Robert E. Lee's Favorite Hymn

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donna

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I was checking our Robert E. Lee's favorite foods when came across several articles on his favorite hymn. It was "How Firm A Foundation".

This hymn was originally published in 1787 by John Rippon. The author is noted as "k". This could be Robert Keene or John Keith. Most believe it is John Keith.

Lyrics to "How Firm a Foundation":

"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-
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

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

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

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."

This hymn was very popular with soldiers during the Civil War and was especially loved by General Lee.
 

Tumbleweed

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A beautiful hymn. One of my favorites, too. Those men certainly were facing "fiery trials" in a way most of us, thankfully, will never know. I can picture the men in camp the night before a battle, lying in dark, unable to sleep, and at least one soldier singing this hymn. For those men of faith it must have been a great comfort. Thank you for sharing this.
 
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Greg Taylor

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Really? I bet he likely knew more than that.
Sorry, I misquoted. You are correct. Grant actually knew 2 tunes. Here is the quote: Grant was extremely tone-deaf. As President, he was once asked if he liked the music he had just heard in a concert. "How could I? I know only two tunes. One of them is 'Yankee Doodle' and the other isn't."
 

Karen Lips

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I was checking our Robert E. Lee's favorite foods when came across several articles on his favorite hymn. It was "How Firm A Foundation".

This hymn was originally published in 1787 by John Rippon. The author is noted as "k". This could be Robert Keene or John Keith. Most believe it is John Keith.

Lyrics to "How Firm a Foundation":

"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-
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

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

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

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."

This hymn was very popular with soldiers during the Civil War and was especially loved by General Lee.
I wonder if this hymn was sung at his funeral.
 

Sons of Liberty

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Sorry, I misquoted. You are correct. Grant actually knew 2 tunes. Here is the quote: Grant was extremely tone-deaf. As President, he was once asked if he liked the music he had just heard in a concert. "How could I? I know only two tunes. One of them is 'Yankee Doodle' and the other isn't."
Poor General Grant. He sure missed out on this beautiful hymn.
 
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KansasFreestater

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I was checking our Robert E. Lee's favorite foods when came across several articles on his favorite hymn. It was "How Firm A Foundation".

This hymn was originally published in 1787 by John Rippon. The author is noted as "k". This could be Robert Keene or John Keith. Most believe it is John Keith.

Lyrics to "How Firm a Foundation":

"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-
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

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

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

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."

This hymn was very popular with soldiers during the Civil War and was especially loved by General Lee.
This blows my mind, since that very same hymn was one of the favorite hymns of several of the former slaves who, after the war, told their stories to Octavia V. Rogers Albert, who compiled their stories in her book The House of Bondage. Slaves who didn't know how to read and write and therefore couldn't sing the song from a hymnal nevertheless knew all the verses of it by heart because the hymn was so precious to them. For instance, it was the favorite of one poor man named Silas, who ran away and was pursued, and killed, by his owner's dogs. A fellow slave told his story:

Uncle John said: "Poor Silas! I will never forget how I went out one Sunday morning and found him laying dead under that big oak tree. He had a wife and six or seven children.... We used to got to church on Sundays together. O, how he used to love that hymn, "How Firm a Foundation"! He knowed every word of it by heart," said Uncle John.
Another slave talks about how her master would lock her up in a sort of jail every Sunday. But she would pray and sing hymns while she was in there, and said that these times were sweet to her because Jesus would come to her and comfort her and she treasured those times of special communion with Him.
 

Karen Lips

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This blows my mind, since that very same hymn was one of the favorite hymns of several of the former slaves who, after the war, told their stories to Octavia V. Rogers Albert, who compiled their stories in her book The House of Bondage. Slaves who didn't know how to read and write and therefore couldn't sing the song from a hymnal nevertheless knew all the verses of it by heart because the hymn was so precious to them. For instance, it was the favorite of one poor man named Silas, who ran away and was pursued, and killed, by his owner's dogs. A fellow slave told his story:

Uncle John said: "Poor Silas! I will never forget how I went out one Sunday morning and found him laying dead under that big oak tree. He had a wife and six or seven children.... We used to got to church on Sundays together. O, how he used to love that hymn, "How Firm a Foundation"! He knowed every word of it by heart," said Uncle John.
Another slave talks about how her master would lock her up in a sort of jail every Sunday. But she would pray and sing hymns while she was in there, and said that these times were sweet to her because Jesus would come to her and comfort her and she treasured those times of special communion with Him.
So touching. Thanks for sharing.
 
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RobertP

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Sorry, I misquoted. You are correct. Grant actually knew 2 tunes. Here is the quote: Grant was extremely tone-deaf. As President, he was once asked if he liked the music he had just heard in a concert. "How could I? I know only two tunes. One of them is 'Yankee Doodle' and the other isn't."
Right. He also said he feared Joe Johnston more than he did Lee. Selective memory.
 
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donna

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Lyrics to "Show Pity, Lord

"Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive.
Let a repenting rebel live.
Are not thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in thee?

My crimes, though great, cannot surpass
The power and glory of thy grace.
Great God, thy nature hath no bounds.
So let thy pardoning love be found.

O wash my soul from every sin,
And make my guilty conscience clean.
Here, on my heart, the burden lies,
And past offenses pain my eyes.

Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope, still hovering round thy word,
Would light on some promise there,
Some sure support against despair."
 

diane

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Jeb Stuart, who was a great baritone, often sang. Period! In Kansas he joined the Episcopalian church even though he was a Methodist because at that time the Methodists were so strict they didn't sing in services. Stuart wanted to sing! The one he requested after being fatally shot was Rock of Ages.

 

diane

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Sherman wasn't much for religion and adamantly refused his wife's constant wish for him to be a Catholic, but he did manage to inspire Philip Bliss to write "Hold the Fort". The inspiration rather pleased Sherman, but puzzled him as well - he couldn't remember having sent such a message! He was right, he didn't send one but his staff did. Receiving communication from the beleaguered garrison at Allatoona Pass, they wired: "General Sherman says hold fast; we are coming." and "Sherman is moving in force. Hold out!"

 
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