How Firm a Foundation
The lovely hymn "How Firm a Foundation," whose author was probably Robert Keene, has been popular since it appeared in Robert Rippon's 1787 A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. Keene was the song leader in Rippon's church. This hymn was sung at the funerals of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and at the deathbed of Andrew Jackson. On Christmas Eve, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, it was sung by an entire corps of the United States Army encamped near Havana, Cuba. While leading this hymn in chapel, Charles Hodge, president of Princeton Seminary from 1865-78, was said to have become so overcome with emotion that he could not sing the words. The third stanza is based on Isaiah 41:10. Following are all of the stanzas:
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