Give me the wings of faith to rise

Give me the wings of faith to rise. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 2nd edition (1709), Book II, ‘Composed on Divine Subjects’, with the title, ‘The Examples of Christ and the Saints’. The text has echoes of John’s vision in Revelation, but it is an example of Watts’s own imagination at work: rising to heaven on faith’s wings, sharing the lesson he has learned from the saints, acknowledging the praise owed to Christ for providing the way to heaven which ‘the long cloud of witnesses’ has followed. The text is not escapist, but is rather an encouragement to ‘follow the footsteps’ of Christ in this world of ‘sins and doubts and fears.’ There are references to Hebrews...

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