Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14
Words: Nathaniel H. Carter (1787–1830), alt. Published in The Ladies’ Magazine, by Sarah J. Hale, Volume 1 (Boston, Massachusetts: Putnam & Hunt, 1828), page 567:
The name of N. H. Carter is well known and respected in the world of letters. The following hymn is from his pen, written many years since to a friend in this city; it is believed it has never been published. The approaching season must render the sentiments it contains, appropriate to the feelings of all Christians, and we think our readers will be highly gratified, as we have been, with the perusal.
In hymns of praise, eternal God!
When Thy creating hand
Stretched out the arch of Heav’n abroad,
And meted sea and land,
The morning stars together sung,
And shouts of joy from angels sung.
The Earth’s prime hour, more joyous far
Was that eventful morn,
When brilliant beam from Bethlehem’s star
Announced a Savior born!
Then sweeter strains from Heaven began—
Glory to God—good will to man.
Babe of the manger! Can it be?
Art Thou the Son of God?
Shall subject nations bow the knee,
And kings obey Thy nod?
Shall thrones and monarchs prostrate fall
Before the tenant of a stall?
’Tis He! the hymning seraphs cry,
While hov’ring, drawn to earth;
’Tis He! the shepherds’ songs reply,
Hail! hail Emmanuel’s birth!
The rod of peace those hands shall bear,
That brow a crown of glory wear!
’Tis He! the eastern sages sing,
And spread their golden hoard;
’Tis He! the hills of Sion ring,
Hosanna to the Lord!
The Prince of long prophetic years
Today in Bethlehem appears!
He comes! The Conqueror’s march begins,
No blood His banner stains;
He comes to save the world from sins,
And break the captive’s chains!
The poor, the sick, and blind shall bless
The Prince of Peace and Righteousness.
Though now in swaddling-clothes He lies,
All hearts His power shall own,
When He, with legions of the skies,
The clouds of Heav’n His throne,
Shall come to judge the quick and dead,
And strike a trembling world with dread.