What are some stories behind hymns?


Quick Answer

A Swedish man, Carl Bobert, was walking home one Sunday after church. He was listening to the church bells ringing when suddenly a tremendous storm hit. It disappeared just as quickly, leaving him awestruck. This inspired him to write a poem, which later became the hymn "How Great Thou Art."

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Full Answer

After losing his young daughter to illness and many of his investments to the Great Chicago Fire, Horatio Spafford decided to take his wife and remaining four children to Europe. She and the children departed by ship while he remained behind to deal with a business emergency, planning to leave on a separate ship a few days later. Their ship collided with another ship and sank, taking the lives of all the children but not his wife. A few days later, he departed by ship to join her in England. When his ship passed by the location of where his children had drowned, he wrote the words to "It is Well" and later wrote the accompanying music.

A poet named Charlotte Elliott was at a dinner party when another guest asked her if she was a Christian. She was initially offended and approached him later to find out why he had asked this question, which she considered inappropriate. During the conversation, he told her that she could come to Jesus "just as she was." She later became a Christian and, recalling his words, penned the hymn "Just As I Am.".

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