Hannah More (1745-1833 / England)
A Christmas Hymn
O now 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 favour'd 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,
Deck'd with all the world calls great;
Had he lived in pomp and grandeur,
Crown'd with more than royal state;
Still our tongues with praise o'erflowing,
On such boundless love would dwell;
Still our hearts with rapture glowing,
Feel 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 behaviour,
Learn my meek and lowly spirit.
Come, ye servants, see your station
Freed 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 humbler stations,
Less of worldly good 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.
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