Key Verse: Verse 14 – “For
he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall
of partition between us;”
Key Words:For he is our peace
The lyrics to
this song come from the beloved American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Perhaps the bells were those of the Episcopal
seminary that is still active next door to the poet's historic home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1864, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” sprang directly out of the
cataclysmic American Civil War. So
Longfellow mourns in the next-to-last stanza: “And in despair I bowed my head/’There is no peace on earth,’ I
said,/For hate is strong and mocks the song/Of peace on earth, good will to
But the bells
answered him: “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:/’God
is not dead, nor doth He sleep;’ ‘The wrong shall fail, the right prevail/With
peace on earth, good will to men.’”
This is where
most people believe the song ends. But
Longfellow wrote two more stanzas that are omitted from hymnals. They tell of the battles then raging in the
from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound the carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn the households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
I heard the bells on
familiar carols play,
and wild and
sweet the words repeat
Of peace on
earth, good-will to men!
What to do:
✞ When we go through the fiery trials of life, remember God is not dead nor
asleep. He knows what you are going through. Remember, everything in life “comes to pass.”