What a fellowship, what a joy divine

What a fellowship, what a joy divine. Elisha Hoffman* (1839-1929), refrain byAnthony J. Showalter* (1858-1924). This gospel hymn is sometimes identified by its refrain, ‘Leaning on the everlasting arms’. Showalter was a musician who conducted Singing schools*, and who became a well known publisher of sacred music. When engaged at Hartsells, Alabama, he received the news (probably some time in 1894) that the wives of two of his former pupils had died. He wrote a letter of sympathy, quoting Deuteronomy 33: 27: ‘Underneath are the everlasting arms’. He then wrote the tune and the words of the refrain:   Leaning, leaning,Safe and secure from all alarms,  Leaning, leaning,Leaning on the...

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