This song was written by Fanny J. Crosby. The song was first published in 1869. Crosby wrote the lyrics after hearing the music composition by William Doane. Crosby wrote over 8000 hymns and songs. Even though Crosby was blind since six weeks old, she possessed a great talent for writing with vivid imagery. Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross is a great example of this.
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
there a precious fountain,
free to all, a healing stream,
flows from Calvary's mountain.
In the first verse, the cross is described as a precious fountain that provides a healing stream to all. This description emphasizes the power of the cross as well as the precious gift that was given to the world.
The idea of staying near the cross and being ever mindful of the sacrifice of Jesus sets the tone of the song. The preceding verses discuss the effects of the cross to the Christian and the amazing gift given.
Reflecting on the cross and the magnificent event to take place, the verses discuss in even more detail the beauty of the cross.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
love and mercy found me;
there the bright and morning star
sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
bring its scenes before me;
help me walk from day to day,
with its shadows over me.
Near the cross I'll watch and wait,
hoping, trusting ever,
'til I reach the golden strand,
just beyond the river.
The chorus emphasizes the power of the cross. The glory of the cross fulfills God’s plan. The sacrifice Jesus made when he chose to go to the cross brings to His followers the rest that our souls desire.
In the cross, in the cross,
be my glory ever;
'til my raptured soul shall find,
rest beyond the river.
“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”
John 19:17-18 NKJV
May we always remember the gift that was given to us.
Please join me next Friday for my next post in Sing Praises.
Lots of love and blessings to you and yours