Please give today to support during one of only two fund drives we run each year. Each month, Hymnary serves more than 1 million users from around the globe, thanks to the generous support of people like you, and we are so grateful. 

Tax-deductible donations can be made securely online using this link.

Alternatively, you may write a check to CCEL and mail it to:
Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

The highest and the holiest place

Representative Text

1 The highest and the holiest place
Guards not the heart from sin;
The Church that safest seems without
May harbor foes within.

2 Within that small and chosen band,
Beloved above the rest,
One fell from his apostleship,
A traitor soul unblest.

3 But ne'er the great designs of God
Man’s sins shall overthrow;
A better witness to the truth
Forth to the lands shall go.

4 Matthias was the chosen one--
God's purpose cannot fail--
The word of grace no less shall sound,
The truth no less prevail.

5 Righteous, O Lord, are all thy ways:
Long as the worlds endure,
From foes without and foes within
Preserve thy Church secure.

Source: The New English Hymnal #165

Author: Henry Alford

Alford, Henry, D.D., son of  the Rev. Henry Alford, Rector of Aston Sandford, b. at 25 Alfred Place, Bedford Row, London, Oct. 7, 1810, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in honours, in 1832. In 1833 he was ordained to the Curacy of Ampton. Subsequently he held the Vicarage of Wymeswold, 1835-1853,--the Incumbency of Quebec Chapel, London, 1853-1857; and the Deanery of Canterbury, 1857 to his death, which took. place  at  Canterbury, Jan. 12, 1871.  In addition he held several important appointments, including that of a Fellow of Trinity, and the Hulsean Lectureship, 1841-2. His literary labours extended to every department of literature, but his noblest undertaking was his edition of the Greek Testament, the result… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The highest and the holiest place
Author: Henry Alford
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The highest and the holiest place. H. Alford. St. Matthias.] First published in his Psalms & Hymns, &c, 1844, No. 81, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and again in his Year of Praise, 1867, No. 252. It is also in Kennedy, 1863, and other collections.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #2416
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

The Cyber Hymnal #2416

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #165

Include 6 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us