The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:

Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.

It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.

- Angela

Biographies

Queen Victoria

 

Canadian Victoria Day

The Monday before May 25th (usually the 3rd Monday in May) in Canada is a national holiday known as Queen Victoria’s Birthday (or Victoria Day in Canada).  It is celebrated as the beginning of summer to start planting gardens and opening summer resorts.  It is also recognised as the official birthday celebration of the reigning monarch.  Fireworks are a primary part of the holiday.  Queen Victoria established Canada as a nation and chose Ottawa as the capital city.  The following story of the queen will broaden your understanding of the Queen’s beliefs and willingness to develop those beliefs for herself.

Can We Know that we have Sure Salvation?

Many people want to know that they have guaranteed salvation to be in Heaven, many people believe that we can’t be sure at any particular time.  Who is right?  Are we to remain without assurance throughout our spiritual lives on this cursed planet earth?

Perhaps this true and publicly known example will help you to know for yourself.

Queen Victoria wanted to be sure and asked her Chaplain after a worship service held in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, "Can one be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety?"  The Chaplain did not believe that there was a way for a person to be certain in this sinful life.  His comments were published in the "Court News" where a modest evangelist named John Townsend read the article.

After reading the answer given to Queen Victoria by the Chaplain, and having considered the question, Townsend began to think and pray about answering her himself.  This is the note he sent to the queen:

To her gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of her most humble subjects:

With trembling hands, but heartfelt love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 10:9, 10?

I sign myself, your servant for Jesus’ sake, John Townsend.

John told others about his letter to the queen and gained many supporters who offered many sincere prayers before God asking a blessing for the Queen’s understanding.  Approximately 2 weeks later John received a simple envelope which contained a letter that read:

To John Townsend:  Your letter of recent date I received and in reply would state that I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to.  I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God’s grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, "I go to prepare a place for you."  (signed) Victoria Guelph

This Salvation is freely offered to everyone — royalty or not!

During her reign Queen Victoria had a royal physician, Sir James Simpson of Edinburgh, who was a man of deep faith, and knew that "in Christ there was neither slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one and equally valued in the Lord" (see Galatians 3:28).  Simpson was a pioneer in general anesthetic and using it for childbirth.  When Simpson was dying in extreme pain, he commented: ‘When I think, it is of the words ‘Jesus only’ and really that is all that is needed, is it not?’

Frogmore Royal Mausoleum at Windsor.  Above the Mausoleum door is inscribed the following words fromVictoria

"Farewell best friend, here at last I shall rest with thee, with thee in Christ I shall rise again."

C.H. Spurgeon

George Mueller

H.G. Spafford

Horatio G. Spafford

His Loved and Touching Hymn Immensely Inspires

© Tel Asiado

Brief biography of Christian lawyer Horatio G. Spafford and the history of the inspiring hymn he wrote, "It is Well with My Soul."

The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" becomes closest to heart for one undergoing grief. Written by a Presbyterian laywer Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) and composed by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876), this deeply touching gospel song has long been loved.

The scripture reference is Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Text Author and Hymn-Writer Horatio G. Spafford

Spafford was born on October 20, 1828 in North Troy, New York. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures.

Chicago Fire and a Son’s LossSometime in 1871, a fire in Chicago heavily devastated the city, and months before that , Spafford had invested hugely in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. The disaster greatly wiped out his holdings. Before the fire, Spafford also experienced the loss of his son.

A Calm and Worst Life Storm

Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe for him and his family. He wanted a rest for his wife and four daughters, and also to assist Moody and Sankey in one of their evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was not meant to travel with his family. The day in November they were due to depart, Spafford had a last minute business transaction and had to stay behind in Chicago. Nevertheless, he still sent his wife and four daughters to travel as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre, expecting to follow in a few days. On November 22, the ship laden with his wife and daughters was struck by the Lockhearn, an English vessel, and sank in few minutes.

Wife "Saved Alone"

After the survivors were finally landed somewhere at Cardiff, Wales, Spafford’s wife cabled her husband with two simple words, "Saved alone." Shortly after, Spafford left by ship on his way where his beloved four daughters had drowned, and pen at hand, wrote this most poignant text so significantly descriptive of his own personal grief – "When sorrows like sea billows roll..." The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" was born.

