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Hymn: The Church’s One Foundation

by PastorMinton on April 15th, 2016

The Church’s One Foundation

Author: Samuel J. Stone (1866)
Typical Tune: Aurelia, Samuel S. Wesley (1864)

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HYMN BACKGROUND

Stone wrote this hymn as part of Lyra Fidelium: Twelve Hymns of the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed, a collection published in London in 1866. He sought to stress the unity of the Christian Church, even though it is beset by schisms and heretics.

The tune Aurelia was written by Samuel S. Wesley, Charles Wesley’s grandson. This tune was originally published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden,” but has come to be used almost exclusively with this hymn.

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LYRICS

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 bought her,
and for her life He died.

2 Elect from every nation
yet one over 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 Though with a scornful wonder
the world sees her oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heretics 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.

4 Through toil and tribulation
and tumult of her war
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great Church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.

5 Yet she on earth has union
with God, the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O blessed heavenly chorus!
Lord, save us by Your grace
that we, like saints before us,
may see You face to face.

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COMMENTARY

The one holy, catholic and apostolic Church has only one foundation: Jesus Christ. Through every problem this world tries to give the Church, she stands firm on His life and Word. When and if the Church moves off this foundation, she finds herself in grave danger.

Many denominations have already gone away from the one foundation. They may claim to have a great love for Jesus, but Jesus has very little substance to Him in their teachings. They want to become more acceptable to the culture so that they are not oppressed by the sinful culture.

As Christians, we must stand firm. This is especially true when we consider that it is Confirmation this Sunday. Where vows are made to remain faithful unto death so that we might receive Christ’s crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

From → Hymnody

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