Words by: Horatio G. Spafford, (1828-1888) in 1873
Music by: Philip P. Bliss, (1838-1876) (Published 1876)
A Chicago lawyer named Horatio G. Spafford had suffered horrible tragedies including the death of his only son, who passed away at four years old of scarlet fever, and the loss of all his real estate properties due to the Great Chicago fire in 1871. He put his wife (Anna) and his four daughters (Maggie, Tanetta, Annie and Bessie) on a luxury steamer named the Ville du Havre. While in the middle of the Atlantic, the ship was rammed by a British iron sailing ship, the Lockhearn. In just 12 minutes the steamer sank; 226 people lost their lives.
Being kept afloat by a piece of debris, an unconcious Anna was one of the passengers that were rescued. Spafford lost his four daughters. Meanwhile, Horatio was planning to join his family in Europe where he would join Dwight Lyman Moody and Ira Sankey on one of their evangelistic crusades. While wrapping up his affairs, Spafford received a horrible telegram from his wife stating: "Saved alone."
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean to be with his wife, he penned the words to the beloved hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" giving an expression of his faith in Christ. An acquaintance of Dwight L. Moody, Spafford told him, "The will of God be done."
Hymns of Glorious Praise, Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1969.
Horatio G. Spafford, (1828-1888) Philip P. Bliss, (1838-1876)
LYRICS: It Is Well With My Soul
1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
2. Though Satan should buffet, tho' trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious tho't! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nail'd to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
4. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be roll'd back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is