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Fanny Crosby wrote more than 9,000 hymns in her lifetime of ninety-five years and many of them have been an important part of evangelical worship for the past century.

The most remarkable thing about her was that she had done so in spite of her blindness—she became blind at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment.

One day a well-meaning preacher said to her "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you."

Fanny Crosby responded at once, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind. Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour."

Crosby set a goal of winning a million people to Christ through her hymns, and whenever she wrote a hymn she prayed it would bring women and men to Christ. She described her hymn-writing process: 'It may seem a little old

-fashioned, always to begin one's work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration.'

Often musician friends would first compose the music and then ask Fanny for matching words. Such was the prompting for the hymn “Blessed Assurance.”

One day Mrs. Joseph (Phoebe) Knapp, a close personal friend, visited Fanny in her New York home.

“Oh Fanny, I have had a new melody racing through my mind for some time now, and I just can't think of anything else. Let me play it for you and perhaps you can help me with the words.”

After kneeling in prayer and clutching her little Bible, the blind poetess stood to her feet with face aglow: “Why, that mu s i c s ay s , ”Bles sed Assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine. . . .””


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