f The Highest and the Holiest Place

Scripture Verse

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

Introduction

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Henry Alford
1810–1871
National Portrait Gallery

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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 & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

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.