I feel that we need to start 2023 off with a bang, so I chose this grand old hymn,
written by a twenty-seven-year-old pastor named Samuel J. Stone during a time of great doctrinal controversy in the Church of England. This hymn references schisms that existed in the church in South Africa over doctrinal beliefs. His original hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation”, was composed as a
primary answer to the division that had arisen within the church. These divisions were generated
by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who had denounced much of the Bible as
being untrue. When Bishop Colenso was eventually dismissed for his heretical
teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England, but to no avail.
It was during that time of appeal that Samuel J. Stone became included in the
discussion. It sparked in him a desire to draft a set of hymns, completed in 1866, based on the Apostles’
Creed. He titled that work Lyra Fidelium (Songs of the
faithful); Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed (the words ‘Lyra
Fidelium’ containing twelve letters). “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the
ninth article, The Communion of Saints. Sadly, there are two verses in his original hymn that
are no longer in use today. One of those discarded verses reads:
‘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 original verses, perhaps, should be returned
to their rightful place in the hymn. I say this because some of the great truths of
God’s Word are under attack today, just as they were in Pastor Stone’s day. But we
have God’s Word on it that, although the True Church will always be under attack, it will
never be utterly defeated.
Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it” .
‘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’.
We have nothing to fear, as far as the world, the flesh, or even the devil himself
is concerned, as regards the church being destroyed. It wont be! And Pastor Stone, believing
this same truth, penned these words in the original verse 3, ‘…and soon the night of
weeping shall be the morn of song’. I await that ‘morn of song’ with eager anticipation.
How about you? Hallelujah! Please take a few moments to listen to this