The Church's one foundation

The Church's one foundation
  Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
  By water and the Word:
From heav'n He came and sought her
  To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
  And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation,
  Yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation,
  One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
  Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
  With every grace endued.
'Mid toil and tribulation,
  And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
  Of peace for evermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
  Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
  Shall be the Church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union
  With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
  With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
  Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
  In love may dwell with Thee.
James Finney

Monterey, CA, United States

This song is such an inspirational summation of the beliefs and doctrine of the Christian church, and how I miss it! Our church, The Church of the Nazarene, no longer plays these wonderful old hymns, instead plays long sets of praise choruses that teach nothing of doctrine or belief. Worship is fine, essential, but without knowing what or why you are worshipping it is empty and an exercise in giddy hand-waving and empty ecstasy, metaphorically like building a house with no foundation.

Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Samuel Stone's ministry was located among the poorer people at the outskirts of Windsor. He was a fighter. He stood up for what he believed, and if local "toughs" threatened the neighborhood, he was not afraid to take them on. In the Church of England, Stone was regarded as a fundamentalist, opposing the liberal theological tendencies of his day. When he was 27, he wrote a collection of hymns based on the Apostles' Creed. This hymn, taken from that collection, is based on the article in the Creed regarding the church as the Body of Christ.

Two years later, Anglicans from around the world met to discuss the crucial theological issues that were raging in the church. Significantly, they chose Stone's hymn as the processional for their historic conference. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton


The 4 stanzas given above are what are in most hymnals. There are 2 additional stanzas between the above stanzas 2 and 3:

The Church shall never perish!

Her dear Lord to defend,

To guide, sustain, and cherish,

Is with her to the end:

Though there be those who hate her,

And false sons in her pale,

Against both foe or traitor

She ever shall prevail.


Though with a scornful wonder

Men see her sore oppressed,

By schisms rent asunder,

By heresies distressed:

Yet saints their watch are keeping,

Their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

Shall be the morn of song!


The 4th stanza above is the combination of the 1st halves of the 2 last original stanzas:

Yet she on earth hath union

With God the Three in One,

And mystic sweet communion

With those whose rest is won,

With all her sons and daughters

Who, by the Master’s hand

Led through the deathly waters,

Repose in Eden land.


O happy ones and holy!

Lord, give us grace that we

Like them, the meek and lowly,

On high may dwell with Thee:

There, past the border mountains,

Where in sweet vales the Bride

With Thee by living fountains

Forever shall abide!


Lagos, Nigeria

This has been my most inspiration, the hope I held on to and my everlasting faith. This song always bring me closer in fellowship with the Trinity divine. Thanks so much for this effort. God bless.


Louisville, KY, United States

Thank you for this site.

Lee Parrott

Georgia, United States

Amazingly beautiful and true, praise our God!


Lagos, Nigeria

Beautiful hymn.