July 13

“Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior:” The Result of a Prison Visit

During her lifetime, Fanny Crosby penned over 8,000 hymns. Most, if not all of, exude her enormous faith and loyalty to God. The prolific hymnist had since become well-known because of her great contributions to gospel music. And the hymn “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” was her first work to have won international acclaim. Do you know that an inmate from a Manhattan prison cell which Crosby happened to visit inspired this song?

“Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” Composition

Fanny Crosby wrote this hymn in 1868. In spring of that year, she visited a detention center in Manhattan and little did she know that such a visit would make another turning point in her life as a songwriter. William J. Reynolds, a hymnodist, revealed what he discovered about the song’s inspiration. According to him, during Crosby’s visit to the prison, she had an encounter with one of the inmates. After sharing some words and singing some of her songs to the inmates, she heard one of them cry out,

“Good Lord, do not pass me by.”

That same evening, the prominent gospel composer William Doane suggested Crosby to write a song about that. She did and that song became what most of us know today as “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.” Later on, Doane put music to the song.

The Song’s Message

Crosby tried putting herself in the shoes of those who are suffering and being disregarded. This made her understand that many of them had been rejected. With that, it took a profound faith to believe that there’s someone in this life who would never pass anyone by. That someone is no other than Jesus Christ.

RELATED: Bob Dylan Cries Unto the Lord in “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior”

To a great extent, the creation of the song assures the prisoner and anyone who would cry out to the Lord would certainly not be passed by Him. After all, He is the loving son of God who gave His life to the world.

Let the song inspire you today! Listen to the song below.


Fanny Crosby

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