Forgotten Verses, #1: “It is Well With My Soul.”

As we know it, the fourth and concluding verse of “It is Well With My Soul” begins with, “And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight.” But, originally, that wasn’t verse #4β€”it was verse #6. Horatio Spafford originally wrote six verses to the song.

Verses 1-3 in Spafford’s original are the same verses 1-3 we sing today. Let’s spotlight verse 3:

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!

Verse 3 looks back, first to the Cross, and then to that glorious moment when the power of salvation was applied to our lives. But Spafford didn’t originally jump from there to the resurrection. Instead, the original verse 4 looked at life in the present moment:

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.

Before we get to the familiar verse 6/4, there was also a verse 5:

But, Lord, β€˜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!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

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  1. Oh how I love Hymn stories and “forgotten verses” – It’s amazing how “theologically meaty” the forgotten verses are. I actually am in the process of getting a degree in Sacred Music which includes hymnology. I’m glad that someone is getting these other verses. Can’t wait to see what’s next in this series!!!

    • I have a couple specifically in mind; I’ve also come across several others in the past, and I’m trying to remember which ones they are. πŸ™‚

  2. I give credit to Triumphant. They actually used that 3rd verse in their Hymns album a couple years ago and I thought it was the highlight of the song.

    • Are you talking about their 2006 Treasures album? I don’t remember them doing that verse.

      • I think he is referring to “My sin oh the bliss…” verse. Which is basically commonality. I don’t think I have ever heard anyone record the other verses. At least to my knowledge, unless you or anyone else knows otherwise.

      • Oh, OK! I was terribly puzzled there for a while. Thanks!

  3. Good post!

  4. Very nice! Especially the last verse. About made me shout just sitting here singing it.

  5. These verses are excellent! I always liked the song, but this would make it one of my favorites. πŸ™‚

    • I thought I had told them to you already – some years back! I’m almost positive I’ve played/sung them at the piano at Mom & Dad’s home, but maybe you weren’t listening. πŸ˜›

      • I probably heard it and forgot. You know how OLD I am. πŸ™‚

        But this time I don’t intend to forget. I have recommended the addition of these verses to our church collection- that would make it a bit harder to forget.

      • That is a most excellent idea. πŸ™‚

  6. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.