Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

Introduction

portrait
E. Porter Dyer
1813–1882

Words: E. Por­ter Dy­er, in Mer­ry Christ­mas, ed­ited by Will­iam M. Thay­er (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Cy­rus Stone, se­cond ed­i­tion, 1853), pag­es 105–06, alt.

Mu­sic: Bres­cia T. Bis­sell, in Sab­bath Songs, ed­it­ed by Le­on­ard Mar­shall, J. C. Proc­tor & Sam­u­el Burn­ham (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Lee & Shep­ard, 1869), page 106 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know Bis­sell’s full name, or where get a good pho­to of him (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

All hail the peerless night,
Lit by unwonted light,
When Bethl’hem’s star o’er
Bethl’hem’s manger hung!
While, on Judea’s plains,
The wakeful shepherd swains
Saw angel forms, and heard
The song they sung.

Glory to God on high—
The God who rules the sky—
Goodwill to men, and
Holy peace on earth;
I seem to hear them sing;
They make the heavens ring
With songs of joy at our
Redeemer’s birth.

Born of a Jewish maid,
In Bethl’hem’s manger laid,
His head lies pillowed
On a virgin’s breast.
And did He stoop so low?
Did He the throne forego,
To raise us sinners to
The heav’nly rest?

Yes, Christ was born to bleed,
Such was our dreadful need,
That thro’ His death our
Sins might be forgiv’n;
Yet reigns He now on high,
And soon shall every eye
Behold His advent in
The clouds of Heav’n.