The Church’s one foundation

1
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.
2
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.
3
’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.
4
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.
55
Shalleth Wawuda

Voi, Coast, Kenya

I am blessed by this song. I feel good


Miena

Pretoria, Eersterust, Gauteng, South Africa

This is a very inspiring and nice hymn. It's one of our churches hymns here. I love to sing it and it's always on my mind


Thomas Ley

Rocklin, CA, United States

I came across the first line of this hymn in the first page of the book: “From Heaven He Came and Sought Her”. Such a good verse I had to look it up. I now must learn it and introduce it to my church.


Mary Walker

Whitehill, Hampshire, United Kingdom

I too have been reminded of this hymn, as my study group have been studying the glorious and hope-filled future of the unified Body and Bride of Christ, made up of worldwide members, past, present and future, able to experience the ‘communion of saints’.


Montreuil Milord

Homestead, FL, United States

Great melody!


Ana Lara

United States

This hymn was written by a pastor of the Church of England, Samuel J. Stone, in 1866. It was during this period that there was much turmoil within the Anglican Church over a book written three years earlier by William Colenso, a liberal Anglican Bishop in which he attacked the historic accuracy of the Pentateuch. The book, “The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua, Critically Examined, ” was greatly opposed by another Anglican leader, Bishop Gray. This dispute between these two leaders created a widespread controversy throughout the Church of England.

Samuel Stone was deeply troubled by this situation and in 1866 wrote a collection of hymns, “Lyra of the Faithful, ” containing twelve hymns based upon the Apostles’ Creed to combat against the liberalism that he felt would imminently divide and destroy the church. This hymn is based on the Ninth Article of the Creed which reads, “The Holy Catholic

(Universal) Church; the Communion of the Saints: He is the Head of this Body. ” It was Stone’s conviction that the oneness of the Church must rest solely on the Lordship of Christ as its head and not on the views or the interpretations of men.

The hymn soon became popular throughout Great Britain. It was translated into a number of languages, including Latin. Two years later all of the Anglican Bishops met together in a theological conclave known as the Lambeth Conference. Stone’s hymn was selected as the thematic hymn for that historical meeting. Samuel Stone became a prominent and prolific writer of hymns with his publications running into many editions. He wrote a total of seven books of verse and served in a committee which prepared the 1909 edition of the well-known Anglican hymnal, “Hymns Ancient and Modern. ” Today, however, this hymn is the only one which is still in general use.

Samuel Stone was born in Whitmore, Staffordshire, England, in 1839. After graduating from Oxford, he spent most of his remaining ministry in two parishes in London, where he became known as the poor man’s pastor. He spent his time ministering to the poor and underprivileged population in London’s East End where it was said “he created a beautiful place of worship for the humble folk, and made it the center of light in the dark places. ” He was known as a man of peerless character; he was generous towards the weak and needy and at the same time he fought vehemently for the faith which was being attacked in his day. Samuel refused to compromise before Higher Criticism and the evolutionary philosophies that were becoming increasingly popular. He believed in the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God. Samuel’s writings have been described as

“strongly outspoken utterances of a manly faith, where dogma, prayer and praise are interwoven with much skill. ”

Stone’s text originally contained seven stanzas. However, most hymnals today use his first, second and fifth verses; the last stanza is a compilation of the first four lines of both his sixth and seventh verses. His original third stanza is omitted in today’s hymnals:

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 that hate her, and false sons in her pale

Against the foe or traitor she ever will prevail.

The composer of this music, Samuel S. Wesley, was born in London, England, on August 14, 1810. He was the grandson of Charles Wesley and was recognized as one of the leading church musicians of his day. He received a Doctorate of Music from Oxford University when he was only twenty-nine years of age. He composed a great deal of church service music as well as original hymn tunes. This tune known as “Aurelia, ” taken from the word “Aureus, ” the Latin word for “golden, ” was originally composed for the hymn-text “Jerusalem the Golden. ” It was first matched with Stone’s text in 1868 for use at the Bishops’ Lambeth Conference.


Mori Takashi

Kobe, Hyogo, Japan

I love this hymn very much- Whenever I sing this at our church, I always happy. May peace on the earth and unit to beat COVID-19.

In Japanese, it is called “主は教会の基となり(Shu wa kyokai no motoi to nari”and in Korean it is called “교회의 참된 터는”.


Nancy Kierstead

Miamisburg, Ohio, United States

This hymn came to mind this morning as my Bible study group is beginning to study the book of Jude. Jude 1:3b ... ”I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. ” Our Christian one true faith as explained by Wesley’s notes - delivered by God to remain unvaried forever.


Valerie

Chippenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

The Lord is faithfully waking me up to 'watch and pray' and has brought this hymn to mind this morning.... how apt are these words today when there is so much uncertainty and shaking of the nation's. Jesus truly is our one foundation, our security and hope is in Him alone!


Godwin Christopher J

Vellore, Tamilnadu, India

I recollect this song sung in the Church dedication by Bishop Robert Caldwell at Idiyankudi, on July 6, 1880