Firm A Foundation
Curtis Guild, Jr., has told in The Sunday School Times how this
hymn, How Firm a Foundation, was sung on a famous Christmas
Seventh Army Corps was encamped on the hills above Havana, Cuba, on
Christmas Eve of 1898—a beautiful tropical night. Suddenly a sentinel
from the camp of the Forty-ninth Iowa called, Number ten; twelve
o’clock, and all’s well!
strong voice raised the chorus, and manly voices joined in until the
whole regiment was singing. Then the Sixth Missouri added its voices,
and the Fourth Virginia, and all the rest, ’til there, as General
Guild said, on the long ridges above the great city whence Spanish
tyranny once went forth to enslave the New World, a whole American army
corps was singing:
‘Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed;
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my
righteous, omnipotent hand.
Northern soldier knew the hymn as one he had learned beside his
mother’s knee. To the Southern soldier it was that and something
more—it was the favorite hymn of General Robert E. Lee, and was sung
at that great commander’s funeral.
and Catholic, South and North, singing together on Christmas day in the
morning—that’s an American army!
(1) 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?
(2) "Fear not, I am with thee; O be not
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotennt hand.
(3) "When through fiery trials thy pathway shall
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.
(4) "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for
I will not, I will not desrt to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake!"