Words: From A Se­lect­ion of Hymns from the Best Au­thors, by , 1787; at­trib­ut­ed var­i­ous­ly to John Keene, Kirk­ham, and John Keith.

Music: Protection, from A Com­pil­a­tion of Gen­u­ine Church Mu­sic, by (Win­ches­ter, Vir­gin­ia: J. W. Holl­is, 1832). Al­ter­nate tunes:

  • Adeste Fideles, (1711-1786)
  • Lyons, at­trib­ut­ed to (1737-1806)
  • Montgomery, at­trib­ut­ed to , cir­ca 1760
  • St. Den­io, , 1839

This hymn was sung at the fun­er­als of Amer­i­can pres­i­dents The­o­dore Roo­se­velt and Wood­row Wil­son. In ad­di­tion:

[It] was the fa­vo­rite of De­bo­rah Jack­­son [sic; her name was ac­tu­al­ly Ra­chel] Pre­si­dent An­drew Jack­son’s be­loved wife [he was Pre­si­dent-elect at the time], and on his death-bed the war­ri­or and states­man called for it. It was the fa­vo­rite of Gen. Ro­bert E. Lee, and was sung at his fun­er­al. The Amer­i­can love and fa­mil­iar pre­fer­ence for the re­mark­a­ble hymn was ne­ver more strik­ing­ly il­lus­trat­ed than when on Christ­mas Eve, 1898, a whole corps of the Unit­ed States Ar­my North­ern and South­ern, en­camped on the Que­ma­dos hills, near Ha­va­na [Cu­ba], took up the sa­cred tune and words.

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,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
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.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.