Doddridge, Philip, D.D., was born in London, June 26, 1702. His grandfather was one of the ministers under the Commonwealth, who were ejected in 1662. His father was a London oilman. He was offered by the Duchess of Bedford an University training for ordination in the Church of England, but declined it. He entered Mr. Jennings's non-conformist seminary at Kibworth instead; preached his first sermon at Hinckley, to which Mr. Jennings had removed his academy. In 1723 he was chosen pastor at Kibworth. In 1725 he changed his residence to Market Harborough, still ministering at Kibworth. The settled work of his life as a preceptor and divine began in 1729, with his appointment to the Castle Hill Meeting at Northampton, and continued till in the… Go to person page >
So firm the saint's foundations stand. P. Doddridge. [Joy in Affliction.] This hymn is No. 3 of the D. MSS., in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "The impoverished saint rejoicing in God, from Habakuk iii, 17." It is undated, but is found between two hymns dated respectively "Oct. 29, 1735," and "Nov. 16, 1735." This associates it with the year 1735. In 1755 it was published in Job Orton's posthumous edition of Doddridge's Hymn, No. 161, and again in J. D. Humphreys's edition of the same, 1739, No. 182. Its use is limited.
About 1741, a copy of the above-named manuscript was given by Lady Frances Gardiner to Robert Blair of Athelstaneford, Scotland, who, in 1742, became one of the Committee by whom the Draft of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases of 1745 was compiled. In that Draft this hymn appeared as, "Secure the saint's foundation stands." In 1748 the Presbytery of Edinburgh proposed to add an alternative version of the same passage (Habakkuk iii. 17), in 4 stanzas, and probably made by Dr. Hugh Blair. The Assembly's Committee, however, not seeing the need for two versions of the same passage of Holy Scripture, adopted stanzas i.-iii. of Blair's version, and stanzas iii. from Doddridge's hymn as stanzas iv., and gave the cento as "What tho' no flowers the fig-tree clothe," in their Draft Translations and Paraphrases, of 1751. In the Draft of 1781 it was repeated, with slight alterations, and a new stanza, beginning, "He to my tardy feet shall lend." In the authorized issue of the Translations and Paraphrases, of 1781 it finally appeared as No. xxxii., the only alteration from the Draft of the same year being in lines 3 and 4 of the new stanza. This last alteration is attributed by the eldest daughter of W. Cameron to John Logan. The correct designation therefore of the authorized text is P. Doddridge, 1735; Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1745; Dr. H. Blair, 1748 and 1751; and J. Logan, 1781. Miss J. E. Leeson rewrote this hymn as "Although the fig-tree blossom not," for her Paraphrases and Hymns, 1853. There is also a cento in T. Darling's Hymns for the Church of England, ed., 1889, in 3 stanzas of 6 lines, beginning, "What though the fig-tree's strength decay”? This is by Mr. Darling based upon the 1781 text as above.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)