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Updated 06/04/2013

 

To God Be The Glory


Fanny Crosby

Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915) usually known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind from shortly after birth.  Also known for her preaching and speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States.
 

Fanny Crosby was born in Southeast, Putnam County, New York to poor parents, John and Mercy Crosby. At six weeks old, she caught cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. The family physician was not available, and the man who came in his place recommended hot poultices as treatment. The botched procedure blinded her.

Her father died when she was one year old, so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. These women grounded Crosby in Protestant Christian principles, helping her, for example, memorize long passages from the Bible. Crosby became an active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City.


William Doane

At age 15, Crosby enrolled at the New York School for the Blind (now the New York Institute for Special Education). She remained there for seven years. During that time she learned to play the piano and guitar and to sing. In 1843, she joined a group of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. arguing for support of education for the blind. From 1847 to 1858, Crosby joined the faculty at the New York school, teaching English and history. She married Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind musician and fellow teacher, in 1858. At his insistence, she kept her maiden name. They had one daughter, Frances, who died in infancy. Alexander died on July 19, 1902.

Crosby wrote her first hymn in 1863 for the composer William B. Bradbury, a respected musician and publisher. It was called "There's a Cry from Macedonia". Over the years she wrote for Bradbury and for other composers, including Philip Phillips, Hubert P. Main, Dr. Lowry, Dr. W. H. Doane, Ira D. Sankey, Philip P. Bliss, Mr. W. F. Sherwin, and Phoebe Knapp.

The music for “To God Be The Glory” was composed by William Howard Doane.  A gift­ed mu­si­cian, Doane helped di­rect mu­sic while at­tend­ing the Wood­stock Academy; with­in two years he had pub­lished his first com­po­si­tion. Al­though he called music his “avo­ca­tion,” he pro­duced over 2,000 hymn tunes in his life­time. How­ever, his main trade was sec­u­lar: He was pres­i­dent of the J. A. Fay wood­work­ing ma­chin­ery com­pa­ny, and an ex­treme­ly suc­cess­ful bus­i­ness­man. He al­so served as Sun­day School sup­er­in­tend­ent and choir di­rect­or at the Mount Au­burn Bap­tist Church in Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio, and be­queathed large sums to var­i­ous caus­es. The Doane Me­mor­i­al Mu­sic Build­ing in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, was named af­ter him.


Lyrics by Fanny Crosby

 

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Refrain

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Refrain