I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. Philippians 1:23
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751). Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 295:
The happiness of departing, and being with Christ.
Music: Heavenly Flight Nahum Mitchell, in the Bridgewater Collection, fourth edition, by Mitchell, Benjamin Holt, & Bartholomew Brown, 1816 (🔊 pdf nwc).
While on the verge of life I stand,
And view the scene on either hand,
My spirit struggles with my clay,
And longs to wing its flight away.
Where Jesus dwells my soul would be,
And faints my much loved Lord to see:
Earth, twine no more about my heart,
For ’tis far better to depart.
Come, ye angelic envoys, come,
And lead the willing pilgrim home!
Ye know the way to Jesus’ throne—
Source of my joys and of your own.
That blissful interview, how sweet,
To fall transported at His feet:
Raised in His arms to view His face,
Thro’ the full beamings of His grace.
To see Heav’n’s shining courtiers round,
Each with immortal glories crowned!
And, while His form in each I trace,
Beloved, and loving all t’embrace!
As with a seraph’s voice to sing!
To fly as on a cherub’s wing!
Performing with unwearied hands
A present Savior’s high commands!
Yet with these prospects full in sight,
I’ll wait Thy signal for my flight;
For, while Thy service I pursue,
I find my Heav’n begun below.