institute in at the age of fifteen and afterward taught English and history (1847-58). As a pupil and as a teacher, Fanny spent 35 years at the school. Her first book of poems was published in 1844 was called The Blind Girl and Other Poems.
In 1858, she published a book called "A Wreath of Columbia's Flowers". It is collection of secular stories and poems filled with the same emotional tone she gave her hymns. Her last book, Memories of Eighty Years, was published in 1906.

One biographer wrote of her, "...in her day, she was considered by most people to be the greatest in America. As Johann Strauss reigned in Vienna as the "Waltz King", and John Phillip Sousa in Washington as the "March King", so Fanny Crosby reigned in New York in the later nineteenth and early twentieth century as the "Hymn Queen".

Although blinded by an illness at the age of 6 weeks, she never became bitter. One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?"
"Why?" asked the surprised clergyman. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"

One of Miss Crosby's hymns was so personal that for years she kept it to herself. Kenneth Osbeck, author of several books on hymnology, says its revelation to the public came about this way: "One day at the Bible conference in Northfield, Massachusetts, Miss Crosby was asked by D.L. Moody to give a personal testimony. At first she hesitated, then quietly rose and said,

'There is one hymn I have written which has never been published. I call it my soul's poem. Sometimes when I am troubled, I repeat it to myself, for it brings comfort to my heart.' She then recited while many wept:

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!

Refrain
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace;
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace.

At the age of 95 Fanny Crosby passed on and on her grave in Bridgeport, Conn., there is a simple little headstone with the name "Aunt Fanny," and these words:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.

another F. Crosby hymn :

MY SAVIOUR FIRST OF ALL
When my lifework is ended,
and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

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