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!”
7
Hanakin

United States

I was looking for the hymn "Be Still My Soul", and instead I came across this hymn. And oh how wonderful the words are! I've now found a song for my sibling and I to learn together! God bless this website!


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Dr. Rippon was pastor of the well-known Carter's Lane Baptist Church in London, England for 63 years. [Dr. John Gill was the previous pastor for 51 years. John Fawcett, author had accepted the position to succeed Gill at prestigious Carter's Lane, but changed his mind and wrote the hymn 'Blest be the Tie that Binds' on that occassion. C.H. Spurgeon was a later pastor of this church.] Rippon was considered one of the most popular and influential dissenting ministers of his time.

Like so many of our enduring hymns, "How Firm a Foundation" is really a sermon in a song. In the 1st stanza the sure foundation of the Christian faith is established as being the Word of God itself, The succeeding verses then personalize and amplify precious promises that God has documented in His Word.

The 2nd stanza is a comforting promise found in Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God."

The 3rd stanza recalls a precious promise especially for those passing through some deep crisis of life found in Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you."

The 4th stanza is based on a New Testament promise found in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

[The 5th stanza is based on Isaiah 46:4 "Even to old age, I am HE, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear,; I will carry and will save."]

Then that powerful 6th stanza is based on one of the most glorious promises in Scripture, Hebrews 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

As children of God we need to learn the lesson of daily "leaning for repose" upon the never-failing arms of our God and to remember the faithful promises of His Word whenever the difficulties of life cross our pathways. - '52 Hymn Stories Dramatized' by Kenneth W. Osbeck

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Like the majority of his co-religionists, Rippon gave his warm sympathy to the Americans during the war of independence, and was in correspondence with leading baptists on the other side of the Atlantic. - wikisource


M.C.

Beltsville, MD, United States

Someone suggested singing the first phrase of the final line three times, and that's clever and intriguing, and it works, but if singing with a group it might be easier to just repeat the final line of each stanza (see piano or guitar lead sheet).

I find that when singing a hymn to a different tune than is customary, or just in a new way (like repeating a phrase three times instead of repeating an entire line), often new appreciation is gained for otherwise familiar lyrics. :)


Henrich Brockhaus

Bellingham, WA, United States

I just found the other tune: "How Firm a Foundation - YouTube" sung by a men's choir. It also shows the text.


Sterling

I liked the original music better.


Jim Heimbach

Hidden Valley Lake, CA, United States

Apparently this tune (O Come All Ye Faithul) was the original according to the information related to the song. It certainly fits the words. In order for it to work you need to repeat the first phrase of the last line of each verse three times.


Stephanie Archey

Columbia, KY, United States

This tune is "All come all ye faithful".