For the month of October we will be singing the song “It is Well with my Soul” each Sunday. Choosing to focus on one song like this each month will allow our families to learn some of the great songs of church history. Also, it allows us to share even with our littlest ones the opportunity to join in with full voice in Sunday worship. We will also be including a responsive reading from the Puritan Catechism by C.H. Spurgeon. We have included the first ten questions and answers below the hymn for your use.

“It Is Well with My Soul” is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss.

It was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

It is Well with my Soul

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.

Refrain:
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)

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)

Puritan Catechism

(compiled by C.H. Spurgeon)

Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31), and to enjoy him for ever (Ps. 73:25-26).

Q. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?
A. The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:16) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy him (1 Jn. 1:3).

Q. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man (2 Tim. 1:13; Eccl. 12:13).

Q. What is God?
A. God is Spirit (Jn. 4:24), infinite (Job 11:7), eternal (Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17), and unchangeable (Jas. 1:17) in his being (Exod. 3:14), wisdom, power (Ps. 147:5), holiness (Rev. 4:8), justice, goodness and truth (Exod. 34:6-7).

Q. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only (Deut. 6:4), the living and true God (Jer. 10:10).

Q. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory (1 Jn. 5:7; Matt. 28:19).

Q. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to the counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained whatever comes to pass (Eph. 1:11-12).

Q. How does God execute his decrees?
A. God executes his decrees in the works of creation (Rev. 4:11), and providence (Dan. 4:35).

Q. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is God’s making all things (Gen. 1:1) of nothing, by the Word of his power (Heb. 11:3), in six normal consecutive days (Exod. 20:11), and all very good (Gen. 1:31).

Q. How did God create man?
A. God created man, male and female, after his own image (Gen. 1:27), in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Col 3:10; Eph. 4:24) with dominion over the creatures (Gen. 1:28).