Showalter was inspired by this Scripture after hearing the news that the wives of two of his former pupils had died and were buried the same day. In a letter of sympathy, he created the refrain out of a verse from Deuteronomy and asked Hoffman to write the stanzas. According to hymnologist Carl P. Daw, Jr. A pastor in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, he also worked with the publishing arm of the Evangelical Association in Cleveland, Ohio, and was the first music editor of Hope Publishing Company , a leading publisher of gospel songs.
Hoffman composed more than 2, compositions and compiled nearly 50 songbooks and hymnals. Specific characteristics include poetic devices such as epistrophe — repetition of a word or words at the end of lines or phrases. Notice that the words "Leaning on the everlasting arms" are repeated at the end of each phrase in each stanza. After singing all three stanzas and the refrain three times, the singer will repeat this key phrase nine times.
The first stanza addresses the joy of God's presence. The hymn writer suggests that even in times of death, peace can be found. He hath abolished death. The darkness is passed, etc. Lift up your heads, ye gates. The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Received up into glory. God is gone up with a shout. He became obedient unto death. Rule thou, in the midst of thine enemies. Sit thou at my right hand. King of kings, etc. Of his kingdom there shall be no end.
All nations shall serve him. Give the King thy judgments. My heart is inditing a good matter. I know that my Redeemer liveth. Job Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. He humbled himself. Let all the angels of God worship him. He hath the keys of hell and of death. My Redeemer liveth. No other name.
Lord, to whom shall we go? A very present help in trouble. He is precious. The bright and morning star.
They shall speak of the glory, etc. A merciful and faithful High Priest. Consider the High Priest, etc. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. He died for our sins. He suffered, the Just for the unjust. An unchangeable priesthood. He is Lord of all.
Grace is poured into thy lips. Rise, Lord, let thine enemies be scattered. The shadow of a great rock, etc.
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Ye are complete in him. Blessed are all they, etc. I looked—and there was none to help. A fountain for sin. He shall save his people from their sins. Thou hast put all things under his feet. All we like sheep have gone astray. Seen of angels. And they sung a new song. And that rock was Christ.
A covert from the storm.
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Cling to the mighty One, Ps. Cling in thy grief; Heb. Cling to the Holy One, Heb. Cling to the Gracious One, Ps. Cling to the Faithful One, 1 Thess. Cling in thy woe, Ps. Cling to the Loving One 1 John iv. Through all below; Romans viii. Cling to the Pardoning One, Is. He speaketh peace; John xiv. Cling to the Healing One, Exod. Anguish shall cease. Cling to the Risen One, Rom. Cling to the Coming One, Rev. Cling to the Reigning One, Eph. Joy lights thine eyes. The Spirit of the Lord, etc. The power of God unto salvation. Acts 2. How beautiful are the feet, etc. Holding forth the word of life.
Haste thee; escape thither. The night cometh. Come unto me. To-day, if you will hear his voice. The broad and the narrow way.
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Come, for all things are now ready. Hear and your soul shall live. For there is no difference. Let him return unto the Lord. Incline your ear, and come.