The Spaffords did their best to put together their shattered
lives back in Chicago. In 1878, a daughter, Bertha, was born
and, two years later, a son Horatio. After an epidemic of
scarlet fever broke out and their baby son died, it seemed
that the Spaffords were doomed to unhappiness. Rumors ran
rampant through their church, "What had the Spaffords done
that God could visit such misfortunes upon them?" Horatio
left the Fullerton Presbyterian Church, which he had helped
to build. In solidarity a group of Spafford's friends also
abandoned the Chicago church and together decided to seek
solace and God's guidance in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Delaying only until the birth of their daughter, Grace, in
August 1881, the Spaffords set out for Jerusalem with a band
of thirteen adults and three children.
Waiting for the Morning and Other Poems.
Chicago: F.H.P. Resell, 1878.
Manuscript Division (2)
"How Long, O Lord!"
"How Long, O Lord!" is one of twenty poems by Horatio
Spafford printed in a slim pamphlet entitled, Waiting
for the Morning. These poems trace Spafford's
spiritual journey after the shipwreck, when he decided
that material possessions and worldly success ("might
and shameless greed") were unimportant in the light
of his loss. On the title page of this volume, Horatio
is identified as the author of "Twenty Reasons for
Believing the Coming of the Lord is Nigh," a theme
he continued to address in these poems.
"Next Year in Jerusalem"
Horatio Spafford probably wrote this hymn in 1879.
In it he explored the belief, held by some Christian
sects, that the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem
was a sign of the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ.
The corrections, most probably penciled in after he
arrived in Jerusalem, give an insight into how Horatio's
supreme trust in God's plan for him was reinforced
by his experiences in the Holy Land. Notice the change
from present to past in the first two lines and the
addition of "join us herein."
" Next Year in Jerusalem."
Manuscript hymn, ca. 1879.
Manuscript Division (3.1)
Diary entry for August 1882.
Manuscript Division (11)
Horatio Spafford's Diary, August 1882
Written almost a year after he left Chicago for Jerusalem,
the two pages of this diary show Horatio dedicating
himself to rely "exclusively on the power and grace
of God in Christ." It is an intimate glimpse into his
spiritual quest. He writes: "Lord, I have always up
to this day been holding on to something of the flesh.
I crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts.
Henceforward I live a eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven's
sake. I rely exclusively, exclusively on the power
and grace of God in [Christ]. I am a miracle of grace!
Blessed God how patient thou hast been with me!"
In a letter sent from Jerusalem to relatives, Anna
Spafford recalled the family's spiritual struggles
in the aftermath of their tragic loss and relocation
to the Holy Land. She writes: "I wonder how long we
shall hold this old house on the wall (pictured
in photo). There is no place like it in all Jerusalem
and here this work was started and held & all the
battles fought over self & sin. Every stone speaks
of victory and strength. Here Horatio lived and died & left
us his strong spirit to copy."
Anna Spafford to "George
October 5, 1902.
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Manuscript Division (10)