The Story Behind Blessed Assurance
Each and every day we sing praises to His name. We are thankful for all of the blessings that He bestows upon us. The lyrics of the classic hymn 'Blessed Assurance' is the perfect way to worship. And when you hear the story behind the hymn, you will be even more in awe of His amazing grace. Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins! Francis Jane Crosby was born into a family of strong Puritan ancestry in New York on March 24, 1820. As a baby, she had an eye infection which a quack doctor treated by placing hot poultices on her red and inflamed eyelids. The infection did clear up, but scars formed on the eyes, and the baby girl became blind for life. A few months later, Fanny's dad became ill and died. Mercy Crosby, widowed at 21, hired herself out as a maid while Grandmother Eunice Crosby took care of little Fanny. 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. Grandmother took the education of her little granddaughter on herself and became the girl's eyes, vividly describing the physical world. Grandmother's careful teaching helped develop Fanny's descriptive abilities. But Grandmother also nurtured Fanny's spirit. She read and carefully explained the Bible to her, and she always emphasized the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn't learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge.
In 1834 Fanny learned of the New York Institute for the Blind and knew this was the answer to her prayer for an education. She entered the school when she was twelve and went on to teach there for twenty-three years. She became somewhat of a celebrity at the school and was called upon to write poems for almost every conceivable occasion.
On March 5, 1858, Fanny married Alexander van Alstine, a former pupil at the Institute. He was a musician who was considered one of the finest organists in the New York area.
One evening, Fanny's friend and composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp was visiting and played a tune on the piano, asking Fanny what it sounded like. Fanny responded "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!" Phoebe and Fanny then continued to sing the melody and write the lyrics together. An author of more than 8,000 gospel hymn texts, she drew her inspiration from her own faith. Crosby published hymns under several pen names including "Ella Dale," "Mrs. Kate Gringley," and "Miss Viola V. A." Her hymn texts were staples for the music of the most prominent gospel song writers of her day.
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 Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior 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 Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6