Blessed Assurance Hymn is one of the songs of faith that declare the faith we have in God. The text of the hymn was written in 1873 by a prolific hymn write named Fanny Crosby. She is actually one of the influential, well known, and well love hymn writers in history. The text of the Hymn is about the love and assurance we have in Jesus the saviour. The faith-filled lyrics Hymn is indeed dearest to the heart of millions of Christians worldwide. Also, it has inspired a lot of people spanning from singers to people in the evangelistic field and theologians.
The Hymn Writer
The writer of the hymn Fanny Jane Crosby was born on the 24th March 1820 in Southeast, Putnam County, New York City. She was the first and last child of her parents, Mr. John and Mercy Crosby. Fanny lost her father six months after her birth and was brought up by her maternal grandmother who was a devoted Christian. Her mother was virtually available because of the maid job she was doing to support the family.
Fanny Crosby was able to see for two months until she has an eye inflammation. She was treated by a stranger who claimed to be medical personnel because the family’s physician was not around. He applied his cure poultices on her eyes in order to get rid of the infection. The infection was actually cleared but the poultice left white scars on her eyes and that caused damages to her sight. They took Fanny to a renowned New York surgeon named Dr. Valentine Mott. However, there was nothing he could do to bring her sight back. Actually, she could sense it when there was light and when there was no light but she was unable to see the vision of light again.
The blind little girl’s grandmother was a blessing to her upbringing in a Christian way and educational experience. Fanny’s precious grandmother dedicated most of her time to read Bible and selected poetry and literature to her. As a result of this, Fanny was able to memorize long parts of the Old and New Testament through active listening to her grandmother. In addition, she started writing at a younger age and wrote her first poem when she was eight. Fanny actually cherished her family’s value for morality, integrity, loyalty, and devotion to duty that her grandmother instilled in her to the core. Obviously, this showed in her lifelong work and ministry.
Though Fanny was brought up in a Christian way, she actually committed her life to Christ in 1950 before the Lord in New York’s Broadway Tabernacle. Thereafter, she became a member of Sixth Avenue Bible Baptist Church in Brooklyn and served as a lay preacher, deaconess, and urban missionary. In fact, she was known very well for her teaching and rescue mission assignment.
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When Crosby was fifteen, she got an admission to the New York Institution for the Blind for her education. Afterward, she was retained at the institution to serve as a teacher. Fanny blossomed under the privilege of the institution and was open to lots of opportunities to excel in her talent as a poet. In particular, she found composing verse natural and wrote a lot for herself and others. Of course, Fanny was able to write lyrics for music scores of songs like There’s Music in the Air and Hazel Dell to mention a few. Also, she worked with the school music instructor, George F. Root, to write a cantata called The Flower Queen.
However, Fanny started writing hymn verses that can be set into music from 1851 and her hymns started to appear in various denomination hymnals around the 1860s. Crosby chooses and used many words from the Bible in transformational ways to write the text of her hymns. Truly, her hymn sometimes exhibits text that goes beyond an ordinary talent. Over the course of her life, Fanny Jane Crosby has written over 9,000 which include Blessed Assurance and some well-known hymns today. She wrote hymns like Keep Me Near the Cross, Blessed Assurance, Rescue the Perishing, and To God Be the Glory to mention a few.
She retired in 1958 and married Alexander Van Alstyne, a music composer that also sight issue like her. However, Fanny never stops using her maiden name as a signature for her hymns for publication. The famous blind hymnologist passed onto glory to be with her saviour on the 12th of February 1915. During her life, she was one of the famous women in America. Even now, her work is in most American Hymnals.
The Story Behind the Hymn
Many people thought Fanny Crosby in 1873 finds inspiration for the song through the passage of Hebrews 10:22. ” Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (KJV). Because she wrote the hymn on a whim. Though without any spiritual background it might be difficult to write down the text of inspiring hymn as blessed assurance in a very short time like she did. Fanny herself has already declared inspiration from the Almighty God as the source of all her hymns.
The hymn was birth on one blessed day in 1873 when Fanny pays her friend Mrs. Phoebe Palmer Knapp a visit to her house. During the visit, Phobe Knapp played a new tune she had composed for Crosby’s listen. Thereafter, she asked Fanny Crosby what her thought was on the tune she just played said. In reply, Crosby said Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. She then continued with other words of the hymn. Mrs. Knapp wrote the words down and fit them into the tune as we have it today.
The whole text of the hymn focal point is heaven, a perfect place where “perfect submission” and “perfect delight” will come about. Blessed Assurance as a hymn has stood the test of time. Up to date, it’s one of the most famous hymns loved and sing in occasions and churches. Besides, the hymn keeps enriching various congregations in the whole household of Christian faith.
The full text and score of the hymn were published on page 36 of a magazine called Issue of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany in July 1873. Specifically, the magazine is printed by the parent of Mrs. Knapp who is an evangelist. However, there is no source that confirmed that the magazine was the first to print Blessed Assurance Hymn. But it actually assisted in making the inspiring hymn popular as of today. The tune is called Blessed Assurance or Assurance in relation to Fanny Crosby’s text.
The Tune for The Hymn
The tune for this hymn: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” written in 9:10:9:9 meter and 9:9:9:9 refrain was composed by Phoebe Palmer Knapp (later Mrs. Joseph F Knapp). Mrs. Knapp is also a well-known hymnist and composer of many hymn tune and text. The tune fits in well with the words of the hymn. This might be as a result of composing the tune before the text. On the other hand, the tune is not difficult to sing because it has a well-established rhythmic pattern. However, one should be consistent in handling the long notes after each phrase.
The tune is called Blessed Assurance or Assurance in relation to Fanny Crosby’s text. The full text and score of the hymn were published on page 36 of a magazine called Issue of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany in July 1873. Specifically, the magazine is printed by the parent of Mrs. Knapp who is an evangelist. However, there is no source that confirmed that the magazine was the first to print the hymn. But it actually assisted in making the inspiring hymn popular as of today.
In fact, after the publication, the hymn enjoyed instantaneous popularity in America. In the year 1873 Blessed Assurance has been inside Methodist publications. Also in 1888, the Disciples of Christ published it in her Hymnal. Thereafter, Methodist Churches of Canada added the hymn to their collection in 1889. Likewise, in the year 1898, more hymnals in America and the Church of the Brethren-Dunkers added the hymn.
The Blessed Assurance hymn delivering a word of assurance and comfort from the Lord to you. Remain blessed as you listen to the mp3 of the hymn Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine below:
Click here and listen to Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine Hymn Mp3
Courtesy of The Celebration Choir – (c)1995 Integrity Music
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