Blessed Assurance

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Hymn Stories

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end. (Hebrews 6:11)

Frances (Fanny) Jane Crosby was born in 1823 in New York State, and in her first months tragedy struck. She had fallen sick with a cold and her eyes were inflamed. In an effort to relieve her suffering, a warm poultice was applied to her eyes and robbed her of her sight. A few months later, death took her father from her too and she was left to be raise by her mother and grandmother.

Rather than descend into bitterness as she grew, her faith gave her a solid foundation. Aged eight she wrote:

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

In later life 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."

She married a blind clergyman, the Rev. Alexander Van Alstyne, and was a prodigious hymn writer throughout her long life producing over eight thousand hymns. They were hugely popular, with total worldwide sales of over one hundred million copies. The words of this blind lady opened the eyes of many a Christian heart to the beauty of their saviour.

She died aged 92 in 1915, having earlier in her life written: "when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour".

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

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.

The Sluggard

"I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. " (Proverbs 24:30-32) - His attention drifted, and he became less alert.

“He Cried Out All the More”

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47–48) - In the end, though, it is only Jesus who can give you answers to the questions you have.

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