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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

Horatio Gates Spafford, a 43-year-old Chicago Businessman, suffered financial disaster in the great Chicago fire of 1871. He and his wife were still grieving over the death of their son shortly before the fire, and he realized they needed to get away for a vacation. Knowing that their friend Dwight L. Moody was going to preach in evangelistic campaigns in England that fall, Spafford decided to take his entire family to England. His wife and four daughters went ahead on the SS Ville du Havre, and he planned to follow in a few days.

But on the Atlantic Ocean the ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank within 12 minutes. 226 lives were lost – including the Spafford’s four daughters. When the survivors were brought to shore at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband two words: "Saved alone."

Spafford booked passage on the next ship. As they were...

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