Words: Isaac Watts
v. 1--4~ 10, paraphrased. Delight in ordinances of worship; or, God present in his churches.
1 My soul, how lovely is the place To which thy God resorts! 'Tis heav'n to see his smiling face, Though in his earthly courts.
2 There the great Monarch of the skies His saving power displays, And light breaks in upon our eyes With kind and quick'ning rays.
3 With his rich gifts the heav'nly Dove Descends and fills the place, While Christ reveals his wondrous love, And sheds abroad his grace.
4 There, mighty God, thy words declare The secrets of thy will; And still we seek thy mercy there, And sing thy praises still.
5 My heart and flesh cry out for thee, While far from thine abode; When shall I tread thy courts, and see My Savior and my God?
6 The sparrow builds herself a nest, And suffers no remove; O make me, like the sparrows, blessed, To dwell but where I love.
7 To sit one day beneath thine eye, And hear thy gracious voice, Exceeds a whole eternity Employed in carnal joys.
8 Lord, at thy threshold I would wait While Jesus is within, Rather than fill a throne of state, Or live in tents of sin.
9 Could I command the spacious land, And the more boundless sea, For one blessed hour at thy right hand I'd give them both away.
1 How pleasant, how divinely fair, O Lord of hosts, thy dwellings are! With long desire my spirit faints To meet th'assembly of thy saints.
2 My flesh would rest in thine abode, My panting heart cries out for God; My God! my King! why should I be So far from all my joys and thee?
3 The sparrow chooses where to rest, And for her young provides her nest; But will my God to sparrows grant That pleasure which his children want ?
4 Blessed are the saints who sit on high Around thy throne of majesty; Thy brightest glories shine above, And all their work is praise and love.
5 Blessed are the souls who find a place Within the temple of thy grace; There they behold thy gentler rays, And seek thy face, and learn thy praise.
6 Blessed are the men whose hearts are set To find the way to Zion's gate; God is their strength, and through the road They lean upon their helper God.
7 Cheerful they walk with growing strength, Till all shall meet in heav'n at length, Till all before thy face appear, And join in nobler worship there.
PART 2. God and his church; or, Grace and glory.
1 Great God, attend, while Zion sings The joy that from thy presence springs: To spend one day with thee on earth Exceeds a thousand days of mirth.
2 Might I enjoy the meanest place Within thy house, O God of grace, Not tents of ease, nor thrones of power, Should tempt my feet to leave thy door.
3 God is our sun, he makes our day; God is our shield, he guards our way From all th' assaults of hell and sin, From foes without and foes within.
4 All needful grace will God bestow, And crown that grace with glory too ! He gives us all things, and withholds No real good from upright souls.
5 O God, our King, whose sov'reign sway The glorious hosts of heav'n obey, And devils at thy presence flee, Blessed is the man that trusts in thee.
1 Lord of the worlds above, How pleasant and how fair The dwellings of thy love, Thy earthly temples are! To thine abode My heart aspires, With warm desires To see my God.
2 The sparrow for her young With pleasure seeks a nest, And wand'ring swallows long To find their wonted rest: My spirit faints With equal zeal To rise and dwell Among thy saints.
3 O happy souls that pray Where God appoints to hear! O happy men that pay Their constant service there ! They praise thee still; And happy they That love the way To Zion's hill.
4 They go from strength to strength, Through this dark vale of tears, Till each arrives at length, Till each in heav'n appears: O glorious seat, When God our King Shall thither bring Our willing feet!
5 To spend one sacred day Where God and saints abide, Affords diviner joy Than thousand days beside: Where God resorts, I love it more To keep the door Than shine in courts.
6 God is our sun and shield, Our light and our defense; With gifts his hands are filled, We draw our blessings thence: He shall bestow On Jacob's race Peculiar grace And glory too.