All is well with my soul
It Is Well with My Soul: The True Story of a Familys Journey, the Spirit of Christmas, and the Writing of a Beloved Hymn by Hugh BonnevilleHoratio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family— a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died of pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire.
To help his wife and daughters heal, Horatio decided the family would spend Christmas in Paris in the hopes of finding peace after so much tragedy.
Although Mr. Spafford had intended to sail with his family aboard the Ville du Harve, his work required him to stay in Chicago for a few days. He planned to take another ship and join his family in Europe as soon as he could.
About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with another ship, and, twelve minutes later, the ship had slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the 313 passengers, including the four Spafford children.
A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of wreckage. It was Anna Spafford, still alive. He pulled her into the boat, and they were picked up by another large vessel, which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there, she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?”
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship in order to join his grieving wife. After about four days of sailing, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children had died. That night Spafford wrote the hymn “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.
Reunited and with renewed faith, the Spaffords returned to Chicago where Horatio’s business flourished. Anna gave birth to three more children, one of whom died at age four from pneumonia. In August 1881, the family moved to Jerusalem near Bethlehem and opened an orphanage and hospital for children, The Spafford Children’s Center, which still operates today and has blessed many families who have suffered because of the turbulent situation in the Middle East.
The Story Behind The Hymn ‘It Is Well With My Soul’
The circumstances that led up to this song of contentment and praise may surprise you! This incredible story of faith belongs to Horatio Gates Spafford Horatio owned several properties throughout the city. He and his beloved wife had four beautiful daughters and one son. Life was more than good — it was blessed. Just as Horatio hit the pinnacle of his profession and financial success, things began to change.
First published in Gospel Songs No. This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford's life. The first was the death of his son at the age of two and the Great Chicago Fire of , 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. His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of , at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. 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. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …".
Life can be so unpredictable—joys and sorrows, beautiful blessings and distressing difficulties, can come unexpectedly. We all know this to be true. So how can we find peace amid such turbulence? He was a successful attorney and real estate investor who lost a fortune in the great Chicago fire of Around the same time, his beloved four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. Thinking a vacation would do his family some good, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England, planning to join them after he finished some pressing business at home.
The Story Behind It Is Well With My Soul
It Is Well With My Soul - Anthem Lights
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. With this hymn comes one of the most heartrending stories in the annals of hymnody. The author, Horatio G. Spafford , was a Presbyterian layman from Chicago. He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian.