The Church’s One Foundation

My senior year of college I did an internship with the pastor of visitation at my church. We served communion to elderly members who could not leave their homes. We visited those in the hospital. We conducted services in nursing homes and visited those there whose families were far away. And all the time we sang hymns. The pastor with whom I served carried copied hymn sheets around and we’d whip them out in a hospital room and start singing. One of my favorite hymns we sang, which I also grew up singing, was The Church’s One Foundation. It’s a good place to begin our month of discussion on the Church.

words by Samuel Stone, 1866

The church’s one Foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new  creation
By water and the Word:
From heav’n he came and sought her
To  be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he  died.

Elect from ev’ry 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  ev’ry grace endued.

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.

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,
And false sons in her  pale,
Against or foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

‘Mid toil  and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
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.

Yet she on earth hath union
With the God the Three in  One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy  ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and  lowly,
On high may dwell with thee.

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