It is Well with My Soul

It is noteworthy that Horatio Spafford did not dwell on the theme of life’s sorrows and trials, instead, focused in the third stanza on the redemptive work of Christ, and in the fourth verse, anticipates His glorious second coming. (Refer below for CyberHymnal’s link)

Composer Philip Bliss

Philip P. Bliss, the hymn composer, was a prolific writer of gospel songs. He was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford’s text that he shortly wrote the music for it, first published in one of the Sankey-Bliss Hymnals, Gospel Hymns No. 2. Shortly after writing ‘It is Well With My Soul,’ Bliss died in a tragic train accident.

On reflection, it is divinely amazing that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford, yet, able to say with such convincing clarity, "It is well with my soul." It is an enormous challenge to embrace the significance of this hymn.

"It Is Well With my Soul" H. G. Spafford

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; 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. Though Satan should buffet, 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.

Refrain

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!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: 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.

Refrain

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!

Refrain

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.

Refrain

Other Hymns by Philip P. Bliss

  • Hold the Fort
  • I Gave My Life for Thee
  • Jesus Loves Even Me
  • Let the Lower Lights be Burning
  • Once for All

Related Best-Loved Hymns:

Lyrics and Music

CyberHymnal (click ‘MIDI’ from there)

Source:

101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Kregel Publications, 1982

 

The copyright of the article History of It is Well with My Soul is owned by Tel Asiado. Permission to republish History of It is Well with My Soul in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
 
Including the credits for the author does not indicate full endorsement of all their work. – Angela

John Newton

John Newton

Born in England, his mother died when he was seven. His father remarried and sent him away to school for a few years. At age eleven he left school and joined his father’s ship to start life as a seaman. His early years were one continuous round of rebellion and debauchery. Newton eventually became the captain of a slave ship, but was such a cruel and vicious man, that his own crew mutinied and threw him overboard. Extracted from the waters, the slave trader himself became a slave. In 1748, while returning to England from Africa during a particularly stormy voyage, when all appeared lost, he began reading Thomas A. Kemps’ book, Imitation of Christ. The message of Christ contained in this book and the frightening sea around him were used by the Holy Spirit to sow the seeds of his eventual conversion and personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

Eventually freed, he returned to England, married, studied for the ministry, and, at age thirty-nine, entered the pastorate. He often used the story of his own life in his services and it was so effective he became known as the “Old Converted Sea Captain.” An “extremist” practice he used in his Church was that of singing Hymns that expressed simple, heartfelt faith rather than the monotonous, repetitious, and void of true worship, singing that was common place. When he couldn’t find enough hymns, he started writing his own. Over a period of years he and William Cowper produced the famous Olney Hymns Hymnal which contains 349 hymns, 282 written by himself. He pastored for a total of 45 years.

At age eighty-two this man went home to be with his Father. Until that time he never ceased to marvel at God’s mercy and grace that had so dramatically changed his life. In the last years of his life while preaching he proclaimed in a loud voice, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: “That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Saviour!” In the Churchyard in Olney, England, you will find his name on a tombstone. On it also you will find the following inscription written by him before his going home. I think it says all required to know of the faith of this man, a man who transformed thousands of lives by his very presence.

John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.

As wicked a man as John Newton was, the Bible says

“There is none righteous, no not one” Romans 3:10

It is hard for us to admit that ,in God’s eye, we are all no better than this man. We all deserve Hell, but, like Newton, we must all say “That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savious!”

Author Unknown


Ira Sankey, as a Bible believing Christian, knew that his place in Heaven was secured by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for our sins when He died on the cross of Calvary. Brother Smith is with the Lord Jesus Christ right now, but do you know, with 100% assurance, from God’s Word, that you will be with Jesus when you die?

If you do not have this assurance, please read:

God’s Simple Plan of Salvation

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;
that ye may know that ye have eternal life,
and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1John 5:13

Philip Paul Bliss

Philip Paul Bliss

BORN: July 9, 1838 Rome, Pennsylvania

DIED: December 29, 1876 Ashtabula, Ohio

LIFE SPAN: 38 years, 5 months, 20 days

Philip Paul Bliss is the second most famous Christian song writer in history. Had he lived as long as his peers, Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley and Ira Sankey, he may have surpassed them all, as the greatest song writer of all time and the most widely used singer of all time, but a tragic accidental train wreck snuffed out his life in his 38th year.

