SW: I have heard from fairly reliable sources that this was Robert E. Lee’s favorite hymn, sung in the camp revivals of the Confederate army. At the conclusion of Lee’s high church Episcopal funeral service, a common soldier began singing this hymn, soon joined by other of “Lee’s Miserables” who sang the entire hymn, acapella, from memory.
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
— 2 Timothy 2:19 (NASB)
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,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee, O 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 cause thee to go,
“The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
“For I will be with thee, thy troubles 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 hurt thee; I only design
“Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
“E’en down to old age all My people shall prove
“My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
“And when graying hairs shall their temples adorn,
“Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.”
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned 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.”from Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787, alt.
this version from Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012
Read more at http://hisexcellentword.blogspot.com