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~Safe In The Arms Of Jesus

         Many of Fanny Crosby’s popular hymns and gospel songs were written backwards.  Instead of writing a poem for someone else to set to music, she wrote quite a few of her stanzas to fit somebody’s else’s tunes.

       One afternoon during the summer of 1868, William H. Doan, who composed music as a hobby, knocked at Fanny Crosby’s door.  When he was admitted, he rushed up to the blind poet and said:

       “Miss Fanny, I have exactly forty minutes before my train leaves for Cincinnati, and I must take that train.” 

       When she asked the reason of his call in view of that fact, he explained, “There is to be a great state-wide Sunday School convention in Cincinnati next month.  In addition to the large delegations of adults, many young people and children are expected to be present.  I want a new hymn which I can introduce for the first time at this convention.”

       Turning to the piano William Doan sat down and played his new tune in a rousing and stirring manner. 

       When he finished, Fanny Crosby said:

       “Your music says ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus.’  What could be more appropriate for boys and girls at a Sunday School convention?” 

       Mr. Doane consulted his watch. 

       “Just thirty minutes left, “he said, somewhat impatiently. 

       She replied, “You will have your hymn.” 

       Going to her desk, she took out a piece of paper, found her pen, sat down and began to write. 

       After putting down several lines, she asked Mr. Doane to play his tune over a few times while she prepared her stanzas.  As he played, she continued to write.  When she was through, she folded the sheet of paper, placed it in an envelope and handed it to her friend. 

       “Here it is, William. You can read it on the train.  Now, hurry.  You don’t want to be late.” 

       He thanked her, said his “Goodbyes,” grabbed his hat and rushed for the carriage that was awaiting him in front of the house. 

       Enroute to Cincinnati on the train, he opened the envelope, took out the piece of paper and read what she had written to fit his music.

—Ernest K. Emurian



Safe in the Arms of Jesus[1]


1          Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe on His gentle breast,

There by His love o’ershaded,

Sweetly my soul shall rest.

Hark! ’tis the voice of angels,

Borne in a song to me,

Over the fields of glory,

Over the jasper sea:

2           Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe from corroding care,

Safe from the world’s temptations,

Sin cannot harm me there.

Free from the blight of sorrow,

Free from my doubts and fears;

Only a few more trials,

Only a few more tears:

3           Jesus, my heart’s dear refuge,

Jesus has died for me;

Firm on the Rock of Ages,

Ever my trust shall be.

Here let me wait with patience,

Wait till the night is o’er;

Wait till I see the morning

Break on the golden shore:

Chorus  Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe on His gentle breast,

There by His love o’ershaded,

Sweetly my soul shall rest.

[1]Eckert, Paul, Steve Green’s MIDI Hymnal, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1998.






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