I would like to add from time to time a blog about the history of some of my favorite songs. Here is the first. :
"It Is Well With My Soul" was written by Horatio Spafford around 1880. This is perhaps one of my favorite hymn stories - it shows how God used unbelievable sadness in one man's life to affect so many others.
Mr Spafford, in addition to being a successful Chicago attorney, he was also a devoted man of God and an avid student of Scripture. He loved his wife, four daughters, and son and was an active member of a Presbyterian church. He was also a loyal friend and supporter of DL Moody and other Christian leaders of the day.
Spafford's only son died just months before his large real estate investment was wiped out in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Reeling from the family and financial loss, Spafford planned a trip to Europe for his family to attend an evangelistic crusade with Moody. At the last minute a business development delayed him, but as scheduled he sent his wife and four daughters ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Great Britain, where he was planning to join them a few days later.
The ship carrying his family was hit by an English vessel and sank in twelve minutes. All four of his daughters drowned. His wife survived the disaster and was taken to Wales, where she sent word to her husband with the words, "Saved alone." Right away Spafford left by ship to join his wife. The captain of his vessel, knowing his deep bereavement, paused on his journey across the ocean to show Spafford the place where Bessie, Annie, Maggie and Tanetta had drowned.
It was then that he penned the words that have brought deep comfort to generations of those facing unfathomable sorrows.
"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."