Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Words: Originally in Some Ancient Christmas Carols, edited by Davis Gilbert (London: John Nichols & Son, 1822). Davis’ version had only four stanzas—Richard Sandys published an expanded version in Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), pages 145–47.
If you know where to get a good picture of Gilbert, Sandys or Elliott (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
Hark! hark! what news the angels bring!
Glad tidings of the newborn King;
The promised Savior of mankind;
Sinners, in Him salvation find.
This is the day, and this the morn,
Which hailed the almighty Savior born,
Born of the holy virgin pure,
Born without sin, from guilt secure.
Hail blessèd virgin, full of grace!
Blessèd above all mortal race,
Whose blessèd womb brought forth in one,
A God, a Savior, and a Son.
Hail! perfect God and perfect Man,
Thy wondrous birth what mind shall scan?
In vain the highest seraph tries
To search Thy love’s deep mysteries.
Arise, my soul, and then, my voice,
In hymns of praise early rejoice,
His fame extol and magnify,
Upon these errands angels fly.
If angels sang at Jesus’ birth
What cause for holy joy on earth!
For us our feeble flesh He took,
For us the realms of light forsook.
Dear Christ, Thou didst Thyself debase,
Thus to descend to human race,
And leave Thy Father’s throne above:
Lord, what could move Thee to this love?
Man that was made out of the dust,
He found a paradise at first;
But see the God of Heaven and earth
Laid in a manger at His birth.
Surely the manger where He lies
Doth figure out His sacrifice,
And by His birth all men may see
A pattern of humility.
Stupendous Child! my God and King!
The wonders of Thy love I’ll sing;
To grateful accents tune my voice,
And, while I live, in Thee rejoice.
My soul, learn by Thy Savior’s birth
For to debase thyself on earth,
That I may be exalted high,
To live with Him eternally.
I am resolved whilst here I live,
As I’m in duty bound, to give
All glory to the Deity,
One God alone in persons three.