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