How Firm a Foundation

Although attributed to different writers, when John Rippon published this hymn in a hymnal called “A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, Intended to be an Appendix to Dr. Watts’ Pslams and Hymns (1797)”, this was included and authored by an unknown “K”. With it also carried the title “Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises”1. I remember this hymn from a Spurgeon sermon I read recently. When preaching on Hebrews 13:5, Spurgeon (who also quotes this hymn) says “I have no doubt you are aware that our translation does not convey the whole force of the original, and that it would hardly be possible in English to give the full weight of the Greek. We might render it, “He hath said, I will never, never leave thee; I will never, never, never forsake thee”…what ground there is here for faith! Let us lean upon our God with all our weight. Let us throw ourselves upon his faithfulness as we do upon our beds, bringing all our weariness to his dear rest. Now, right on our God let us cast the burdens of our bodies, and our souls, for he hath said, “I will never leave thee; I will never forsake thee.”2

How firm a foundation you saints of the lord
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word.
What more can he say than to you he has said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.

Fear not I am with you, oh be not dismayed
For I am your God and will still give you aid.
I’ll strengthen you, help you and cause you to stand
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

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

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

1page 136 – Leeman, D. and Leeman, B., 2022. Our Hymns, Our Heritage: A Student Guide to Songs of the Church

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s