Blessed Assurance

The writer of this great hymn, Fanny Crosby, lived to be almost ninety-five years of age and during that time penned the staggering total of over eight thousand sacred songs and hymns.

What is even more remarkable is the fact that this great life’s work was accomplished without the aid of eyesight.

When she was only six weeks old, baby Fanny Crosby caught a cold. Her eyes became terribly inflamed and a country doctor prescribed, of all things, a mustard poultice. The desperate remedy resulted in the child’s immediate blindness.

Even the then famous New York Surgeon, Dr. Valentine Mott, could do nothing to help her. Showing Fanny and her widowed mother to the door after his examination which confirmed the hopelessness of her condition he was heard to lament, ‘Poor little blind girl!’

However, Fanny Crosby was to turn her affliction in to an asset and in later years looked upon her blindness as a blessing.

When she was twelve she entered the New York Institute for the Blind and was so successful as a student that in later years, from 1847 until 1858 she taught in the same school.

She began writing poetry at the age of eight with this simple little verse:

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

It was much later, however, while working at the Institute for the Blind, that she began to develop her talent for writing and to turn it into something profitable.

Her popular, secular verse made her name famous. Such songs as “Rosalie The Prairie Flower” and “There’s Music In The Air”, were set to music by composer George Root and sold in sheet music by the thousands.

An interesting sidelight here is that the male secretary of the Institute’s superintendent used to take down the lines of verse as Fanny Crosby dictated them. In fact, on at least one occasion they were both reprimanded for this ‘waste of the school’s time.’

That school secretary was called Grover Cleveland and many a time in later years he was to set aside the important affairs of the presidency to take dictation from his welcome White House guest, Fanny Crosby.

She was 44 years old when she gave up secular songs to devote her full energies to sacred compositions. From her prolific pen flowed such popular and all time favorites as “Near The Cross”, “Safe In The Arms Of Jesus”, “Rescue The Perishing”, “Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour” and “Blessed Assurance”.

The story behind the writing of “Blessed assurance” is simple, yet interesting.

One day Miss Crosby was in the home of her friend Mrs Joseph F. Knapp. In the Knapp home

was installed what was believed to be the largest pipe organ ever placed in a private dwelling. However, on this particular day Mrs Knapp called her guest over to the piano to listen to a new melody she had just composed. After playing the tune a few times she asked, ‘What do you think the tune says?’

“Blessed assurance Jesus is mine”, answered Fanny Crosby, and then, drawing from her vast storehouse of Scripture knowledge, continued with:

Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

In a very short time a new sacred song was born with words by Fanny Crosby and music by Mrs. J. F. Knapp.

Although written as far back as 1873 Blessed Assurance still remains a firm favorite with Christians everywhere.

I have personal, vivid memories of it being sung rousingly at summer beach-meetings and in the open air; its sweet and lively strains wafting over the dear air and telling out the testimony of those who sang …

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Saviour am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Blessed Assurance

  1. Mary Brucker

    She was an amazing lady that is for sure. What a gifted person.

  2. Yes, she was. I wish I could make music like she did. You too, are a gifted piano teacher, as well. Who know, perhaps if you lived when she did you could of composed her music?

  3. I always loved the song, but studying her life made it more meaningful . . . and I feel lazy besides. She wrote thousands of hymns and blessed so many. Saved later in life, she still bore so much fruit. Oh, to be as she was.

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