Hymn #386: The Church's One Foundation

Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) based this 1866 hymn on Article Nine of the Apostles' Creed, to defend accepted church dogma against the attacks of Bishop John William Colenso.  This was one of twelve hymns that Stone wrote to explain the High Church position in this controversy.


Samuel J. Stone was born April 25, 1839, at Staffordshire, England, while his father was priest to the poorest parish in England.  After completing his education, he succeeded his father at St. Paul's Haggerston, London, where he remained for twenty years.  Stone died on November 19, 1900.

Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876) composed the tune AURELIA in 1864 as the setting for a wedding hymn by John Keble.  It appeared witha variety of texts that same year, including the canto "Jerusalem the Golden" from a long Latin hymn by Saint Bernard.  The tune has been closely associated with Stone's text since appearing together in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1868).


Samuel S. Wesley was devoted to improving the level of compensation and respect for church musicians of his day.  His innovative ideas were developed in A Few Words on Cathedral Music and the Musical System of the Church, with a Plan of Reform (1849).  He was the greatest musical genius of the gifted Wesley family.