Monday, 1 December 2014

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

A well-known carol to mark the start of December -

HARK! the herald angels sing
‘Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.’
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’

Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King!’

Christ, by highest Heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as Man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hail, the Heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head!
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore,
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine!

Charles Wesley, 1707-88,
George Whitefield, 1714-70,
Martin Madan, 1726-90,
alt John Wesley, 1703-91

A quote from George Whitefield –

What, shall we not remember the birth of our Jesus? Shall we yearly celebrate the birth of our temporal king, and shall that of the King of kings be quite forgotten? God forbid! No, my dear brethren, let us celebrate and keep this festival of our church with joy in our hearts: let the birth of a Redeemer, which redeemed us from sin, from wrath, from death, from hell, be always remembered; may this Savior’s love never be forgotten!…

What can we do to employ our time to a more noble purpose than reading of what our Redeemer has done and suffered; to read that the King of kings and Lord of lords came from His throne and took upon Him the form of the meanest [least significant] servant; and what great things he underwent. This, this is a history worth reading, this is worth employing our time about ...

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