Thursday, February 11, 2016

For All the Saints: Fanny Crosby

On the Episcopal Church calendar, poet Fanny Crosby is honored today. Frances Jane (Crosby) van Alstyne (1820-1915), who lost her sight during infancy, wrote over 8000 hymns and gospel songs, as well as over 1000 secular poems and other works. Her hymns---like "Blessed Assurance," "Praise Him, Praise Him," "To God Be the Glory," "I Am Thine, O Lord (Draw Me Nearer)," "Rescue the Perishing," and others were popular evangelistic and revival hymns and remain popular selections in many hymnals. They were certainly among the first hymns I learned during childhood Sunday school! During her long life, she was also involved in rescue mission work and in public speaking. According to the Christianity Today site, she was at one stage under contract to send her publisher three hymns a week, but she was known to write several a day.

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