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My Savior First Of All

This week’s video features another hymn by the great hymn writer Fanny Crosby, “My Savior First Of All.” The music was composed by John R. Sweney. I’ve written about Fanny in past blog posts. There’s not much I could find about the history of this particular hymn, other than one article, which I haven’t been able to confirm from a separate source. The story is good, if true….

Fanny Crosby spent some time each summer visiting the Chautauqua Institution located on the short of Lake Chautauqua near Jamestown, New York. She participated in the activities of the camp as well as spent time with other gospel musicians. On one occasion while spending time visiting with John Sweney, he asked her if she thought we would recognize one another in heaven. She thought we would. Sweney then commented on her blindness and asked how she thought she would recognize her friends, and the Lord, all of whom she’d never seen. Fanny responded saying she thought it would be no trouble. But if for some reason she didn’t recognize the Lord, she would ask to see his hands, knowing she would recognize him by the nail prints.

When my lifework is ended and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

O the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.

O the dear ones in glory—how they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home,
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

Thro’ the gates to the city in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall;
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight,
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

Refrain:
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand;
I shall know Him, I shall know Him
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Thank you for listening!

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

Luke 24:40

27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

John 20:27

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12


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