Ecclesiological Music

Samuel_stoneThe following hymn (older church music that is sung) is quite special to me personally. My mystical side remembers God using the tune and text of this hymn to speak to me and to solidify my call for ministry. Ecclesiology is the study of the church. These days the church is bashed as a place that either is irrelavent or one that just does not meet the needs of church goers. Really, the problem is that the church is not for us, but for Christ. We are his bride. We get our needs from him, not the church. This song echos God’s call on my life to serve his church. Samuel John Stone in 1866 authored this hymn. The beautiful tune it was sung to was composed by Samuel Wesley in 1864. (Often hymns were sung with differing tunes to keep the text fresh). How does Stone’s view of the church differ from our view today? Either read below or click this link to hear the tune and sing along: THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION at

The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is his new creation, by water and the word: from heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed; yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” and soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.

Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blessed, and the great Church victorious shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God, the Three in one, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.

Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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