A sure and tried foundation stone,
Lord God, in Zion Thou hast laid;
Grounded and fix'd on Christ alone,
Thy Church shall flourish undismay'd.
In vain the gates of hell assail,
Impregnable is her defence;
The rock of ages cannot fail,
Nor winds, nor floods, remove her thence.
We build an earthly temple here;
Behold the work with favouring eye,
And when our hands the top-stone rear,
"Grace, grace unto it," be the cry.
Then, by the Spirit of Thy might,
Come with the Gospel's joyful sound,
And here reveal'd in Thine own light,
Be Thou by all who seek Thee found.
Lord! we have loved Thy dwelling-place,
Thy Mercy-seat with men below,
Here then, to all who seek Thy face,
From age to age Thy goodness show.
Sacred Poems and Hymns
A sure and tried foundation stone. J. Montgomery. [Laying Foundation Stone.] Written Sept. 4, 1822, for the laying of the Foundation Stone of St. Philip's Church, Sheffield, and printed for use at that ceremony, [M.MSS.] It was given in Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 296, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, entitled "On Laying the Foundation Stone of a Place of Worship." Its use has been very limited, mainly owing to the superior excellence of his hymn, " This stone to Thee in faith we lay," which was written during the following month, and was included in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, whilst this hymn was omitted from all his earlier works.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)