Poetess, Hymnwriter, Child of God
Taken from Memories of Eighty Years, by Fanny Crosby
On becoming blind:
"When I was six weeks of age a slight cold caused an inflammation of the eyes, which appeared to demand the attention of the family physician; but he not being at home, a stranger was called. He recommended the use of hot poultices, which ultimately destroyed the sense of sight. When this sad misfortune became known throughout our neighborhood, the unfortunate man thought it best to leave; and we never heard of him again. But I have not for a moment, in more than eighty-five years, felt a spark of resentment against him because I have always believed from my youth to this very moment that the good Lord, in His Infinite Mercy, by this means consecrated me to the work that I am still permitted to do.
When I remember His mercy and loving kindness; when I have been blessed above the common lot of mortals; and when happiness has touched the deep places of my soul, -- how can I repine? And I have often thought of the passage of Scripture: "The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
On her blindness:
One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?" "Why?" asked the surprised clergyman. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"At the age of 8 or 9 (by her memory) Fanny penned the following poem:
"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
That other people don't!
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot nor I won't."
On her surrender to Christ:
The year 1850 was a memorable one, for it was the year of her conversion and consecration to God's service. Revival Meetings were being held in a Methodist Church near by. "Some of us," she writes, "went every evening, but although I sought peace, I could not find the joy I craved, until one evening — November 20, 1850 — I arose and went forward alone. After prayer the congregation began to sing the grand old consecration hymn of Dr. Isaac Watts:
"Alas and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred Head
For such a worm as I?"
And when they reached the 3rd line of the last verse
"Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'Tis all that I can do."
I surrendered myself to the Saviour, and my very soul was flooded with celestial light. I sprang to my feet, shouting "Hallelujah."
"I am Thine, O Lord;I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me,
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee."
"Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine.
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope
And my will be lost in Thine."