When peace, like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
What ever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well (It is well) With my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!
My sin - O the joy 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!
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 author of this hymn was a layman, a lawyer and professor of medical jurisprudence from Chicago who maintained a close friendship with D.L. Moody and other Christian leaders. During the 1871 Chicago Fire, Spafford lost all of his real estate holdings. The year before his son had died.
In order to assist Moody in a Great Britain campaign, Spafford planned to travel there with his wife and four daughters. Due to business commitments, he was unable to travel with his family, but planned to join them within a few days.
On November 22, 1873 two ships collided; Mrs. Spafford was rescued, but their four daughters were lost. While Horatio Spafford sailed to join his grieving wife, it is believed that he penned the words to this hymn, including the words, "When sorrows like sea billows roll...." In the face of overwhelming tragedies, he was able to declare, "It is well with my soul."
Hit Tip: Dr. Chadwick's Hymn Backgrounds