I Heard The Bells

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out that same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to hear the his own son had been seriously wounded as a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac.

Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing, and ringing. It was in this setting he wrote:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

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 men.

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.

At this Chirstmas time whether you are in sorrow or in joy you can know that God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. He knows all things and is the source of the only remedy we have for the bleakness of this life in this flesh. Seek Him this year instead of the outward manifestations of the season. He will give life real meaning and your heart real peace, the peace that passes all understanding.

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8 thoughts on “I Heard The Bells

  1. Dear Mike, Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. It is a blessing. May you too, know and keep knowing His peace- peace that passes all understanding, all misunderstanding, all confusion, all heart break, all…..
    In Christ,
    your sister Kim

  2. Beneath the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands. Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. (I love Longfellow!)

    “He will give life real meaning”
    And what is real meaning? Eternal life with Christ which began the instant we were born again. All sin is a result of looking on the temporal and being blinded to the eternal. God bless!

  3. Rick,
    I memorized that poem by Longfellow in the 6th grade. :-) Amen, yes, only with the eternal perspective that we get by God’s grace to we see the truth and live in it.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  4. I am new to this site. I have heard this song before and just never understood it. Thanks so much!

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