Should anyone challenge this conclusion, let us check out his contributions. For twelve years, he wrote both words and music to such hymns as the following: Almost Persuaded, Dare to be a Daniel, Hallelujah 'Tis Done!, Hallelujah, What a Saviour, Hold the Fort, Jesus Loves Even Me, Let the Lower Lights be Burning, Once For All, The Light of the World is Jesus, Whosoever Will, and Wonderful Words of Life. He wrote only the words for My Redeemer and he wrote only the music for I Gave my Life for Thee, It is Well with my Soul, and Precious Promise. Howls that for a starter! There were and are hundreds more. Some of his songs widely used back when he wrote them, are not so well known today. They are: Are Your Windows Open Toward Jerusalem, Only an Armour-Bearer, More Holiness Give Me, Pull for the Shore, and Will you Meet me at the Fountain?. None of his songs were ever copyrighted.

Mr. Bliss was born with a melody in his heart, in a log cabin home in a mountain region. His father, Mr. Isaac Bliss, was a dedicated Christian man. The first spiritual recollections that Bliss had of his father were the daily family prayers. These prayers were ingrained upon his childhood memory, ever to follow him throughout life.

His father was a lover of music and it was through his father that he developed a passion for singing. They attended the Methodist Church.

When Philip was about six the family moved to Trumbull City, Ohio, but three years later returned to Pennsylvania, settling in Tioga City. During the first ten years of his life, the lad had little schooling, save his father's singing and his mother's teachings. The Holy Bible became an ever-growing influence in his life.

At the age of ten, he heard the piano for the first time and it deepened his burden to become a musician. The occasion is worthtelling. At times, he was allowed to go in to town to sell vegetables from door to door. This was a means of helping the family budget but it also put him in contact with others.

One Saturday, with his basket of vegetables, the barefooted, gawky, ten year old boy was to hear the sweetest music that he had ever listened to. The only things that he could play melodies on were reeds plucked from the marshes. Almost unconscious of what he was doing, he climbed the garden fence of a country estate and entered a home unobserved. Standing in the door of the parlor, he listened to a young lady playing the piano, the first he had ever seen. When she stopped, impulsively, he exclaimed, "0 lady, please play some more!" Somewhat startled, the woman wheeled and saw the awkward, barefooted boy standing before her and immediately exclaimed, "Get out of here with your big, bare feet!" The boy was unaware that he had trespassed, and he went back to the streets crestfallen.

When Philip was eleven years old, in 1849, he left home to make a living for himself. He was to spend the next five years working in logging and lumber camps and sawmills. Having a strong physique, he was able to do a man's work. The next several years took him to many places and tutored him in many trades.

At the age of twelve, in 1850, he made his first public confession of Christ and Joined the Baptist Church of Cherry Flats, Pennsylvania. He does not recall a time when he did not love Christ, but this was the official time of his conversion.

In 1851 he became assistant cook in a lumber camp at $9 per month. Two years later, he was promoted to a log cutter. The following year he became a sawmill worker. Between jobs, he attended school. Uncertain as to what vocation he wanted, he just planned to be prepared for any opportunity that might arise. He spent some of his money in musical education as well. Young Philip remained strong in the Lord amongst the rowdy, laboring men of the camp, although it was not easy, but the spiritual implants of the godly parents were now bearing fruit. He, also, began to participate in Methodist camp meetings and revival services.

At age seventeen, in 1855, he decided that he would take the final step in preparation for his life's work. He went to Bradford City, Pennsylvania and finished the last requirements for his teaching credentials. The next year Philip was the new schoolmaster at Hartsville, New York. When school was not in session, he hired out for summer work on a farm. In 1857 he met J. G. Towner who conducted a vocal school in Towanda, Pennsylvania. Recognizing that young Bliss had an unusually fine singing voice, he proceeded to give him his first formal voice training. Towner also made it possible for him to go to a musical convention in Rome, Pennsylvania, later that year. Here he met William B. Bradbury, a noted composer of sacred music. By the time the convention was over, Bradbury had talked Philip Bliss into surrendering himself to the service of the Lord. The strong influence of these men in his life helped him to decide to be a music teacher. While still in his teens, Philip discovered that he had ability to compose music. His first composition was sent to George F. Root with this strange request, "If you think this song is worth anything, I would appreciate having a flute in exchange for it." He received the flute.

