How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord

1
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."
3
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
4
"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
5
"E'en down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when grey hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne."
6
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake!"
48
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

This classic tune called, “Portuguese Hymn, ” also known as the old church song “Adeste Fideles” has been identified with this hymn titled, “How Firm a Foundation. ”

One thought of when the tune originated is about 1780. At one time it was credited to John Reading (1677-1764) but it is no longer thought to be correct. In several hymnals, it has been ascribed to Marco Portogallo (Mark the Portuguese), a musician born in Lisbon, 1763, who became a composer of operas in Italy, but was made Chapel-Master to the Portuguese King. In 1807, when Napoleon invaded the Italian peninsula and dethroned the royal house of Braganza, Old King John VI fled to Brazil and took Marco with him where he lived until 1815, but returned and died in Italy, in 1830. The story is said to be true other than the fact that his name was Simao, instead of Marco.

On the whole, “Adeste Fideles, ” the “Portuguese Hymn’s” origin is uncertain. It was probably heard for the first time in the Portuguese Chapel, London, and given the name which is still used today. If proofs of its Portuguese origin exist, they may yet be found. “How firm a Foundation“ was the favorite of Deborah Jackson, President Andrew Jackson’s wife, and on his deathbed he asked for it to be sung. It was the favorite of General Robert E. Lee, and was played at his funeral. The American love for this hymn was never more poignantly illustrated that when on Christmas Eve, 1898, a whole corps of the United States Army, Northern and Southern, encamped on the Quemados Hill , near Havana, Cuba, sang the tune and words:

“Fear not, I am with Thee, O be not dismayed. ”

Lieut. Col. Curtis Guild, later Governor Guild of Massachusetts told the story in the Sunday School Times for December 7, 1901.

(Brown and Butterworth)


Cherry Hamilton

Felixstowe, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Amazing grace that our God brings us through the storms of life. He will “never, no never, no never forsake. ” This hymn blesses my soul.


Tim Savisky

Pittsburgh, PA, United States

The greyer our hair gets, the greater our God becomes, in His unchangeable faithfulness and power. His being is eternal encouragement to all those who have given their hearts to Him:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name; you are Mine!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,

Nor will the flame burn you.

For I am the Lord your God,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43:1-3)


Deborah Lee

New York, United States

@ John Purdie— the 5th stanza is related to Isaiah 46:4— “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. To whom will you compare me or count me equal? ”


Susan Eddlemon

Kingsport, TN, United States

I wanted to know why for the hymn "How firm a foundation the saints of the Lord" the piano plays a different tune? It plays, "O come All ye faithful"


John Purdie

Sarasota, Florida, United States

This hymn, a top favourite, for more than 85 years! has always been a great source of comfort and encouragement to me, and my family, All stanzasI have memorized, except #5, which I personally do not think is of the same calibre, or Scriptural content as the other five!

Each line, is a sermon in itself, but

stanzas #3 & #4 ..... especially stand out

in my memory, over many, many years!

I love this hymn!

Ian

When through the deep waters

I call thee to go

The rivers of woe

Shall not thee overflow

For I will be with thee

Thy troubles to bless

And sanctify to thee

Thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials

Thy pathways shall lie

My grace all sufficient

Shall be thy supply

The flame shall not hurt thee,

My only design

Thy dross to consume

And thy gold to refine.

Finally....

I'll never, no never, no never forsake!


Bob Arvin

Monroe, Michigan, United States

This is the hymnal that begins every "Thru The Bible" broadcast by Dr. J. Vernon McGee.


H.I

Austin, TX, United States

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!

Praise Him!


Racquel

Seneca Falls, NY, United States

This is one of the few songs that my 5 month will fall asleep to


Pam

Millington, TN, United States

The tune "O Come, All Ye Faithful" is the alternate tune to this hymn. That is the tune we learned when I was a child. : )

Try it! It's beautiful. In the back of your mind you can add the thought: O come, let us adore Him - Christ, the Lord. Isn't He worthy of all praise!