Scripture Verse

…wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.@Luke 2:12

Introduction

portrait
Harriet M. Kimball
(1834–1917)

Words: Har­ri­et M. Kim­ball, Po­ems (New York: An­son D. F. Ran­dolph, 1889), pag­es 93–95.

Music: Wood­worth Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, Men­dels­sohn Col­lect­ion, or Third Book of Psalm­o­dy (New York: Iv­i­son & Phin­ney, 1849) (🔊 pdf nwc).

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If you have ac­cess to a bet­ter pho­to of Kim­ball, would you send us an e-mail?

illustration
Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656)

Lyrics

The Child, the promised Child, is born!
Glad tidings to a world forlorn!
Celestial choirs in bright array
Descend to hail His natal day.

Oh, come and see the wondrous thing
Whereof the Christmas angels sing—
The blessèd Babe in Mary’s arms,
With all a babe’s endearing charms.

In unimagined splendors far
Beyond remotest sun or star
His throne uplifts, yet here He lies
In Bethlehem’s stall, in mean disguise.

Angelic hosts that press unseen,
The questioning kine with instinct keen,
The wondering shepherds, all adore
The mystery foretold of yore.

Here is the virgin undefiled;
Here Israel’s Holy One, the Child,
Emmanuel, whom centuries
Have watched for with prophetic eyes.

His Name is Wonderful, we read,
The Counselor in all our need,
The Mighty God, the Father great,
Created things to re-create.

And more, if more were possible,
The Prince of Peace His work shall tell
Who comes to conquer every foe
That human soul can ever know.

Yea, more—the name that Gabriel gave—
He comes as Jesus, strong to save;
The matchless depth, the matchless height
Of love revealed to mortal sight.

O weary one, whate’er thy name,
O penitent, whate’er thy shame,
O ardent soul, O mourner sad,
O youth, O childhood, strong and glad,

Art thou of high or low degree,
He comes, this blessèd Babe, to thee;
Receive Him, press Him to thy heart,
And in this cold world take His part!

In this cold world that doth but play,
Alas, at keeping Christmas Day!
Receive Him, press Him to thy heart,
And He in turn will take thy part!

In His unearthly kingdom share;
His laws obey; His signet wear;
His living presence taste, and see
How gracious Christ the Lord can be!

Henceforth temptation’s arrows sore
May wound but poison thee no more;
Nor griefs o’erwhelm, nor faith grow dim,
Because thy heart enshrineth Him!