My Christian friends, in bonds of love,
Whose hearts in sweetest union join,
Your friendship's like a drawing band,
Yet we must take the parting hand.
Your company's sweet, your union dear,
Your words delightful to my ear,
Yet when I see that we must part,
You draw like cords around my heart.
How sweet the hours have passed away,
Since we have met to sing and pray;
How loath we are to leave the place
Where Jesus shows his smiling face.
O could I stay with friends so kind,
How would it cheer my drooping mind!
But duty makes me understand,
That we must take the parting hand,
And since it is God's holy will,
We must be parted for a while,
In sweet submission, as all one,
We'll say, our Father's will be done.
My youthful friends, in Christian ties,
Who seek for mansions in the skies,
Fight on, we'll gain that happy shore,
Where parting will be known no more.
How oft I've seen your flowing tears,
And heard you tell your hopes and fears!
Your hearts with love were seen to flame,
Which makes me hope we'll meet again.
Ye mourning souls, lift up your eyes
To glorious mansions in the skies;
O trust his grace--in Canaan's land,
We'll no more take the parting hand.
And now, my friends, both old and young,
I hope in Christ you'll still go on;
And if on earth we meet no more,
O may we meet on Canaan's shore.