Give Me Jesus

This hymn was written by Fanny Crosby, born 1820, who is one of the most renowned hymn writers, often writing under different pseudonyms. Many of Fanny Crosby’s gospels songs were inspired by things that happened to her, or conversations she had, during her long life. Biographer Bernard Ruffin quotes from Miss Crosby’s book Memories of Eighty Years, concerning one such: “Fanny was talking to one of her neighbours, who complained bitterly of his poverty. “If I had wealth I would be able to do just what I wish to do; and I would be able to make an appearance [i.e. an impression] in the world.” Fanny replied, “Well, take the world, but give me Jesus.” She later turned that comment into the below song. As you likely know, Fanny Crosby was blind. However, she not only refused to count this as a disability, but was able to testify that it gave her certain advantages. She saw things with the eyes of faith, and with a poet’s insight, that others of us so often miss. It’s not surprising that many of her gospel songs refer either to this spiritual sight, or to the joy that would be hers when the first face she sees in Glory will be that of her Saviour1.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All its joys are but a name;
But his love abides forever,
Through eternal years the same.

Oh, the height and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above!

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Sweetest comfort of my soul;
With the Saviour watching o’er me,
I can sing, though thunders roll.


Take the world, but give me Jesus;
In his cross my trust shall be
‘Till with clearer, brighter vision
Face to face my Lord I see.


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