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Choosing the Better Part

Beset with snares on every hand

Author: Philip Doddridge
Published in 149 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 Beset with snares on every hand,
In life’s uncertain path I stand:
Saviour divine! diffuse Thy light,
To guide my doubtful footsteps right.

2 Engage this roving treacherous heart
Wisely to choose the better part;
To scorn the trifles of a day,
For joys that none can take away.

3 Then let the wildest storms arise;
Let tempests mingle earth and skies:
No fatal shipwreck shall I fear,
But all my treasures with me bear.

4 If Thou, my Jesus, still be nigh,
Cheerful I live, and joyful die:
Secure, when mortal comforts flee,
To find ten thousand worlds in Thee.

Source: Church Book: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran congregations #450

Author: Philip Doddridge

Doddridge, Philip, D.D., was born in London, June 26, 1702. His grandfather was one of the ministers under the Commonwealth, who were ejected in 1662. His father was a London oilman. He was offered by the Duchess of Bedford an University training for ordination in the Church of England, but declined it. He entered Mr. Jennings's non-conformist seminary at Kibworth instead; preached his first sermon at Hinckley, to which Mr. Jennings had removed his academy. In 1723 he was chosen pastor at Kibworth. In 1725 he changed his residence to Market Harborough, still ministering at Kibworth. The settled work of his life as a preceptor and divine began in 1729, with his appointment to the Castle Hill Meeting at Northampton, and continued till in the… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Beset with snares on every hand
Title: Choosing the Better Part
Author: Philip Doddridge
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Beset with snares on every hand. P. Doddridge. [Mary's choice.] This hymn is not in the Doddridge Manuscript. It was first published by J. Orton in the posthumous edition of Doddridge's Hymns, 1755. No. 207, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Mary's Choice of the Better Part;" and again in J. D. Humphreys's edition of the same, 1839. Although used but sparingly in the hymnals of Great Britain, in America it is found in many of the leading collections, and especially in those belonging to the Unitarians. The translation—-"In vitae dubio tramite transeo," in Bingham's Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, p. 109—is made from an altered text in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #475
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


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The Cyber Hymnal #475TextScoreAudio
Include 148 pre-1979 instances