Friday, March 23, 2012

This Is Her Song

Oh the unsearchable riches of Christ! Wealth that can never be told!
Riches exhaustless of mercy and grace, Precious, more precious than gold!

(Refrain) Precious, more precious--Wealth that can never be told;
O the unsearchable riches of Christ--Precious, more precious than gold!

O the unsearchable riches of Christ! Who shall their greatness declare!
Jewels whose luster our lives may adorn, Pearls that the poorest may wear!

O the unsearchable riches of Christ! Freely, how freely they flow,
Making the souls of the faithful and true, Happy wherever they go!

O the unsearchable riches of Christ! Who would not gladly endure
Trials, afflictions, and crosses on earth, Riches like these to secure!

As I've had the joy of diving into the works of Fanny Crosby, I'm overwhelmed by the vast number of words she strung together through the Holy Spirit's guidance to form so many beautiful hymns. It is no wonder that many of her lines come straight from Scripture, since as a child she memorized the Pentateuch, Proverbs, Song of Songs, many of the Psalms, and all four Gospels! Now that's more impressive than writing over 9,000 hymns!

Thanks for Thy Word, O blessed Redeemer! Open our eyes its beauty to see;
Grant us Thy grace to study it wisely, Close every heart to all but Thee.

(Refrain) Thanks for the Bible, off’ring so freely Pardon and peace to all who believe;
Help us, O Lord, its counsel to follow, Meekly by faith its truth receive.

Thanks for Thy Word of precept and promise, Lamp to our feet and light to our way,
Points us afar where pleasures immortal Bloom in Thine own bright realm of day.

Blessed are they who keep its commandments, They shall abide for ever with Thee;
Close by the clear and beautiful river, Sharing the fruits of life’s fair tree.

I've read through over 100 of them now, so I guess I'm at least a tenth of the way through. (Thankfully she's not one of those that writes 10 or 15 verses for each hymn!) There's a great source online where you can read nearly 500 of her hymns, as well as a list of 99 of her pen names she used so that the hymnals printed in her day would not have her name all over it.

I mentioned earlier this week that three main themes in her hymns were praising God, drawing near to Him, and looking forward to heaven. But I failed to mention one other prominent one, that of sharing the gospel.

Send the Light, oh, send it quickly Far across the heaving main;
Speed the news of full salvation, Thro’ a dear Redeemer’s Name.

(Refrain) Send the Light, oh, send it quickly To the isles beyond the sea;
Let them hear the wondrous story—Love is boundless, grace is free!

Send the Light, where souls are dying In their darkness, gloom, and night;
Haste, oh haste! the days are fleeting, And the hours—how swift their flight.

Send the Light—the Lord commands it! To His Holy Word attend:
“Go ye forth and preach My Gospel; Lo! I’m with you to the end.”

She worked closely with D.L. Moody & Ira Sankey, supplying hymns for their crusades and tent meetings. In fact, Sankey composed the music for many of her hymns, including the one above.

During this time she was under contract with her publisher to submit three hymns a week, but often wrote six or seven each day. Moody's revival meetings and Sankey's strong baritone voice together helped popularize Fanny's hymns, such as "Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior" and "To God Be the Glory", in America and across the world.

Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

(Refrain) Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition; Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit, Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit, Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the Spring of all my comfort, More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee? Whom in Heav’n but Thee?

Because of her participation in this ministry, a great number of her hymns are devoted to calling sinners to repentance, pleading with believers to "rescue the perishing", and begging the Lord for mercy and grace. Along those same lines, she wrote many a verse on praising and thanking God for His work of salvation toward helpless, guilty sinners like herself. Like you and me.

O what a blessing, how can I express it? Out of the fullness of rapture I sing,
Now by the Father received and adopted, I am a child and an heir of a King.

(Refrain) I am adopted, O wonderful love, Heir to a heritage purchased above;
Tell it, my soul, and joyfully sing, I am a child and an heir of a King.

O what a Father, how tenderly gracious, O what a Savior to make me His care;
Tho’ I have slighted, rejected, and grieved Him, Still He permits me His kingdom to share.

O the unsearchable riches He giveth, Riches increasing from day unto day;
Treasures in value all others excelling, Treasures that never will rust nor decay.

When I have finished the work He appoints me, When I have ended my journey below,
Then to my Father and Jesus my Savior, Home to a beautiful palace I go.

No comments:

Post a Comment