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Fanny Crosby

Few could see as clearly as Fanny Crosby. Though blind, her soul was full of light and out of it sang countless hymns still sung around the world today.

Meet Frances Jane Crosby

Frances Jane Crosby is better known as Fanny Crosby, affectionately known as Aunt Fanny, and after being married, was known as Mrs. Van Alystyne.

At only six weeks old, an incapable doctor in New York blinded her. Even from a young age, Fanny believed her blindness was a gift from God. 

She was acquainted with the God of the Bible from a young age—she would memorize whole books of the Bible!

Fanny always remembers knowing and loving Jesus, but says that later in her adult life she truly grasped what he did for her personally in his death and resurrection. It was knowing Jesus Christ that filled Fanny’s life with light and joy, and inspired her songs.

She loved writing poetry and hymns, and composing music. Her lyrics are still sung by modern artists today, and her hymns are some of the most famous Christian hymns in the world. 

Some of her more popular hymns are, “To God Be the Glory,” “Praise Him, Praise Him,” “Draw me Close,” and “Blessed Assurance.” 

Not only was Fanny a poet, writer, and composer, but she was also a Baptist deaconess, and missionary. After living a rich life, she passed away at the age of 94.

The Life of Fanny Crosby

Birth
Fanny Crosby was born in New York, and at 6 weeks old, she was blinded.
Education
She enrolled in the New York Institute for the Blind (NYIB), where she later taught.
Publishing
Fanny published her first volume, The Blind Girl and Other Poems.
Publishing
Fanny published her second volume, Monterey and Other Poems.
Marriage
She married Alexander Van Alystyne (she was 38, while he was 27, and a fellow teacher) who accompanied her hymns on the organ.
Publishing
Fanny published her last volume of poetry, Bells at Evening and Other Verses.
Writing
She wrote an autobiography, titled Fanny Crosby’s Life Story.
Writing
Fanny wrote a second autobiography, Memories of Eighty Years.
Death
Fanny died at 94 years old after being sick for six months. At her request, her small gravestone reads, “Aunt Fanny: She hath done what she could; Fanny J. Crosby.”
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Infographic

Blessed Assurance
by Fanny Crosby
Wallpaper

We have made a graphic so you can keep the hymn "Blessed Assurance" on your phone as your background or screensaver!

Testimony
Verse
John 9:3 NIV

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Article: 12 Min

Fanny Crosby:
Prolific and Blind
Hymn Writer

by J.I. Packer at Christianity Today

Quote

Oh, what a happy
soul I am, 

although I cannot see! 
I am resolved
that in this world
contented I will be. 
How many blessings
I enjoy t
hat other
people don't. 

To weep and sigh
because I'm blind 

I cannot, and I won't!

Fanny Crosby, Age 8
Verse
2 Corinthians 4:4-6 NIV

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Impact
Video: 5 Min
by Worship 101 Hymn Stories

Hymns

Blessed Assurance

by The Worship Initiative
Article: 10 Min

Fanny Crosby

by J.H. Hall at the Hymnology Archive

by Stephen Nichols, 5 Min
Quote

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.

Fanny Crosby
Verse
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Hymns

The Favorite Hymns of Fanny Crosby

by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Quote

Take the world,
but give me Jesus;
In his cross my trust shall be,
Till, with clearer,
brighter vision
face to face
my Lord I see.

Hymns

Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns of Fanny Crosby

by Various Artists
Books
Books
Quote

Someday the silver
cord will break,
and I no more
as now shall sing;

but oh, the joy
when I shall wake
within the palace of the king!
And I shall see him
face to face, 

and tell the story—
saved by grace!

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