Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

1) What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!

Chorus: Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

3) What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Wikki CCAnthony Showalter planted the seed of this well-loved song, based on the words of Deuteronomy 33, vs. 27: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” He selected that Scripture verse when looking for thoughts to comfort two young men he knew who had just lost their wives. That brought to Anthony’s mind the words of the above chorus. Not being able to come up with verses to form a song, he sent the chorus to his friend, Elisha Hoffman, who wrote the 3 verses. Then Showalter set it all to music in 1887.

Anthony Showalter was the Principal of the Southern Normal Musical Institute in Dalton, Georgia, and a Presbyterian elder. He promoted Gospel music by publishing over 130 music books, with combined sales of 2 million copies. He was also known for his singing schools in Southern U.S. churches.

If you’d like to have a chuckle and wouldn’t consider it sacrilegious, try watching this You Tube video by Rob Mills (used with permission). He demonstrates the possible styles in which this hymn might have been sung through past decades. Be assured that he does revert to the original, with a congregation, at the end.

Words: Elisha Hoffman (Chorus: Anthony Showalter) Music: Anthony Showalter
S.A. Song Book #768 Section: The Salvation Soldier – Faith and Trust
Reference: Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul

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