TO GOD BE THE GLORY
To God be the glory, great things He has 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 has 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.
Great things He has taught us, great things He has 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.
Frances Jane Crosby
This text 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. In a sense, the hymn perfectly displaces us, removing us from the pedestal on which we so often place ourselves. This displacement is one of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith. It feels very natural for us to seek attention, approval and our own glory. We like to be in control and present our own image to the world, an image we seek to improve through any means possible. On the other hand, there is great comfort in knowing that the image we try to make for ourselves doesn’t matter. We are made in the image of God, which means that whatever we do has to bring Him and Him alone glory. Our lives are wrapped up in God and so too are the mistakes we make, the wounds we inflict, and all of our shortcomings. These are the things we try to avoid while we maintain control of our lives. But what a joy and a comfort to know that though these things may happen, because God is ultimately in control and because our own image does not matter, God is still glorified. While we should still try to live a holy and upright life, we should do so to bring God glory, not ourselves. What a beautiful freedom that is.
Frances Jane van Alstyne (née Crosby; March 24,1820 -February 12,1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist and composer. A member of the Sixth Avenue Bible Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, she wrote many hymns together with her pastor, Robert Lowry. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with over 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work. By the end of the 19th century, she was “a household name”.
Known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers”, and as the “Mother of modern congregational singing in America”, with most American hymnals containing her work, Crosby has generally been represented by the largest number of hymns of any writer of the 20th century, with the possible exception of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. Ira Sankey attributed the success of the Moody and Sankey evangelical campaigns largely to Crosby’s hymns. Some of Crosby’s best-known songs include
“Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour”,
“Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home”,
“Praise Him, Praise Him”,
“Rescue the Perishing” and
“To God Be the Glory”.
Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.
Editor: John Harder
Acknowledgement: THE EVANGELIST Volume 77 – No.3
Evangelical Tract Distributors P.O.Box 146, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5J 2G9
Photo by : Kontine Photography