Hymn History:  Leaning On The Everlasting Arm    

In 1887, Anthony J. Showalter was in Harstelle, Alabama, leading a singing school in a church. Afterwards he gathered up his hymnbooks and returned to his boardinghouse room. Two letters had come and the young men from South Carolina, who wrote were heartbroken, each having lost his wife. He looked for a verse to use to end his replies, and found Deuteronomy 33:27:

The eternal God is thy refuge, and

underneath are the everlasting arms ...”

He thought about the words of that verse

and  the chorus  of  “Leaning  on the

Everlasting Arms”  came  to  mind.   He

finished his letters and then wrote to Elisha Hoffman, telling him he had the chorus, but did not have any verses. Pastor Hoffman sent back the verses and Professor Showalter wrote the music.

Elisha Hoffman published the hymn in 1887 in the Glad Evangel for Revival, Camp and Evangelistic Meeting Hymnal.

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  • The Lyrics:  Leaning On The Everlasting Arm.

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.
O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
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.

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

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