In 1858 he was appointed a teacher in the Rome, Pennsylvania, Academy. Here he met a fine young lady named Lucy Young, who was to become his bride. She was a poet from a musical family and greatly encouraged him in developing his musical talents. She was an earnest member of a Presbyterian Church, which he then joined. In later years they were to sing beautiful duets in the service of Christ. Not quite 21, on June 1, 1859, he married Lucy who was, also, his sister's special friend. He had grown to love her deeply and to admire her for her wonderful Christian life. The young groom worked on his father-in-law's farm for $13 a month while he continued to study music. He took music pupils in the evening to supplement his income and at 22 had sufficient knowledge of music to become an itinerant music teacher. He went from community to community with a $20 melodeon and an ancient horse. It was the day of the old-fashioned singing school which was frequently conducted by a teacher traveling from place to place. Mr. Bliss delighted in these exercises and his musical ability began to attract the attention of his friends. As a teacher of one of these schools, he recognized his limitations and longed to study under some accomplished musician.

His wife's grandmother provided that opportunity in the summer of 1860, by giving him $30 so that he could attend the Normal Academy of Music of New York. This meant six weeks of hard study and inspiration. Upon completion, he took the occupation of professional music teacher in earnest. Within three years, having attended each summer session and studying the rest of the year at home, Mr. Bliss was now recognized as a music authority in his home area, while continuing to travel his circuit. His talent was turning to composition, and his first published number … Loral Vale … though not a sacred number, caused him to believe that he could write songs. This number was published in 1865, one year after it was written.

The Bliss's moved to Chicago in 1864 when Philip was 26. It was here that he began to conduct musical institutes and became widely known as a teacher and a singer. His poems and compositions flowed out with regularity. He collaborated with George F. Root in the writing and publishing of gospel songs. In the summer of 1865, he went on a two-week concert tour with Mr. Towner. He was paid $100. Amazed that so much money could be made in so short a time, he began to dream dreams. These dreams were short lived. The following week a summons appeared at his door stating that he was drafted for service in the Union Army. Since the war was almost over, the decision was cancelled after two weeks and he was released. He then went on another concert tour but this one was a failure. However, during the tour he was offered a position with a Chicago Music House, Root and Cady Musical Publishers, at a salary of $150 per month.

For the next eight years, between 1865 and 1873, often with his wife by his side, he held musical conventions, singing schools, and sacred concerts under the sponsorship of his employers. He was becoming more popular in concert work, not yet directing his full efforts into evangelical singing. He was, however, writing a number of hymns, and Sunday school melodies, and many of these were incorporated into the books, The Triumph and The Prize.

One summer night in 1869, while passing a revival meeting in a church where D. L. Moody was preaching, Mr. Bliss went inside to listen. That night Mr. Moody was without musical help for the singing and Mr. Bliss was aware of it. The singing was rather weak. From the audience, Philip attracted Mr. Moody's attention. At the door, Mr. Moody got the particulars about Mr. Bliss quite quickly and asked him to come to his Sunday evening meetings to help in the singing any time he could. He further urged him to give up his business and become a singing evangelist.

Another chance acquaintance came with Major Daniel W. Whittle, when Mr. Bliss was a substitute song leader in a gospel meeting. Impressed with his voice, Mr. Whittle recommended the young man for the position of choir director at the First Congregational Church in Chicago. This was in 1870. The Blisses moved into an apartment in the Whittle home, and while living there, he wrote two of his most popular hymns … Hold the Fort and Jesus Loves Even Me. Yearly, new songs were published with many of Bliss's songs included. His fame began spreading.

In the fall of 1870, Mr. Bliss assumed the additional task of Sunday school Superintendant at the Congregational Church, which work lasted for three years until his busy schedule made it impossible for him to continue. His first Sunday school book, The Charm, was issued in 1871.

Early in 1873 Moody asked Bliss to be his music director for some meetings in England. Bliss declined and Sankey was then asked to go. Little did Bliss realize the opportunity he had turned down, for it might have been "Moody and Bliss" instead of "Moody and Sankey," for that tour brought Moody into international prominence.

During the winter of 1873 Moody again urged him in a letter from Scotland to devote his entire time to evangelistic singing. Mr. Bliss was facing a time of decision. At a prayer meeting, Mr. Bliss placed himself at the disposal of the Lord, and he decided to lay out a fleece.

