Scripture Verse

A great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests. Luke 2:13–14


George Coles (1792–1858)

Words: Elea­nor A. Hunt­er, in The Stan­dard Sun­day School Hym­nal, ed­it­ed by Chris­to­pher C. Cline (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: Stand­ard Pub­lish­ing, 1888), num­ber 334.

Music: Duane Street George Coles, 1835 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Hunt­er (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


From ev­ery spire on Christ­mas Eve,
The Christ­mas bells ring clear­ly out
Their mes­sage of good­will and peace,
With ma­ny a call and sil­ver shout.
For faith­ful hearts, the an­gels’ song
Still ech­oes in the fros­ty air,
And by the al­tar low they bow,
In ado­rat­ion and in pray­er.

A thou­sand bless­èd me­mo­ries throng,
The stars are ho­ly signs to them,
And from the eyes of ev­ery child
Looks forth the Babe of Beth­le­hem;
But there are oth­ers, not like these,
Whose brows are sad, whose hopes are crossed,
To whom the sea­son brings no cheer,
And life’s most gra­cious charm is lost.

To whom that sto­ry, old and sweet,
Is but a fa­ble at the best,
The Christ­mas mu­sic mocks their ears,
And life has naught of joy or rest.
Oh! for an an­gel’s voice to pierce
The clouds of grief that ov­er them rise,
The mists of doubt and un­be­lief
That veil the blue of Christ­mas skies.

That they, at last, may see the light
Which shines from Beth­le­hem, and un­fold
For Christ the trea­sures of their hearts,
Richer than spic­ery or gold.
Hope of the ag­es, draw Thou near,
Till all the earth shall own Thy sway,
And when Thou reign­est in ev­ery heart
It will, in­deed, be Christ­mas Day.