Behind the Song Sunday: Blessed Assurance

 

Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby went blind at the age of six weeks in 1820. Her blindness was not necessary but was due to an improper medical procedure.
One day in 1873, Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp. Phoebe began to play a tune for Fanny, which she {Phoebe} had composed. She asked Fanny what the tune said to her. Fanny’s answer: “That says Blessed Assurance”. Fanny then quickly composed the words for her popular hymn.

 

In July of that year, the hymn appeared on the last page of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer of 14 Bible House, New York City.

 

The song became very well-known with the popular 19th Century Evangelist, Dwight L. Moody. He often used this hymn and many of Fanny Crosby’s other hymns in his crusades.

In the summer of 1894, Fanny Crosby was in Northfield, Massachusetts and attended a revival with Dwight L. Moody. She did not Blessed Assurancewant to be recognized, but when Moody’s son, Will, offered her a seat he realized who she was. Moody asked Fanny to speak and share her testimony. At first she refused, but finally relented. While her hymn was sung, Will led her to the platform where Fanny received a standing ovation upon being recognized.

 

Fanny Crosby lived to be 95 years old. She wrote over eight thousand songs and hymns throughout her lifetime. She said she always asked God for inspiration before she began to write. She used over two hundred pseudonyms besides her own name. Although Fanny did not want a large tombstone, a large memorial stone was erected over her grave. On the memorial is transcribed the first stanza of Blessed Assurance.

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Behind the Song: Blessed Assurance