May 5, 2012

Who Was Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby is probably the most prolific writer of hymns of all time. She wrote the lyrics to over 8000 hymns, and according to her biographers, she didn’t even begin composing religious music until she was forty-five.

One day, Crosby was visited by William Doane, a composer with whom Fanny had collaborated on hymns in the past. Doane was on his way to a Sunday School convention, and he had only forty minutes before he had to catch a train. He hoped Crosby could write the lyrics to a new song which he played for her.

Fanny turned to her desk, and shortly, she handed Doane the words to Safe in the Arms of Jesus, a hymn which has brought peace to countless family members who have lost loved ones.

When Fanny Crosby was just eight years old, she wrote these lines,
“How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don’t.To weep and sigh because I am blind, I cannot and I won’t”
It’s a fact. Fanny Crosby, one of our most beloved and appreciated hymnodists, was blinded when she was just an infant, yet her music reveals that her faith and trust in God never wavered.

Fannie Crosby’s favorite hymn was not one that she wrote. The lyrics reminded Crosby, as they remind us, to maintain our faith in God regardless of our circumstances. Here is the first verse of Fanny Crosby’s favorite hymn Faith of Our Fathers: 
"Faith of our Fathers, living still, in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword; 
O how our hearts beat high with joy when-e’re we hear that glorious word.  
Faith of our fathers, holy faith! We will be true to thee til death."