Monday, June 27, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

"When peace like a river attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, 
"It is well, it is well with my soul!"

Horatio G. Spafford was born on October 20, 1828, in North Troy, New York. He grew up to be an attorney, a businessman, and a Christian supporter of D.L. Moody. Moody was an evangelist who founded the Northfield Mount Hermon School, the Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers.
Spafford and his wife had four daughters and a son. In 1870, his four-year-old son died from Scarlet Fever. Just a year later, when The Great Chicago Fire happened, it left 300 people dead, 100,000 people homeless, and the entire central business district destroyed. The fire also took a huge toll on Spafford's finances since he owned a large amount of real estate in the city.
In 1873, Spafford arranged to take his wife and daughters on a vacation to Europe. He was going to visit Moody while he was there. On the day their ship was scheduled to leave, Spafford had some last-minute business to attend to. So he put his family on the ship and told them he'd catch up with them soon.
In the wee hours of November 22, 1873, the ship, the "S.S. Ville du Harve", collided with another vessel. Within two hours, their ship sank into the icy water. Among the 226 dead were Spafford's young daughters- Maggie, Tanetta, Annie, and Bessie. Spafford's wife Anna managed to survive.
Horatio Spafford immediately booked passage on a ship to join his wife. As the ship passed over the spot where his four daughters had drowned, he said, "It is well; the will of God be done." Spafford then wrote the Gospel song, "It is Well with My Soul."

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