有福的確據 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine

一 有福的確據,基督屬我! 豫嘗神榮耀,何等快活!

  蒙寶血贖回,領受恩賜; 由聖靈重生,作神後嗣。

(副) 這是我見證,是我詩歌, 讚美我救主,口唱心和!

  這是我見證,是我詩歌, 讚美我救主,終日歡樂!

二 完全的順服,完全甘甜, 被提的景象,顯在眼前;

  似乎有聲音,從天而來, 細說主憐憫,柔述主愛。

三 完全的順服,完全安息, 與主時交通,何等福氣;

  儆醒且等候,仰望主來, 充滿主甘甜,浸透主愛。

馬丁路德(Martin Luther)曾說:「詩歌是神所賜給人最美的賞賜,可以使人離開憂愁的重擔,又可以排除惡念的迷惑。」這話的真實意義可從「有福的確據 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine」(另譯見聖徒詩歌560首),這一首詩歌中完全表達出來。

誰也難以相信:這首充滿了活力,洋溢著喜樂的詩歌,竟然出自一位自幼盲目的女詩人的手筆,她就是近代神所使用的芬妮(Fanny J.Crosby 1820-1915)。她一生敬虔愛主,秉賦文學天才,作詩八千首,堪配與英國多產詩人衛斯理約翰(Charles Wesley 1707-1788)前後媲美。我們的詩集中除了本首以外,例如「安穩在基督的手臂」(聖徒詩歌490首)222)、「讚美!讚美!」(聖徒詩歌219)、「你的罪雖像硃紅」(聖徒詩歌604) 「 莫把我漏掉」(聖徒詩歌633))、「一路我由救主引領」(聖徒詩歌471)、「主,我是屬你」((聖徒詩歌566))等多首都是擷取自芬妮的作品,為人普遍傳誦。

芬妮尚在襁褓中即雙目失明。那時她生下來才六個月,一日染患感冒,眼睛發紅,請一位醫生診治,給她敷上一帖很熱的藥膏,結果她的兩眼竟完全失明了;那位醫生獲悉後便逃之夭夭。但芬妮長大後一點沒有懷恨,在她八十歲所著的《我的自傳》中說:「我自幼至今,深信慈愛的主藉著祂無限的憐憫和奇妙的旨意,使用這種方法將我分別為聖,使我直到今天還能有機會,作祂所指派給我作的事工。」

由此可知芬妮如何順服主所量給她的環境和遭遇,結果她的瞎眼反倒成了她一生蒙福之源;也就是她的詩歌能賜人無限喜樂、盼望,和安息的秘訣。

芬妮的詩歌,由於對救恩真實的認識和經歷,絕少無病呻吟,完全是靈感之作。她八歲即開始寫詩,對於她盲目曾發生讚美之聲:

我的靈何其快樂!雖然我自己失明,

我仍堅決在這世上,作個滿足的人;

許多福氣我能享受,他人無法得著;

我決不會因我目盲、痛苦、患嘆、哀號!

一八七三年某日,芬妮摯友納普夫人(Mrs.Joseph Knapp)作了一個曲子,拿給她欣賞。芬妮在風琴上彈奏了幾次,就歡然說:「哦!這調子是為著『有福的確據』而作的。」她立即把靈感寫出來,成功了這首詞非常和諧的詩歌。納普夫人是名佈道家潘華德(Walter C. Palmer)的女兒,她的丈夫是大都會人壽保險公司(Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.)的創辦人納普(Joseph F. Knapp)。 他們都是衛理公會虔誠的會友。納普去世後,納普夫人將丈夫留給她的遺產,大部份捐贈給慈善事業。芬妮後來是這樣說的﹕「納普夫人是一位著名的音樂家和詩人。凡認識她的人都得到她的幫助。有一次她寫了一個曲子﹐是我久已未聞的美妙樂曲。她叫我代她作詞﹐我把曲子在琴上演奏了幾次﹐就從心裡流露出這首詩詞來。後來我多次聽到別人唱這首詩時﹐都覺得它的詞和曲很和諧。」

1900年特蘭瓦(Transvaal)戰爭時,士兵們歡送受訓者離營時,高呼「4 9 4!4 9 4!」;而離去的兵士則呼「加 6!加6!」為答禮。 這是根據他們在營中的聖詩而作的代號。 第494首是「再相會歌」(God Be with You Till We Meet Again,見聖徒詩歌702),「加6」是第500首「有福確據」(Blessed Assurance)。士兵們彼此調離之時,一方唱著「願主同在直等再見面」,另一方面就同唱「有福的確據」答贈,絲毫不覺得戰爭帶給人的憂傷和懼怕。

