Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Christmas Hymn

O how wondrous is the story
Of our blest Redeemer's birth!
See, the mighty Lord of glory
Leaves his heaven to visit earth.
Hear with transport, every creature,
Hear the gospel's joyful sound:
Christ appears in human nature,
In our sinful world is found!

Comes to pardon our transgression,
Like a cloud our sins to blot;
Comes to his own favored nation,
But his own receive him not.

If the angels who attended
To declare the Saviour's birth,
Who from heaven with songs descended,
To proclaim good will on earth;
If, in pity to our blindness,
_They_ had brought the pardon needed;
Still, Jehovah's wondrous kindness
Had our warmest hopes exceeded!
If some prophet had been sent
With salvation's joyful news,
Who that heard the blest event
Could their warmest love refuse?
But 'twas He to whom in heaven
Hallelujahs never cease;
He, the mighty God, was given--
Given to us a Prince of peace.

None but he who did create us,
Could redeem from sin and hell;
None but he could reinstate us
In the rank from which we fell.

Had he come, the glorious stranger,
Decked with all the world calls great--
Had he lived in pomp and grandeur,
Crowned with more than royal state--
Still, our tongues, with praise o'erflowing,
On such boundless love would dwell--
Still, our hearts, with rapture glowing,
Speak what words could never tell.

But what wonder should it raise,
Thus our lowest state to borrow!
O the high mysterious ways--
God's own Son a child of sorrow!

'Twas to bring us endless pleasure,
He our suffering nature bore;
'Twas to give us heavenly treasure,
He was willing to be poor.
Come, ye rich, survey the stable
Where your infant Saviour lies;
From your full, o'erflowing table,
Send the hungry good supplies.
Boast not your ennobled stations,
Boast not that you're highly fed;
Jesus, hear it all ye nations,
Had not where to lay his head.

Learn of me, thus cries the Saviour,
If my kingdom you'd inherit:
Sinner, quit your proud behavior;
Learn my meek and lowly spirit.
Come, ye servants, see your station
Free from all reproach and shame;
He who purchased your salvation,
Bore a servant's humble name.
Come, ye poor, some comfort gather,
Faint not in the race you run;
Hard the lot your gracious Father
Gave his dear, his only Son.
Think, that if your humble stations
Less of worldly food bestow,
You escape those strong temptations
Which from wealth and grandeur flow

See, your Saviour is ascended;
See, he looks with pity down:
Trust him, all will soon be mended;
Bear his cross, you'll share his crown.

-Hannah More's poem c. 1780

Read about Hannah on Theology Girls, looked her poems up and found stories too.  There are so many poignant parts of this poem it's hard to say which one hit me the hardest. Reminds us of our great need, and His incredible abasement.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews


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