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Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Rock

I do not stand on shifting sand
And fear the storm that rages,
But calm and sure I stand secure
Upon the Rock of Ages.

That Rock was Christ, whom Judas priced
At thirty silver pieces,
Now heav'n and earth proclaim His worth
With praise that never ceases.

That Rock unmoved has ever proved
The stronghold of salvation;
Nor all the fell designs of hell
Can shake its sure foundation.

And, O how blest, how sweet their rest,
Who to the Rock are clinging;
How they rejoice with heart and voice,
Their Hallelujahs singing.

I have known of this hymn for a number of years, back into the early 1980s. I like it. It goes well with the tune The Church's Desolation (in my opinion). I thought I had posted it here before, but cannot find it. I discovered this hymn in an old Stamps Baxter song book titled Rainbow Rays (J. R. Baxter, Editor; Dallas, TX: Stamps Baxter Music and Printing Co., 1946). In that book the text was unattributed. I recently found a slightly different version online in Gospel Tidings, Issue 4. There it is attributed to F. W. Pitt. I have no information on him (and neither did Gospel Tidings), but he may be the same F. W. Pitt who wrote "The Maker of the Universe" and "Break forth afresh, O fire of God." This one is apparently Frederick William Pitt (1859-1943), a London pastor, author and hymn writer. In addition to some differences from the Rainbow Rays text, the Gospel Tidings also includes this stanza:

Water and blood, a precious flood
Flowed when that ROCK was smitten;
And by the flow believers know
Their names in heaven are written.

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