IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL 我心靈得安寧 [生命聖詩342]




1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows波濤滾滾 roll;[1]
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Refrain:  It is well, with my soul,  It is well, with my soul,  It is well, it is well, with my soul.

有時享平安,如江河平又穩,有時悲傷來似浪滾。不論何環境,主已教導我說﹕『我心靈得安寧,得安寧。』 副歌﹕我心靈得安寧,我心靈得安寧,得安寧。

2. Though Satan should buffet反覆敲打, 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幸福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:[2] 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;[3]
The trump shall resound,[4] and the Lord shall descend! Even so, it is well with my soul.[5]  



Words: Horatio G. Spafford, [1828-1888] 1873. 1. His only son died in 1871; 2. Lost much property in Chicago fire 1871; but still assisted the poor with Moody 3. Lost 4 daughters in trip to meet Moody on his evangelistic crusades, he himself being delay; 4. received news from his wife: “saved alone.” 5. Wrote this song on the way to England; probably near the site of the wrack; 6. He told Moody: "It is well. The will of God be done." 7. In 1881, they moved to Jeru­sa­lem to serve the poor.[6]


Music: Philip P. Bliss,[7] [1838-1876] 1876 . The tune is named after the ship on which Spafford’s child­ren per­ished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Iron­ic­al­ly, Bliss him­self died in a tra­gic train wreck short­ly af­ter writ­ing this music.

[1] Probably with the site of shipwreck that caused the death of his daughters and the rough of the ocean.

[2]148 我們若活著,是為主而活。若死了,是為主而死。所以我們或活或死,總是主的人。

[3] Roll: a key word play here.

[4] The troubling sounds of the ocean waves change into the sound of the triumphant trump.

[5] This final sentence demonstrates his conviction towards all kinds of trials and the tragedy.

Horatio Spafford and his wife lost their only son in 1871. Later that year they lost much of their wealth in the Chicago fire. Looking for some change and relief, they accepted an invitation from D.L. Moody to go to England with their four daughters where Horatio would help with the business end of Moody's evangelist campaign. The night before their departure, Horation learned that he was needed for some urgent business in Chicago. So he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead with plans to follow them on a later ship. On November 22 he learned that their ship had been involved in a colision and sunk almost immediately. While his wife was rescued, Horatio lost his four remaining children. As he was crossing the Atlantic a few days later he was informed by the ship's crew that they were over the spot where his daughters had perished. It was then that he penned the words to this hymn.

[6] In 1881, they moved to Jeru­sa­lem (tak­ing two daugh­ters born after the ship­wreck tra­ge­dy) and helped found a group called the American Colony; its mis­sion was to serve the poor. The col­o­ny lat­er be­came the sub­ject of the No­bel prize win­ning Jerusalem, by Swed­ish nov­el­ist Selma Lagerlöf.

In 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When it was all over, 300 people were dead and 100,000 were homeless. Horatio Gates Spafford was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on their feet. A lawyer who had invested much of his money into the downtown Chicago real estate, he'd lost a great deal to the fire. And his one son (he had four daughters) had died about the same time. Still, for two years Spafford--who was a friend of evangelist Dwight Moody--assisted the homeless, impoverished, and grief-stricken ruined by the fire. After about two years of such work, Spafford and his family decided to take a vacation. They were to go to England to join Moody and Ira Sankey on one of their evangelistic crusades, then travel in Europe. Horatio Spafford was delayed by some business, but sent his family on ahead. He would catch up to them on the other side of the Atlantic. Their ship, the Ville du Havre, never made it. Off  Newfoundland, it collided with an English sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and sank within 20 minutes.  Though Horatio's wife, Anna, was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage (one of only 47 survivors among hundreds), their four daughters--Maggie, Tanetta, Annie, and Bessie--were killed. Horatio received a horrible telegram from his wife, only two words long: "saved alone."  Spafford boarded the next available ship to be near his grieving wife, and the two finally met up with Dwight Moody. "It is well," Spafford told him quietly. "The will of God be done."  Though reports vary as to when he did so, that belief led Spafford to pen the words to one of the English language's best-known hymns. Some say he wrote it on the ship to meet his wife, around the place where his daughters died. “Horatio and his wife, Anna, became quite religious after the shipwreck. Horatio said, "Jerusalem is where my Lord lived, suffered and conquered and I wish to learn how to live, suffer and especially to conquer".”  “They built what would be known as the "American Colony". The colony ceased to be a religious sect in 1930. From Chicago, the Spaffords went to Quebec. The Spaffords delegation took the St. Lawrence River out of the North American continent, to get to Jerusalem. The reason why they took this route, instead of going through NY, was to take the long way around, to avoid sailing over the wreck that claimed their four daughters. It just hurt too much.” “The story of their journey and their life in Jerusalem as part of the Colony is told fictionally but very accurately by Selma Lagerlof in her classic novel "Jerusalem", for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature [1909].  In May 1992, in a room just off the hotel's garden courtyard, a meeting took place that led to the secret negotiations that culminated in the historic 1993 peace accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization — fitting tribute to the remarkable saga of an expatriate family that devoted itself to the peace and people of Jerusalem.”

[7] Philip Paul Bliss Born: July 9, 1838, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.  Died: December 29, 1876, Ashtabula, Ohio. Mr. Bliss was expected in Chicago to help carry on the work of Messrs. Moody and Sankey.  Bliss and his wife died in a tra­gic train wreck caused by a bridge col­lapse. He sur­vived the in­i­tial im­pact, but went back in­to the flames in an un­suc­ces­sful at­tempt to res­cue his wife. Philip was only 38 years old when he died. He was a Christian. His full name was Philip P. Bliss, a well-known hymn writer. When his trunk was pulled from the wreckage of the train they found in it a yet unpublished song Philip had recently written: I Will Sing of My Redeemer. Its a song about the self-sacrificing love of Jesus Christ for his people.