Scripture Verse

I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Introduction

portrait
Henry Alford
(1810–1871)
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: Hen­ry Al­ford, Psalms and Hymns Adapt­ed to the Sun­days and Ho­ly­days Through­out the Year (Lon­don: Fran­cis & John Ri­ving­ton, 1844), num­ber 81.

Music: St. James Ralph Courte­ville, in Se­lect Psalms and Hymns for the Use of the Par­ish Church and Ta­ber­na­cle of St. James’, West­min­ster, 1696 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Courte­ville (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

The highest and the holiest place
Guards not the heart from sin;
The Church that safest seems without,
May harbor foes within.

Thus in the small and chosen band,
Beloved above the rest,
One fell from his apostleship,
A traitor-soul unblest.

But not the great designs of God
Man’s sins shall over throw;
Another witness to the truth
Forth to the lands shall go.

Righteous, O Lord, are all Thy ways;
Long as the worlds endure,
From foes without and foes within
Thy Church shall stand secure.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die;
But Thine shall never fail;
The word of grace no less shall sound,
The truth no less prevail.