PART 1 (L. M.)
The pleasure of public worship
How pleasant, how divinely fair,
O Lord of hosts, thy dwellings are!
With long desire my spirit faints
To meet the assemblies of thy saints.
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?
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?
Blest 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.
Blest 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.
Blest 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.
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 (L. M.)
God and His church or Grace and Glory
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.
Might I enjoy the meanest place
Within thy house, O God of grace,
Not tents of ease, nor thrones of pow'r,
Should tempt my feet to leave thy door.
God is our sun, he makes our day;
God is out shield, he guards our way
From all th'assaults of hell and sin,
From foes without and foes within.
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.
O God, our King, whose sovereign sway
The glorious hosts of heaven obey,
And devils at thy presence flee,
Blest is the man that trusts in thee.
(PART 3) (C. M.)
Delight in ordinances of worship or God present in his churches
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.
There the great monarch of the skies
His saving pow'r displays,
And light breaks in upon our eyes
With kind and quick'ning rays.
With his rich gifts the heav'nly Dove
Descends and fills the place,
While Christ reveals his wondrous love,
And sheds abroad his grace.
There, mighty God, thy words declare
The secrets of thy will;
And still we seek thy mercy there,
And sing thy praises still.
My heart and flesh cry out for thee,
While far from thine abode:
When shall I tread thy courts and see
My Saviour and my God?
The sparrow builds herself a nest,
And suffers no remove:
O make me, like the sparrows, blest
To dwell but where I love.
To sit one day beneath thine eye,
And hear thy gracious voice,
Exceeds a whole eternity
Employ'd in carnal joys.
Lord, at thy threshold I would wait
While Jesus is within,
Rather than fill a throne of state,
Or live in tents of sin.
Could I command the spacious land,
And the more boundless sea,
For one blest hour at thy right hand
I'd give them both away.
(PART 4) (66. 66. 44. 44.)
Longing for the house of God
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
And glory too.
The Lord his people loves;
His hand no good withholds
From those his heart approves,
From pure and pious souls:
Thrice happy he,
O God of hosts,
Whose spirit trusts
Alone in thee.