Christmas BellsComposed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day 1863
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.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem Christmas Bells was set to music and made famous by many performers, including The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. However, many Americans are unaware that these lines have roots in the American Civil War.
In spring 1863 Longfellow’s son Charles Appleton Longfellow, sneaked away from home and enlisted in the Federal army. He received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry. In November 1863, young Longfellow suffered a serious and career-ending wound during a skirmish. He and others wounded were transported by train to Washington, DC, accompanied by the Army surgeon. Longfellow met Charles and took him home. The battle injury required months to heal, causing suffering and anxiety for father and son.
As a response to the hardships and war raging around him, Longfellow wrote the poem Christmas Bells on Christmas Day in 1863.
Many Christians today feel we are in a civil war fighting for liberty, fidelity and our Biblical US Constitution. In the middle of this insanity, many young people are deceived in the fight for truth.
To be faithful to the next generation, we must remove our children from the “line of fire” by giving them a Biblical education to restore their Heritage of Hope. As Longfellow penned: “The wrong shall fail, The right prevail”.
What do we know of truth apart from God? God has a purpose and plan for our nation, and as Christians we need to step boldly forward in restoring Christian education to America. He promises that if we trust Him, we and generations to come will be preserved.
For more on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Christmas Bells visit:
American Battlefield Trust