“I Know Not What Awaits Me”
News Headlines ~ Chicago Tribune ~ December 30, 1876
Gospel Singer and Songwriter Burns to Death in Tragic Train Wreck
The railroad train, on which Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Bliss rode to their death, left Buffalo, New York, on Friday, December 29, 1876. When approaching Ashtabula, Ohio, the bridge gave way, and the train, with 160 passengers plunged into the ravine.
It was the worst winter night of the year and as the train was creeping across the bridge, something snapped. There was confusion with the cracking of wooden beams, and then the crash of the train, into freezing water. Cries of the injured and suffering could be heard from the train below. Men, women, and children, with limbs, bruised and broken, and some pinched between heavy timbers, begged with their last breath for help.
Five minutes, after the train fell, a fire broke out. Mr. Bliss succeeded in escaping from the wreckage and soon realized his dear wife was pinned under the ironwork of the seats. Returning to the car, he bravely remained at her side attempting to release her maimed body. Other men went back after their wives and children and found them suffocating and roasting in the flames. In less than ten minutes after the catastrophe, every car in the wreck was on fire. The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. P. P, Bliss were never recovered, but his trunk reached Chicago safely.
When the trunk was opened, they found the last song that he had written, before his death. "I know not what awaits me. God kindly veils my eyes…" The last verse of the song read: “So on I go, not knowing, I would not if I might; I'd rather walk in the dark with God Than go alone in the light; I'd rather walk by faith with him Than go alone by sight.”
God alone knows the future. Whatever may await you, when you trust Christ as your “Redeemer,” victory is given over sin and death and hell.
Lord, I will sing of You, my Redeemer.