Scripture Verse

Lord, increase our faith. Luke 17:5


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

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 & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


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.