The following article appeared in The Christian Workers Magazine; Vol. 20; No. 1; September, 1919:
Safe in the Arms of Jesus: “The author of this beautiful gospel hymn, Fanny Crosby, (1820-1915) was made blind when she was six weeks old, by the carelessness of a physician who treated her for a slight inflammation of the eyes. She was converted very early in life and she never had one regret that she could not use her eyes, for she said, “I am thus able to see things I never would have discovered if like most folks, my time and attention was taken up with form, fashion and color.” Even at eight years of age this idea was in her mind as she showed the poetry that was in her soul, when she wrote:
“O what a happy soul am I!
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, and I won’t.”
In 1844, at twenty-four years of age, she was taken to congress to recite one of her poems in the interest of some pending legislation to benefit the blind. In her audience was John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Hannibal Hamlin, Stephen A. Douglass, Rufus Choate, Hamilton Fish, Alexander Stephens, and Jefferson Davis.
It was in 1868 that William Howard Doane came rushing into her study one day saying, “Fanny, I have forty-five minutes before I have to take a train for Cincinnati, and I have just written a melody for which I want you to write some words. Give me fifteen minutes to catch the train, but let me have at least three verses.” She was in one of her writing moods and going into her room alone after he had hummed the melody for which he wanted the words, she came out in fifteen minutes with the three verses, as we sing them.
When General Grant’s funeral was being conducted in New York, and the bells of the city were tolling his requiem, the band played softly, as the body was sealed in the tomb, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” *Fanny Crosby wrote more than 3,000 hymns and poems, including “Blessed Assurance” (Jesus is Mine). ¹
Safe In The Arms of Jesus—Altar of Praise Chorale