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Horatio Spafford was a Christian church layman.  As a young man, he had established a very successful law practice in Chicago.  His financial success did not deter him from maintaining a keen interest in Christian ministry.  Horatio enjoyed a close and supportive relationship with many evangelical leaders including the evangelist, D. L. Moody.


Mr. Spafford had invested heavily in real estate on the shore of Lake that were mostly wiped out in the 1871 Chicago fire.  Prior to the fire he had experienced the death of his son who had succumbed to a serious illness.  Desiring to get some time for he and his family to rest, he planned a trip to Great Britain where he would join and assist D. L. Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  Some business detained Horatio, but he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead.  He would follow in a few days.  The ship his family was on had a sudden mid Atlantic collision with another ship and sank in 12 minutes.  His daughters perished in that wreck.  Spafford immediately boarded a ship to be with his wife who had survived the tragedy and was now in Britain.  As his voyage passed the place where his children had drowned, we can only imagine the heartache.  Yet, he went to his cabin and wrote the words to a hymn that has brought comfort to so many experiencing pain and struggle in their lives.


“When sorrows and sea billows roll’, may you conclude with Horatio Spafford that IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!

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