Inspirational stories : Hymn and History

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Inspirational stories : Hymn and History

Post  fennywest on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 5:34 pm

Hymn and History

1. It is well with my Soul: Horatio Spafford

The F’s surrounding His Faith

Five : Horatio Spafford was a great man of God and a successful lawyer. He had five children.

Fever: In 1870 Scarlet fever killed his only son who was four years old
Fire: In 1871 Chicago Fire struck. He was heavily invested in real estate which were completely destroyed by the great Chicago fire.

Four: Sent his wife Anna and four daughters ahead on a holiday they had planned with a view to joining them later after attending to an urgent business need.

Friends: He and his family were friends with the famous preacher, D.L Moody and assisted his ministry and planned to join Moody later in England after the holiday.

Faith: Received a telegram later from Anna: ‘Saved, Alone.’ Anna and his four daughters (Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta) drowned as the ship in which they were, Ville de Havre, collided with The Lochearn (an English vessel) and went down within 12 minutes of the collision. 226 people lost their lives. Anna was saved, but alone.

“Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a
plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had
been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her,
"You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful
and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

He sailed to the spot where he lost all his daughters and there was inspired to write this immortal song : ‘It is well.’ based on 2King4:26.

" Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's
voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and
I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn."

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford...

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.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well ... with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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!
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.

Fifth: He had a fifth daughter, Bertha, born later. You need faith to continue to press on after losing so much in a short space of time. We thank God he did not give up on God but trusted Him for another child.

For the full history go to:

It is well with my Soul, is a great hymn which we enjoy today, but it was born out of tragedy, battle and bout of faith.

May God give you and I enduring songs through our sorrows in Jesus' Name.

All things are not good but all things can work together for good if we love God and are the called according to His purpose. Our light affliction can work for us an exceeding weight of eternal glory.

2. Amazing Grace:John Newton

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Amazing Grace, one of the most famous songs in Christian hymnology, was wrtten by John Newton who was once a slave dealer who saw the light and God's grace and traded the slave business for ministry.
He wrote many songs in partnership with Cowper but amazing Grace remains the most popular.

The grace of God can trasform anyone from sinner to saint,slave dealer to minister.
for a full history go to :

3. Blessed Assurance : Fanny Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in His love.
"Blessed Assurance" is a well-known Christian hymn. The lyrics were written in 1873 by blind hymn writer Fanny J. Crosby to the music written in 1873 by Phoebe P. Knapp
Crosby was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp as the Knapp home was having a large pipe organ installed. The organ was incomplete, so Mrs. Knapp, using the piano, played a new melody she had just composed. "What do you think the tune says?" asked Knapp.
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine", answered Fanny Crosby.
The hymn appeared in the July 1873 issue of Palmer's Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer of 14 Bible House, New York City. It appeared on page 36 (the last page) with complete text and piano score, and indicated it had been copyrighted by Crosby that year. It is not certain that this was the first printing of the hymn, but it certainly helped to popularize what became one of the most beloved hymns of all time.
Because of Crosby's lyrics, the tune is now called "Assurance".

Great things are born from the ordinary. We need to be open to the workings of God at all times in our lives. Inspiration can come when we are on the bus, out playing on the field, visiting a friend, like Fanny Crosby. And if we are sensitive we will not miss our moments of divine visitation.
Furthermore, Fanny was blind at an early age. Nevertheless, God used her mightily to compose countless number of songs which we still sing today. So God can use you too regardless of your disability. In our weakness His strength is made perfect.

“" Blessed Assurance" was composed by two of the most prolific Christian hymn writers in history. The lyrics come from a woman with over 8000 hymns to her credit and the music comes from the organ of a lady with over 500 hymns to her credit. One day, Fanny Crosby was visiting her dear friend, Phoebe Knapp. She played a tune for Fanny and asked her afterwards, "What does it say to you, Fanny?" Her reply was simple: "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine." This hymn is still being played on the church organ in thousands of churches still today.
Despite being blind, Fanny Crosby’s impact on Christian hymns was tremendous. She once described how her blindness affected her songs. "I verily believe that God intended that I should live my days in physical darkness so that I might be better prepared to sing His praise and lead others from spiritual darkness into eternal light. With sight I would have been too distracted to have written thousands of hymns." Without Fanny’s faith and Phoebe’s organ, songs such as "Blessed Assurance" would have never been written.”
" Blessed Assurance" remains one of the most loved Christian hymns

©Fenny West2012
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