Scripture Verse

Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. Isaiah 28:16

Introduction

illustration
Building of the Temple of Jerusalem
Jean Fouquet, circa 1470

Words: John Pier­pont, 1839. This hymn was writ­ten for the lay­ing of the cor­ner­stone of the Suf­folk Street Cha­pel, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts, May 23, 1839. It was pub­lished in Airs of Pal­es­tine and Oth­er Po­ems (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: 1840).

Music: Nur­em­berg alt. from Jo­hann R. Ahle, 1664 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

portrait
John Pierpont
(1785–1866)

Lyrics

On this stone now laid with prayer,
Let Thy church rise, strong and fair;
Ever, Lord, Thy name be known,
Where we lay this cornerstone.

Let Thy holy Child, who came
Man from error to reclaim,
And for sinners to atone,
With Thee, bless this cornerstone.

Let the Spirit from above,
That once hovered like a dove
O’er the Jordan, hither flown
Hover o’er this cornerstone.

In the sinner’s troubled breast,
In the heart by care oppressed,
Let the seeds of truth be sown,
Where we’ve laid this cornerstone.

Open wide, O God, Thy door,
For the outcast and the poor,
Who can call no house their own,
Where we lay this cornerstone.

By wise master builders squared,
Here be living stones prepared
For the temple near Thy throne,
Jesus Christ its cornerstone.