孫基(Ira Sankey)常在慕迪的佈道會中唱芬妮的詩歌,這首歌給他印象最深的是:有一次在明尼亞波利斯(Minneapolis)召開基督徒奮興會時,這首歌最受歡迎,與會的人在火車上及街上列隊遊行時,都高唱此歌,給群眾留下了深刻的印象;所以有人說:「慕迪講福音,孫蓋唱福音。」

在芬妮九十歲的生日會上﹐她說﹕在這廣大的世界上沒有別的事比宣講救主的故事給予我們更大的快樂。因為﹕

這是我信息,我的詩歌,讚美我救主,晝夜唱和;

這是我信息,我的詩歌,讚美我救主,晝夜唱和。

她還說她對聖經的愛護和真理的確認﹐在九十歲時比十九歲時更覺寶貴﹐信心更加堅定。當她1915年2月12日去世時,她的墓碑上寫著芬妮阿姨和有福的确据,基督屬我。預嘗神榮耀,何等快活! 。

親愛的弟兄姊妹!但願我們像芬妮那樣,常以喜樂的心來「唱福音」把「有福的確據」唱到每一個人的心中!

1
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

Refrain
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

2
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

3
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

HYMN HISTORY:  The writer of this great hymn, Fanny Crosby, lived to be almost ninety-five years of age and during that time penned the staggering total of over eight thousand sacred songs and hymns. What is even more remarkable is the fact that this great life's work was accomplished without the aid of eyesight. When she was only six weeks old, baby Fanny Crosby caught a cold. Her eyes became terribly inflamed and a country doctor prescribed, of all things, a mustard poultice. The desperate remedy resulted in the child's immediate blindness. Even the then famous New York Surgeon, Dr. Valentine Mott, could do nothing to help her. Showing Fanny and her widowed mother to the door after his examination which confirmed the hopelessness of her condition he was heard to lament, 'Poor little blind girl!' However, Fanny Crosby was to turn her affliction in to an asset and in later years looked upon her blindness as a blessing. When she was twelve she entered the New York Institute for the Blind and was so successful as a student that in later years, from 1847 until 1858 she taught in the same school. She began writing poetry at the age of eight with this simple little verse:

Oh, what a happy child I am, Although I cannot see!

I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be.

It was much later, however, while working at the Institute for the Blind, that she began to develop her talent for writing and to turn it into something profitable. Her popular, secular verse made her name famous. Such songs as "Rosalie The Prairie Flower" and "There's Music In The Air", were set to music by composer George Root and sold in sheet music by the thousands. An interesting sidelight here is that the male secretary of the Institute's superintendent used to take down the lines of verse as Fanny Crosby dictated them. In fact, on at least one occasion they were both reprimanded for this 'waste of the school's time.' That school secretary was called Grover Cleveland and many a time in later years he was to set aside the important affairs of the presidency to take dictation from his welcome White House guest, Fanny Crosby.

She was 44 years old when she gave up secular songs to devote her full energies to sacred compositions. From her prolific pen flowed such popular and all time favourites as "Near The Cross", "Safe In The Arms Of Jesus", "Rescue The Perishing", "Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour" and "Blessed Assurance". The story behind the writing of "Blessed assurance" is simple, yet interesting. One day Miss Crosby was in the home of her friend Mrs Joseph F. Knapp. In the Knapp home was installed what was believed to be the largest pipe organ ever placed in a private dwelling. However, on this particular day Mrs Knapp called her guest over to the piano to listen to a new melody she had just composed. After playing the tune a few times she asked, 'What do you think the tune says?' "Blessed assurance Jesus is mine", answered Fanny Crosby, and then, drawing from her vast storehouse of Scripture knowledge, continued with

Oh what a foretaste of glory divine

Heir of salvation, purchase of God

Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

In a very short time a new sacred song was born with words by Fanny Crosby and music by Mrs J. F. Knapp. Although written as far back as 1873 Blessed Assurance still remains a firm favourite with Christians everywhere. I have personal, vivid memories of it being sung rousingly at summer beach-meetings and in the open air; its sweet and lively strains wafting over the dear air and telling out the testimony of those who sang ...

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long.

 

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