Scripture Verse

Lord, increase our faith. Luke 17:5


Isaac Watts

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spi­ri­tu­al Songs 1707–09, Book 2, num­ber 140. The ex­am­ples of Christ and the saints.

Music: Bing­ham Anon­y­mous (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know the com­pos­er, or where to get a good pic­ture of him (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?


Dr. Dodd­ridge wrote to Watts, I was preach­ing in a barn last Wed­nes­day, to a com­pa­ny of plain coun­try peo­ple. Af­ter a ser­mon from Heb. vi. 12, we sang one of your hymns, Give me the wings of faith to rise, and had the sat­is­fac­tion to see tears in the eyes of sev­er­al of the au­di­to­ry.

Af­ter the ser­vice some of them told me they were not able to sing, so deep­ly were their minds af­fect­ed with it; and the clerk in par­ti­cu­lar told me he could hard­ly ut­ter the words of it. These were most of them poor peo­ple who work for their liv­ing.

Telford, pp. 407–08


Give me the wings of faith to rise
Within the veil, and see
The saints above, how great their joys,
How bright their glories be.

Once they were mourning here below,
And wet their couch with tears:
They wrestled hard, as we do now,
With sins, and doubts, and fears.

I ask them whence their victory came:
They, with united breath,
Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
Their triumph to His death.

They marked the footsteps that He trod,
His zeal inspired their breast;
And following their incarnate God,
Possess the promised rest.

Our glorious Leader claims our praise
For His own pattern giv’n;
While the long cloud of witnesses
Show the same path to Heav’n.

Another arrangement, by Walter Kittredge (1834–1905) (🔊 pdf nwc), adds this refrain:

Many are the friends who are waiting today,
Happy on the golden strand,
Many are the voices calling us away,
To join their glorious band.
Calling us away, calling us away,
Calling to the better land,
Calling us away, calling us away,
Calling to the better land.