Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Horatio G. Spafford - "It is Well with My Soul"

This summer at St. Paul's I'm preaching on the favorite hymns of the congregation, and tying them into the lectionary. This week is "It is Well with My Soul." (view sermon) I thought I remembered that the hymn author didn't have a happy ending to his life, despite the inspiring and touching story of how the hymn was written, but I had to search long and hard before I found the ending to his story:

from the Christian Network: "In his late life Spafford experienced a mental disturbance which prompted him to go to Jerusalem under the strange delusion that he was the second Messiah. He died there in 1888 at the age of sixty."

It's a sad ending to his life, but I wish people wouldn't tend to exclude it from the story and try to make him into some saint who never faltered in the face of sorrow in his life. Sometimes the real story is more moving . . .