A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Peace! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.@Mark 4:37–39
portrait
Horatio R. Palmer (1834–1907)

Ma­ry A. Ba­ker, 1874.

When Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent James Gar­field was ass­as­sin­at­ed in 1881, the hymn was sung at sev­er­al of the fun­er­al ser­vic­es held in his hon­or through­out the coun­try.

Ho­ra­tio R. Palm­er, 1874 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Dr. Palmer re­quest­ed me to pre­pare sev­er­al songs on the sub­ject of the cur­rent Sun­day school les­sons. One of the themes was “Christ Still­ing the Tem­pest.” It so ex­pressed an ex­per­i­ence I had re­cen­tly passed through, that this hymn was the result.

A very dear and on­ly bro­ther, a young man of rare love­li­ness and pro­mise of char­ac­ter, had been laid in the grave, a vic­tim of the same dis­ease that had al­rea­dy ta­ken fa­ther and mo­ther. His death oc­curred un­der pe­cul­iar­ly dis­tress­ing cir­cums­tanc­es.

He was more than a thou­sand miles away from home, seek­ing in the bal­my air of the sun­ny South the heal­ing that our cold­er climate could not give. Sud­den­ly he grew worse. The wri­ter was ill and could not go to him.

For two weeks the long lines of tel­e­graph wires car­ried back and forth mes­sag­es be­tween the dy­ing bro­ther and his wait­ing sis­ters, ere the word came which told us that our be­loved bro­ther was no longer a dwell­er on the earth.

Although we mourned not as those with­out hope, and al­though I had be­lieved on Christ in ear­ly child­hood and had al­ways de­sired to give the Mas­ter a con­se­crat­ed and obe­di­ent life, I be­came wick­ed­ly re­bel­lious at this dis­pen­sa­tion of di­vine pro­vi­dence. I said in my heart that God did not care for me or mine. But the Mas­ter’s own voice stilled the tem­pest in my un­sanc­ti­fied heart, and brought it to the calm of a deep­er faith and a more per­fect trust.

Sankey, pp. 220–21

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threatening
A grave in the angry deep?

Refrain

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Refrain

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessèd Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

Refrain