The Church’s One Foundation (Full Version)   5 comments

Crucifix I July 15, 2014

Above:  One of My Crucifixes, July 15, 2014

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Words by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900)

This hymn exists in several versions.  The original form (1866) had seven stanzas.  The shorter 1868 version, which Stone prepared, dropped the original third stanza and combined parts of the original sixth and seventh stanzas to form the new fifth stanza.  Stone added three more stanzas (for use in processions at Salisbury Cathedral) in 1885.  This post contains a composite of the 1866 and 1885 versions, with the stanzas in the order in which I found them arranged in John Julian’s A Dictionary of Hymnology (1892).

The hymn is one of twelve from a series of texts Stone wrote to explain the Nicene Creed.

Other Hymn Sources = The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian; and The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America


1866  1.  The Church’s one foundation

Is Jesus Christ her Lord:

She is His new creation

By water and the word;

From heaven He came and sought her

To be His holy bride;

With His own blood he sought her,

And for her life He died.

1866  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.

1866 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 that hate her,

False sons within her pale,

Against both foe and traitor

She ever shall prevail.

1866  4.  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.

1866  5.  ‘Mid toil and tribulation,

And tumult of her war,

She waits the consumation,

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.

1885  6.  So, Lord, she stands before Thee,

For evermore Thine own;

No merit is her glory,

Her boasting this alone:

That she who did not choose Thee

Come, chosen, at Thy call,

Never to leave or lose Thee

Or from Thy favor fall.

1885  7.  For Thy word remaineth;

No creature far or high,

No fiend of ill who reigneth

In hell or haunted sky;

No doubting world’s decision

That holds her in despite,

Shall hide her from Thy vision,

Shall lure her from Thy light.

1885  8.  Thine, Thine; In bliss or sorrow,

As well in shade or shine;

Of old, to-day, to-morrow,

To all the ages, Thine.

Thine is her great commission,

Baptized into Thy Name,

And is her last fruition

Of all her life and aim.

1866  9.  As she on earth hath union

With God, the Three in One,

So hath she sweet communion

With those whose rest is won;

With all her sons and daughters,

Who by the Master’s hand

Led through the deadly waters,

Repose is Eden-land.

1866  10.  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,

For ever shall abide.

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