How Firm a Foundation

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from Rippon’s Selection of Hymns
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 529

Not a whole lot is known about the exact origin of this hymn. The text was first published under the title “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises” in 1787 in the hymnbook A Selection of Hymns, compiled by British pastor John Rippon. This title comes from 2 Peter 1:3-4.

John Rippon was a Baptist minister in London who collected, edited, and published several collections of hymns throughout his life. Unfortunately, he frequently neglected to list the authors of the hymns he published, and would often make changes to the text without acknowledging which of the words were by the original authors and which were his alterations. This has been a source of frustration for historians and hymnologists!

The text for this hymn was attributed simply to the author “K”. There have been a few possibilities as to whom this may refer, but it is likely to a man named Richard Keene, who was the song leader in the church where Rippon was pastor. The text has been set to several melodies. The tune known as “FOUNDATION” is an American folk melody, but it is not known who wrote it or what the original lyrics for that melody may have been.

“How Firm a Foundation”

Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2, 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Hebrews 13:5.

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?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, 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 gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean 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.”

“I Must Tell Jesus”

The author of this hymn writes on how this hymn came about as follows:

There was a wo­man to whom God had per­mit­ted ma­ny vi­sit­a­tions of sor­row and af­flict­ion. Com­ing to her home one day, I found her much dis­cour­aged. She un­bur­dened her heart, con­cluding with the quest­ion, “Bro­ther Hoff­man, what shall I do?” I quot­ed from the word, then add­ed, “You can­not do bet­ter than to take all of your sor­rows to Je­sus. You must tell Jesus.”

For a mo­ment she seemed lost in med­i­ta­tion. Then her eyes light­ed as she ex­claimed, “Yes, I must tell Je­sus.” As I left her home I had a vi­sion of that joy-il­lum­in­at­ed face…and I heard all along my path­way the echo, “I must tell Je­sus. I must tell Je­sus.”

Hoffman wrote these words after reach­ing home.

This great hymn reminds us of the need to rely on our wonderful Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in each and every situation and trial in life. May the Lord help us. Amen.

Lyrics and Music: Elisha A Hoffman

I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.

I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate Friend;
If I but ask Him He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.

Tempted and tried I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:
He all my cares and sorrows will share.

O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the vict’ry to win.

Rise Up, O men Of God!

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

Text: William P. Merrill, 1867-1954
Music: William H. Walter, 1825-1893

Lord, When Iniquities Abound

LORD, when iniquities abound,
    And blasphemy grows bold,
When faith is hardly to be found
    And love is waxing cold

When scorners stand on every side,
    And sons of God seem few;
When men, in vanity and pride,
    Have but themselves in view

Is not Thy coming hastening on?
    Hast Thou not given this sign?
May we not trust and lean upon
    A promise so divine?

When man is ‘god’, then Thou wilt rise
    And make oppressors flee;
In power appear, to their surprise,
    And set Thy servants free.

Thy Word like silver, fully-tried,
    Through ages shall endure;
And all who in its truth confide,
    Shall find Thy promise sure

       Isaac Watts, 1674-1748


None of Self and All of Thee

Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow

That a time could ever be,

When I proudly said to Jesus,

“All of self, and none of Thee.”

All of self, and none of Thee,

All of self, and none of Thee,

When I proudly said to Jesus,

“All of self, and none of Thee.”


Yet He found me; I beheld Him

Bleeding on th’ accursed tree,

And my wistful heart said faintly,

“Some of self, and some of Thee.”

Some of self, and some of Thee,

Some of self, and some of Thee,

And my wistful heart said faintly,

“Some of self, and some of Thee.”


Day by day His tender mercy,

Healing, helping, full and free,

Brought me lower while I whispered,

“Less of self, and more of Thee.”

Less of self, and more of Thee,

Less of self, and more or Thee,

Brought me lower while I whispered,

“Less of self, and more of Thee.”


Higher than the highest heaven,

Deeper than the deepest sea,

Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:

“None of self, and all of Thee.”

None of self, and all of Thee,

None of self, and all of Thee,

Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:

“None of self, and all of Thee.”

 – Theodore Monod

Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem

"Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem,
Cleave the skies with shouts of praise;
Sing to him who found the ransom,
Ancient of eternal days,
God of God, the Word incarnate,
Whom the heaven of heaven obeys.

"Ere he raised the lofty mountains,
Formed of the seas, or built the sky,
Love eternal, free and boundless,
Moved the Lord of life to die,
Foreordained the Prince of princes
For the throne of Calvary.

"There, for us and our redemption,
See him for all his lifeblood pour,
There he wins our full salvation,
Dies that we may die no more;
Then, arising, lives for ever,
Reigning where he was before.

"High on yon celestial mountains
Stands his gem-built throne, all bright,
Midst unending alleluias
Bursting from the sons of light;
Zion’s people tell his praises,
Victor after hard-won fight.

"Yet this earth he still remembers,
Still be him the flock are fed;
Yea, he gives them food immortal,
Gives himself, the living Bread;
Leads them where the precious fountain
From the smitten rock is shed.

"Trust him then, ye fainting pilgrims;
Who shall pluck you from his hand?
Pledged he stands for your salvation,
Pledged to give the promised land,
Where among the ransomed nations
Ye around his throne shall stand.

Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One,
Consubstantial, co-eternal,
While unending ages run."

Job Hupton 1762 – 1829