TO GOD BE THE GLORY written in 1870
It was hard to discourage Fanny Crosby. Though she had been blind for almost all of her life, joy was the characteristic of her life. Frances Havergal (a sister songwriter) said of Fanny: “She is a blind lady whose heart can see splendidly in the sunshine of God’s love”.
This song was written in 1870 (published by William Doane, the composer, in 1875)… but in 1872 was taken to England by Ira Sankey, who led the singing for Dwight L. Moody’s evangelistic crusades. The hymn immediately became popular in England, and remained well-known there. But it was published in only a few American hymnals… and remained mostly unknown in the US and Canada throughout Fanny Crosby’s life.
During their British Crusade in 1952, this hymn was introduced to members of the Billy Graham British Crusade Team, and became their crusade theme hymn. They said the words expressed their praise to God, who was doing wondrous things in Britain.
When they returned to the States, Billy Graham introduced the hymn in his Nashville Crusade… and it soon became as popular in America as it was in England.
The text of this hymn is unique from Crosby’s other hymns because, rather than focus on our experience of God, the words are wholly about God and His perfect glory. And the tune is unlike any other song we sing that was written by Fanny Crosby.
Read this hymn, and – today – give glory to God in everything you do!
To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
so loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord; let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord; let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
and give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. (Refrain)
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. (Refrain)