a hymn: He hides my soul

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

Refrain

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

Refrain

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!

Refrain

When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high.

Refrain

Words: Fanny Cros­by, in The Fin­est of Wheat, No. 1 (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: R. R. Mc­Cabe, 1890).

Music: Wil­liam J. Kirk­pat­rick (MI­DI, score).

Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by.” (Exodus 33:21,22) 

fanny crosby the hymn writerBackground: Fanny Cros­by ( 1820-1915) was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with over 100 million copies printed. Though blind­ed by an in­com­pe­tent doc­tor at six weeks of age, in her life­time, Fan­ny Cros­by was one of the best known wo­men in the Unit­ed States. To this day, the vast ma­jor­i­ty of Amer­i­can hymn­als con­tain her work.

She was born in a little cottage at Gayville in the community of Southeast, Putnam County, NY, on Mar. 24, 1820.  At six weeks old she caught a cold, and when a country doctor mistakenly diagnosed her condition and prescribed a hot mustard poultice for her inflamed eyes, her eyes were scarred and she gradually lost her eyesight until she became blind at age five.  However, at age eight, she produced her first poem.  “Oh, what a happy child I am, Although I cannot see!  I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be.”  She later said that she never held any resentment for that doctor and had resolved to leave all care to yesterday.  On one occasion, as a young woman, she spoke before the United States Senate and moved many Senators to tears with the recital of one of her poems, proving that blind people can be educated if they have the proper training.

In 1858 she married Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind musician whom she had met while in school.  They had one child who died in infancy.  Then in the 1860’s she began writing texts for gospel songs at the urging of William Batchelder Bradbury. It is said that more than any other writer, she captured the spirit of the nineteenth century American gospel song. Most hymnbooks in this nation contain more hymns by her than any other single author, and this hymn has been in almost every single songbook used among churches of Christ in the twentieth century.

At that time Fanny was living in a New York City apartment and attending the John St. Methodist Episcopal Church.  She received a visit from composer William James Kirkpatrick (1838-1921).  He had just completed a new tune (now called Kirkpatrick) which he felt needed suitable words.  When he played the melody for her, Fanny’s face lit up, she knelt in prayer, and soon gave Kirkpatrick the lines of “He Hideth My Soul.”

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