He would join his friend Major Whittle, a good evangelist in Waukegan, Illinois, and see what would happen. That was March 24-26, 1874. At one of the services as Mr. Bliss sang, Almost Persuaded, the Holy Spirit seemed to fill the hall. As he sang, sinners presented themselves for prayer and many souls were won to Jesus Christ that night. The following afternoon, as they met for prayer, Mr. Bliss made a formal surrender of his life to Jesus Christ. He gave up everything; his musical conventions, his writing of secular songs, his business position, his work at the church, so that he would be free to devote full time to the singing of sacred music in evangelism, in particular to be Mr. Whittle's song evangelist and children's worker. At the same time, Mr. Whittle dedicated his life to full-time evangelism. A gospel team was born. Little did Mr. Bliss know that he only had two and one-half years to live.

Depending upon the Lord to take care of his wife and two children, he joined Whittle in a successful evangelistic career. Mr. Bliss compiled a revival song-book, for use in their campaigns, entitled Gospel Songs. It was a tremendous success, bringing royalties of $30,000, all of which he gave to Whittle for the development of their evangelistic efforts. Another source mentions $60,000 was made and given to charities. Later when Moody and Sankey returned from England, Sankey and Bliss combined their respective books, Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos with Bliss's book. The new compilation was called Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs by Bliss and Sankey. Mr. Bliss, of course, was elated at this further exposure of his ministries. Several editions were later published with George C. Stebbins collaborating also. Meanwhile, the Whittle-Bliss team held some twenty-five campaigns in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. The 1875 Louisville, Kentucky, meeting was an especially good one. Mr. Bliss especially enjoyed working with young people and often conducted his own "praise meetings" where he would preach and sing.

On Friday, November 24, 1876, Mr. Bliss sang at a ministers' meeting conducted by D. L. Moody in Chicago's Farwell Hall. Over 1,000 preachers were present. A favorite song that was sung, was Are Your Windows Open Toward Jerusalem. Also, he introduced to the gathering a new song that he had just written the music for… It is Well With My Soul. He now had one month to live.

Next, he conducted a service for the 800 inmates of the Michigan State prison. In genuine repentance, many of them wept as he spoke of the love of God and sang, Hallelujah, What a Saviour! The last hymn that he ever sang in a public meeting was one of his own, called Eternity.

Mr. Bliss spent the Christmas holidays with his mother and sister at Towanda and Rome, Pennsylvania, and made plans to return to Chicago for work with Moody in January. A telegram, however, arrived asking him to return sooner, in order to take part in meetings advertised for the Sunday following Christmas. He wired a message, "Tickets for Chicago, via Buffalo and Lake Shore Railroad. Baggage checked through. Shall be in Chicago Friday night. God bless you all forever." He decided to leave his two little children with his mother, Philip Paul age I and George age 4.

Then, the day that was to stun the Christian world arrived, December 29, 1876. The train, the Pacific Express, was struggling along in a blinding snowstorm and was about three hours late on a Friday afternoon. Eleven coaches pulled by two engines were creeping through the huge drifts, approaching Ashtabula, Ohio. Passing over a trestle bridge that was spanning a river, the first engine reached solid ground on the other side but everything else plummeted 75 feet into the ravine below into the icy water. Later, it was determined that flood waters had weakened the bridge.

Five minutes after the train fell, fire broke out. Fanned by galelike winds, the wooden coaches were ablaze. Mr. Bliss succeeded in extricating himself and crawling to safety through a window. Finding his wife was pinned under the ironwork of the seats, he returned into the car, and bravely remained at her side, trying to extricate her as the flames took their toll. All that remained was a charred mass. No trace of their bodies was ever discovered. For days it was not known who were among the dead, as there had been no passenger list. It was tabulated that out of 160 passengers there were only 14 survivors. Later official sources said 92 died. In most cases, there was nothing to recover Mr. Bliss's trunk reached Chicago safely. When it was opened, it was found that the last song that he had written, before his death, began as follows: "I know not what awaits me. God kindly veils my eyes… " The trunk contained many hymn-poems which he had not yet written the music for. One such was My Redeemer, which became world famous, when music was added by James McGranahan. McGranahan, by the way, age 36 at the time of Bliss's death, was so moved by the tragedy that he decided to give up his miscellaneous works and succeed Bliss as Whittle's evangelistic singer. The funeral was held in Rome, Pennsylvania, where a monument was erected bearing the inscription, "P.P. Bliss, author of … Hold the Fort!" Memorial services were held throughout the nation for the beloved couple. No private citizen's death brought more grief to the nation. On December 31st, D. L. Moody spoke at a memorial gathering in Chicago. On January 5th, a song service was held to honor Mr. Bliss there and 8,000 filled the hall, and another 4,000 were on the outside.

