How Firm a Foundation

How Firm a Foundation

Dr. John Rippon, publisher of How Firm a Foundation, 1785

Dr. John Rippon, publisher of How Firm a Foundation, 1785

In 1787 Dr. John Rippon published a hymn book entitled A Selection of Hymn from the Best Authors, in which the hymn How Firm a Foundation was first published. The author of the hymn was listed only as “K—”. Some believe the hymn was written by Mr. R. Keene, a song leader in Rippon’s church. It is a shame that we do not know for sure the author of this magnificent hymn.

Through his beautiful lyrics, the author assures us that in every condition of life, sickness, health, poverty, wealth, wherever God leads us, through our youth into old age, God is with us, providing, protecting and guiding us by his omnipotent hand and through His excellent Word!

This hymn was a favorite of Rachel Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson. It was also a favorite of General Robert E. Lee and sung at his funeral. The hymn was sung also at the funerals of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

You can listen to this hymn on you tube:

How Firm a Foundation lyrics:
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,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

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; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.