Volume. XXVI, No. 39
Sunday, 25 March 2012

Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord: Life and Ministry of The Christian Hymn Writers 2

(Continued from last Lord’s Day.... By Dn Wai Kin Wong)
Frances Jane Crosby   (1820 - 1915)

Frances Jane "Fanny" Crosby was an American hymn writer and poetess, who wrote over 8,000 hymns during her life. To name only a few, what immortal glory belongs to the author of "Pass me not, O gentle Saviour," "Rescue the perishing," "I am Thine, O Lord," "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine," "Jesus, keep me near the cross," "\'Tis the blessed hour of prayer," "Safe in the arms of Jesus," "All the way my Saviour leads me," "Jesus is tenderly calling thee home" and "Lord, at Thy mercy-seat humbly I fall."  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!"

Fanny Crosby was born on the 24th March 1820 in Putnam County, New York.  Though blinded by an incompetent doctor at six weeks of age, she wrote over eight thousand hymns. About her blindness, she also said: "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me."

She wrote her first hymn on February 5, 1864, for W. B. Bradbury, and ever since that time he, and his successors, Biglow and Main, have been her publishers, accepting and paying for all that she wrote. She wrote many hymns for such singers and composers as Sankey, Doane, Lowry, Philip Phillips, Sweney, Sherwin and Kirkpatrick.

Fanny Crosby wrote very rapidly, and some of her most famous hymns were dictated almost as fast as the words could be taken down. Her hymns are full of the Bible with which her memory is stored. When she was a mere child she committed to memory the first four books of the Old Testament and the four Gospels.

To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work.  When she died, her tombstone carried the words, Aunt Fanny and Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.

John Newton   (1725 - 1807)

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound... So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or “45 on the top” in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace. Other notable hymns include “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” John Newton also collaborated with William Cowper in producing the "Olney Hymns."
Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. John’s early years was spent on the high seas, making six voyages with his father followed by a brief service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman. After serving with a slave trader and undergoing brutal abuse, he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John\'s father in 1748. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.
Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his "great deliverance." He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy upon us." Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.

For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. Thro\' many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; \'tis grace has bro\'t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.

By 1755, after a serious illness, John gave up seafaring and began his association with George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton\'s church became so crowded during services that it had to be enlarged. He preached not only in Olney but in other parts of the country until his passing in 1807.

In closing.....

It is important to remember that though Christian music and singing should be a key component expression of a thriving Christian life, we should always look to God’s Word as the sole source of Christian wisdom. True worship is perhaps most perfectly described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”

May we speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord, as we bear witness to His Glory and Majesty every day of the week.   God bless.

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Sis Grace Gan. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Phil Surman.
*Hope Bookstore - Open from 12:30 - 1:45pm.
*All are encouraged to come for Evening Service.
*Condolences to Dn & Mrs Leo & family on the home-going of their son, Amos. (Sharon BPC, Singapore)
*Easter Family Bible Camp - Urgent request: please submit your Camp Registration & Special Diet Request forms, & camp fees to Sis Shu Ai Cho.
*Today’s Fellowship Lunch is catered. Adult $5. Child under 5 years old FREE.
*Basic Bible Knowledge (BBK) Class starts on Sun, 15 April. Anyone interested in the Christian faith, baptism, or reaffirmation of faith, please register with Ps Weng.
*“History and Theology of Calvinism” Class by Ps Weng starts on Sun, 15 April. Anyone interested, please let Ps Weng know.
*Adult RPG Apr-Jun QTR & Junior RPG Jan-Mar available.
*Please note: Daylight saving ends at 2 am, next Lord’s Day.  Please wind your clock back one hour.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Bro Chilton & Sis Emily Chong & family (Per); Bro Joseph (Chicago) & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family; Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Adl) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sis Lee Lan Chong (Jpn); & others who have arrived at their destinations.
Ministry in Hope: Ps Ki.
Church Activities - over the past week.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Cathy Carpenter, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.
Healing: Sis Corinne Teng.
Sis Nary Li’s pregnancy - for normal foetal development.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville).
Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. Ps Ki’ Ministry in S’pore.
Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.
God’s Comfort - who are grieving.
iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).
IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.
Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.
Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.
Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.
Journey mercies: Ps Okman Ki (S’pore); Bro Chilton & Sis Emily Chong & family (Gold Coast); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo), Samuel Ki (B/Hill) & Raphael Ng (Adl/Goolwa); & others who are travelling.
Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.
Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.
Health in pregnancy: Sis Bernadette Ng.
OT Placement - Sis Felicia Tan.
Full-time Jobs - Sisters Michelle Lee & Corinne Teng.
Easter Family Bible Camp - Speaker: Rev Chee Boon Lim; Children’s programme: Mrs Onn Nah Lim; & Camp committee.
Today - Baptism: Sis Natalie Cheng; & Membership transfer: Sis Yashu Qin.



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