Here are the stories of a few of his hymns.

Almost Persuaded … Outside of Just as I am, this has been the most successful gospel invitation song ever written. In the early 1870's, Mr. Bliss was listening to a sermon by Rev. Brundage, a friend of his, in a little church in the east. The preacher closed his appeal with, "He who is almost persuaded is almost saved. But, to be almost saved is to be eternally lost!" These words impressed Bliss so deeply that it led him to write this great hymn.

Hold the Fort … In 1864, General Hood, during the Civil War, was successful in harassing Colonel Sherman's Army from the rear, thereby delaying its advance to the objective. As the situation looked hopeless they saw a white flag waving on a distant mountain twenty miles away signaling this message, "Hold the Fort! I am coming. Sherman." Three hours later the enemy had to retreat as the reinforcements came. In May, 1870, at a special Sunday School meeting in Rockford, Illinois, Whittle's telling of this story greatly moved Bliss. The next day in a Chicago YMCA meeting, Mr. Bliss wrote a chorus on a blackboard and sang for them extemporaneously. The audience joined in and the effect was electric.

Jesus Loves Even Me … One night, Mr. Bliss, weary after many days of labor in downtown Chicago, was resting at the Whittle home at 43 South Street. His heart was overflowing with joy and he sat meditating upon Romans 5:5. As he meditated and prayed, with tears in his eyes, he took pencil and paper and wrote, "I am so glad that our Father in heaven, Tells of His love in the Book He has given … "

The following indented addition if provided by http://wordwisehymns.com/

Several of these songs will be commented on elsewhere, but consider for a moment Jesus Loves Even Me. In a way, it was created as a kind of “protest song.” Frederick Whitfield’s gospel song O How I Love Jesus had been published a few years before. And Bliss attended a meeting in which the song leader had them sing the chorus, “O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus,” over and over again. After this was done a number of times, the thought came to Philip Bliss, “Have I not been singing enough about my poor love for Jesus, and shall I not rather sing of His great love for me?”

It was this concern that led to the writing of Jesus Loves Even Me, a beautifully simple yet profound expression of an important Bible truth. That “The Son of God…loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). It has sometimes been classed as a children’s hymn, but this is unfortunate. It should be sung, and sung often, by all believers.

I am so glad that our Father in heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song in eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

Let the Lower Lights be Burning … On occasion, Mr. Bliss would travel with Moody and be a participant at his meetings. One time Mr. Moody was telling the story of a shipwreck in one of his messages. On a dark stormy night, a large passenger boat cautiously edged toward the Cleveland harbor. The pilot knew that he could only find the harbor channel by keeping two lower shore lights in line with the main beacon. "Are you sure this is Cleveland?," asked the captain. "Quite sure, Sir," replied the pilot. "Where are the lower lights?," he asked. "Gone out, sir!," was the reply. The pilot turned the wheel, but in the darkness, he missed the channel. The boat crashed on the rocks and many lives were lost that night. Mr. Moody's closing words were, "Brethren, the Master will take care of the great lighthouse; let us keep the lower lights burning." At the next meeting with Mr. Moody, Mr. Bliss sang this song … Let the Lower Lights be Burning. It was published in 1874. It is said that this was the favorite hymn of Billy Sunday.

We end this sketch noting It is Well With My Soul whose words were written by Horatio G. Spafford. On November 22, 1873, this preacher and good friend of Mr. Bliss lost his four children in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, as a result of a collision. Mr. Spafford had sent his wife and children ahead, promising to meet them in France, shortly. He wrote the verses in mid-Atlantic on his way over to join his bereaved wife. He asked Mr. Bliss to write the music for his verses. It was introduced publicly for the first time at the previously mentioned ministers' meeting in Chicago in November, 1876. One month later, it was well with Mr. Bliss's soul, as he was reunited with the Spafford children.

- Ed Reeves, Fundamental Publications


Philip Paul Bliss, as a Bible believing Christian, knew that his place in Heaven was secured by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for our sins when He died on the cross of Calvary. Brother Smith is with the Lord Jesus Christ right now, but do you know, with 100% assurance, from God's Word, that you will be with Jesus when you die?

If you do not have this assurance, please read:

God's Simple Plan of Salvation

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1John 5:13

Daily Blessings



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