Some of my favorite hymns were written by Philip P. Bliss, like this dear old hymn of faith “Wonderful Words of Life” that was written in 1874. Philip Bliss is said to be the second most popular Christian hymn writer of all time. Mr. Bliss had a lovely voice and was a successful music teacher, singer and composer of secular music before he surrendered to the Lord. D.L. Moody encouraged Mr. Bliss for years to dedicate his life to the Lord as a singing evangelist. In 1873 Bliss finally gave up everything to follow the Lord and compose and sing music only for Him.
Several years ago, when we lived in Ashtabula County, Ohio we attended a little theater presentation of the life of Philip P. Bliss. Ashtabula became associated with Philip Bliss when he went home to be with the Lord one winter as the train upon which he was riding was involved in a terrible wreck when he was just 38 years old. A bridge in Ashtabula had been weakened by flood waters and as the train crossed the bridge collapsed, taking the train and more than 100 passengers with it into the icy waters below. You can read the news account of this event here: Ashtabula Bridge Disaster. Mr. Bliss had originally survived the wreck but gave his life trying to rescue his wife who was pinned in the wreckage. Both Mr. & Mrs. Bliss perished in the wreck on December 29, 1876.
Here is an accompaniment and words video that I put together of this great hymn. Take a moment and sing along.