It Is Well With My Soul (with video)

The words of this song were written by Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford in 1873. The original music tune was Ville du Havre and composed by Phil­ip P. Bliss in 1876. The tune is named af­ter the ship on which Spaf­ford’s child­ren per­ished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Iron­ic­al­ly, Bliss him­self, shortly after writing this music, died in a tra­gic train wreck.

  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, though 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 thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


  5. But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
    Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


  6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.


The story behind the hymn

This hymn followed two ma­jor trau­matic experiences in the life of Horatio Spaf­ford. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship.

Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.”

Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired him to write these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

The Video: It is well with my soul (by Chris Rice)