It Is Well with My Soul

Words:11.8.11.9 with chorus • Horatio G. Spafford (1873)
Music:VILLE DU HAVRE • Philip P. Bliss (1876), with historical influences

Words

1.

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.”

Chorus

It is well (It is well) with my soul (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 hath regarded my helpless estate
  And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
[Chorus]

3.

My sin— oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
  My sin— not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
  Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O, my soul!
[Chorus]

4.

And, Lord, haste the day when the 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.
[Chorus]

Biblical Connections

Verse 1

  • “When peace like a river attendeth my way” - Isa 66:12
  • “Whatever my lot” - Php 4:12-13

Verse 2

  • 1 Pet 1:1-9
  • “Though Satan should buffet” - 2 Cor 12:7
  • “Though trials should come” - James 1:2, 12; 1 Pet 4:12
  • “blest assurance” - Rom 4:5-8; Eph 1:3; Heb 6:11; 10:22

Verse 3

  • “My sin… is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more” - Col 2:14

Verse 4

  • Rev 19; 1 Th 4:16
  • “Even so” - Rev 1:7 and Rev 22:20 (KJV)

Chorus

  • Php 4:4-7

Compared to Hymnals

  No. Words Music
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs 409 Changes “His cross” to “the cross” Adopts several small alterations
(as in Sacred Selections)2
Songs of Faith and Praise 490 Lacks vs 2;
Changes “His cross” to “the cross”;
“Even so” in quotation marks1
Key of D instead of D♭;
Adds descending bass run in final stanza
Praise for the Lord 345 “Even so” in quotation marks1 Identical
Hymns for Worship (Revised) 626 “Even so” in quotation marks1 Adopts several small alterations
(as in Sacred Selections)2
Songs of the Church 280 Lacks vs 2;
Changes “His cross” to “the cross”;
“Even so” in quotation marks1
Identical
Sacred Selections 561 “Even so” in quotation marks1 Adopts several small alterations2
Christian Hymns No. 2 94 Lacks vs 2;
Changes “His cross” to “the cross”;
“Even so” in quotation marks1
Identical
Great Songs of the Church No. 2 299 Lacks vs 2;
Changes “His cross” to “the cross”;
“Even so” in quotation marks1.
Identical

1In the first 1876 publication, the words “Even so” in the final stanza were put in quotation marks, indicating it is quoting the Bible, most-likely Revelation 1:7 and, in particular, the King James wording of Revelation 22:20 (KJV). Current Bible translations rarely use this specific wording, so we have chosen to omit the quotation marks.

2Several unique, small alterations to the music appear in Sacred Selections:

  • The tenor begins on DO instead of SOL
  • The tenor stays on SOL in measures 3-4 instead of ending with TI DO
  • The bass sings SOL TI DO instead of SOL SOL DO when repeating “with my soul” in the chorus (adding a parallel fifth)

These distinct changes are very uncommon in hymnals more broadly, but they can be found in the 1908 Seventh-Day Adventist hymnal Christ in Song.

Sources

References

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Through [Jesus] let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
— Hebrews 13:15