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

Introduction

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems 1739, alt.

Music: Men­dels­sohn Fe­lix Men­dels­sohn, in his can­ta­ta Fest­ge­sang an die Künst­ler, 1840 (se­cond move­ment, Va­ter­land, in dein­em Gau­en) (🔊 pdf nwc).

The can­ta­ta ce­le­brat­ed the 400th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of Jo­hann Gu­ten­berg’s in­ven­tion of the print­ing press. This ar­range­ment, by Will­iam H. Cum­mings, ap­peared in the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Hymn and Tune Book, by Ri­chard R. Chope, 1857.

Alternate Tunes:

  • Cookham ano­ny­mous, in The Sou­thern Har­mo­ny, and Mu­sic­al Com­pan­ion, ed­it­ed by Will­iam Wal­ker (Spar­tan­burg South Ca­ro­lina: 1835); 4-line stan­zas, no re­frain (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • Costa Mi­chael A. A. Cos­ta (1808–1884); 4-line stan­zas, no re­frain (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • Dent Dale tra­di­tion­al tune, in The Eng­lish Hym­nal (Lon­don: Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 23 (🔊 pdf nwc)
portrait
Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Lyrics

illustration

Hark! The her­ald an­gels sing,
Glory to the new­born King;
Peace on earth, and mer­cy mild,
God and sin­ners re­con­ciled!

Joyful, all ye na­tions rise,
Join the tri­umph of the skies;
With th’an­gel­ic host pro­claim,
Christ is born in Beth­le­hem!

Refrain

Hark! the her­ald an­gels sing,
Glory to the new­born King!

Christ, by high­est Heav’n adored;
Christ the ev­er­last­ing Lord;
Late in time, be­hold Him come,
Offspring of a vir­gin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the God­head see;
Hail th’in­car­nate De­ity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Em­ma­nu­el.

Refrain

Hail the heav’n­ly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Right­eous­ness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with heal­ing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glo­ry by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them se­cond birth.

Refrain

Come, de­sire of na­tions, come,
Fix in us Thy hum­ble home;
Rise, the wo­man’s con­quer­ing Seed,
Bruise in us the ser­pent’s head.
Now dis­play Thy sav­ing pow­er,
Ruined na­ture now re­store;
Now in mys­tic un­ion join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Refrain

Adam’s like­ness, Lord, ef­face,
Stamp Thine im­age in its place:
Second Ad­am from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, re­gain,
Thee, the Life, the in­ner man:
O, to all Thy­self im­part,
Formed in each be­liev­ing heart.

Refrain

Wesley’s orig­in­al ver­sion:

Hark, how all the wel­kin rings,
Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mer­cy mild,
God and sin­ners re­con­ciled!

Joyful, all ye na­tions, rise,
Join the tri­umph of the skies;
Universal na­ture say,
Christ the Lord is born to-day!

Christ, by high­est heav’n ador’d,
Christ, the ev­er­last­ing Lord:
Late in time be­hold Him come,
Offspring of a vir­gin’s womb!

Veil’d in flesh, the God­head see,
Hail th’in­car­nate dei­ty!
Pleas’d as man with men t’ap­pear,
Jesus, our Im­ma­nu­el here!

Hail, the heav’n­ly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of right­eous­ness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris’n with heal­ing in His wings.

Mild He lays his glo­ry by,
Born—that man no more may die;
Born— to raise the sons of earth;
Born—to give them se­cond birth.

Fix in us Thy hum­ble home;
Rise, the wo­man’s con­qu’ring seed,
Bruise in us the ser­pent’s head.

Now dis­play thy sav­ing pow’r,
Ruin’d na­ture now re­store;
Now in mys­tic un­ion join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.