1. Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain,
Free to all—a healing stream,
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
From the cross my ransomed soul
Nothing then shall sever.
2. Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Sheds its beams around me.
3. Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadow o’er me.
4. Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I see my Savior’s face,
Leave His presence never.
Crosby was perhaps one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing more than 8,000 hymn texts in her lifetime. Crosby became blind from a very young age. She received a very good education from New York Institute for the Blind, where she also became an instructor. As a child, she began taking voice lessons and then later began studying music under George Frederick Root from the New York institute for the Blind. Both of these events sparked an inspiration to write her own songs and hymns.
Despite her condition, she remained positive throughout her life and realized that much of who she became was a direct result of her blindness. She once reported that she may not have devoted as much time to hymn writing if she was distracted by all of the beautiful things around her. She continually wrote hymns up until the year of her death in 1915.
Historical and Cultural setting
In 1849, a cholera epidemic broke out in New York City. Rather than fleeing the city for her own well-being, she stayed to help out the sick. Crosby became influenced by the church through the strong revivals that were occurring in America during this time.