Both approaches, however, lack historical sensitivity and paint Spafford with broad brushstrokes. For the Kutless album, see, 2010–2011 flooding in Queensland, Australia, "Family Tragedy - The American Colony in Jerusalem | Exhibitions - Library of Congress", "The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006", Australian Recording Industry Association, The American Colony in Jerusalem (A Library of Congress Exhibition), The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts as One, Extravagant Worship: The Songs of Reuben Morgan, The Platinum Collection Volume 1: Shout to the Lord, The Platinum Collection Volume 2: Shout to the Lord 2, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=It_Is_Well_with_My_Soul&oldid=983980904, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 12:43.
When sorrows like sea billows roll; My sin, not in part but the whole, But should we sing a song by one such as Spafford, in light of the fact that he is known to have promoted beliefs contrary to Scripture? ( Log Out / It is well, it is well, with my soul. Among his close friends were several evangelists including the famous Dwight L. Moody, also from Chicago. ( Log Out / Now, it is possible that after I post this article someone will point out some piece of historical evidence that will demonstrate that my attempted historical reconstruction is incorrect.
Horatio Spafford, founder of the American Colony Jerusalem and author of the very well known hymn, It Is Well with My Soul There they established the American Colony, a Christian utopian society engaged in philanthropic activities among Jews, Muslims and Christians. Furthermore, because of the subsequent history of the hymn’s lyricist, we should not even think about singing It is Well with My Soul. With this hymn comes one of the most heartrending stories in the annals of hymnody. What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean? He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian. It reached the ARIA Singles Chart Top 100 with all proceeds from the sale of this single going to the relief effort. Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
If you love the song, don’t read this blog post). First published in Gospel Songs No. What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean? Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian. A song in the night, oh my soul!b, Hillsong Live team recorded a special single in December 2010 to aid victims of the 2010–2011 flooding in Queensland, Australia. ( Log Out / It is well, it is well with my soul. I hadn’t been back to the Chicago area since I had graduated from a college in a nearby suburb in 1970. "It Is Well With My Soul" is a hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. On a personal note, this was a hymn often sung on Sunday evenings in my congregation as I was growing up.
But others cry “Foul!” Spafford was a heretic since he denied the reality of eternal hell and taught universalism, the idea that everyone will go to heaven. He expected to follow in a few days. In November of that year, due to unexpected last-minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre.  See chapters 3-6 of Jane Fletcher Geniesse, American Priestess: The Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem for details about this period of Horatio Spafford’s life. As thanks for signing up, I’ll send you 10 days of daily devotionals free out of my book, How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: 100 Devotional Readings on Union with Christ. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote "It Is Well With My Soul" while on this journey. There isn’t a hint of unorthodox ideas in. It is well, it is well, with my soul.
But should we sing a song by one such as Spafford, in light of the fact that he is known to have promoted beliefs contrary to Scripture? Spafford’s fortune evaporated in the wake of the great Chicago Fire of 1871. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Nashville, TN 37212 Was Horatio Spafford a False Teacher When He Wrote “It is Well with My Soul”? History of Hymns: "It Is Well with My Soul", "It Is Well with My Soul" I was amazed at how closely this text, written over 100 years earlier, coincided with the struggles of these immigrants as they fled a hostile Vietnam in frail ships, miraculously arriving in Australia and other places. See also my post: What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean? Dr. Hawn is professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology, SMU. Change ). Spafford, these sometimes-embellished accounts suggest, should be viewed as one who singularly trusted God in the midst of tragedy. The song features Darlene Zschech as lead vocalist, with a new added bridge composed by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding, and was recorded in Sydney, Australia in three days, mixed in England overnight and mastered in Los Angeles, before being released in the iTunes Store the following weekend. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! And hath shed His own blood for my soul. After decades of benevolent activities, the Colony ceased to be a communal society in the 1950s, though it continued in a second life as the American Colony Hotel, the first home of the talks between Palestine and Israel that eventually led to the 1983 Oslo Peace Accords. Horatio G. SpaffordThe UM Hymnal, No. The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, , When peace like a river, attendeth my way, Famous Christian hymn penned by Horatio Spafford in the late 19th century, "It Is Well" redirects here. As the Vietnamese congregation, now residing in Spafford’s hometown of Chicago, sang the final stanza, I understood the power of a hymn to transcend time and culture to address human tragedy with assurance. Let this blest assurance control,
Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck tells the story: “Desiring a rest for his wife and four daughters as well as wishing to join and assist Moody and [his musician Ira] Sankey in one of their campaigns in Great Britain, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. After all, Spafford wrote the words to It is Well with My Soul on a ship soon after he passed the location in the Atlantic Ocean where his four daughters (and nearly his wife) drowned in a shipwreck only weeks before.
It is well, (it is well), This hymn is said to have been penned as he approached the area of the ocean thought to be where the ship carrying his daughters had sunk. Four considerations make it likely that Spafford was a Bible-believing Christian up until the time of the shipwreck and the penning of his famous hymn, and then started to theologically waiver after that. As the Vietnamese congregation gathered to worship, they sang the same song every Sunday to begin their worship, “It Is Well with My Soul.” I didn’t need the words in English as I had memorized them as a boy. Several days later the survivors were finally landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, ‘Saved alone.’” 2 by Ira Sankey and Bliss (1876), it is possibly the most influential and enduring in the Bliss repertoire and is often taken as a choral model, appearing in hymnals of a wide variety of Christian fellowships. It is well, it is well with my soul. The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; If Jordan above me shall roll, Returning to Chicago 11 years later, the memories of the Vietnam War were fresh on my mind. This question becomes an ideal case study in how people sometimes twist history to support their agendas. Though the hymn begins with loss, it ends in eschatological hope for the day when “faith shall be sight.”. 377, When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, The hymn came to life for me in the summer of 1981. 2 by Ira Sankey and Bliss (1876), it is possibly the most influential and enduring in the Bliss repertoire and is often taken as a choral model, appearing in hymnals of a wide variety of Christian fellowships. It is well, it is well with my soul. Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, Home
If you know of any such evidence, I welcome you to put me straight (and, if convinced by your evidence, I will gladly take down this post). What both approaches fail to attend to is that Spafford appears to have started to move in a theologically aberrant direction sometime after two major tragedies in his life: the loss of his fortune in the Great Chicago Fire of 1881 and particularly after the loss of his four daughters (and almost of his wife) at sea in 1883. The Air That I Breathe released on the 80th anniversary of Cliff Richard. Why does this matter? CLICK HERE to receive e-mail notifications when I post something new. What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean? And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, Another daughter, Bertha, was born in 1878 as well as a son, Horatio, in 1880, though he later died of scarlet fever. But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
Its somber and peaceful music, written by gospel songwriter Philip Bliss (1838-1876) and named after the ship that carried Spafford’s daughters to their death, was spellbinding to a young boy. Spafford was an elder in good standing at his old-school Presbyterian church until after the shipwreck. (Spoiler alert. What is the evidence that Spafford only started his move in a heterodox direction after the second tragedy? . While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died.
Spafford’s hymn resounds with the doctrinal truths of forgiveness of sin at the cross and the reality of the second coming of Christ. Reformation Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes, There Is Now In 1873, Horatio Spafford penned the lyrics of one of the most-loved hymns of all time, It is Well with My Soul. Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account.
With my soul, (with my soul) 1908 Grand Avenue, Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. In 1873, Horatio Spafford penned the lyrics of one of the most-loved hymns of all time, It is Well with My Soul. Having invested heavily in real estate along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, he lost everything overnight.
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