Scripture Verse

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord. John 1:23

Introduction

Words: Charles Cof­fin, Hym­ni Sac­ri, 1736 (Jor­dan­is or­as prae­via). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Will­iam J. Blew, 1850.

Music: St. Ni­ca­si­us The Church Hymn and Tune Book, ed­it­ed by Will­iam Blew & Hen­ry J. Gaunt­lett (Lon­don: Fran­cis & John Riv­ing­ton, 1852), Ad­vent sec­tion, num­ber 6 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Charles Coffin
(1676–1749)

Lyrics

Lo! The desert depths are stirrèd,
And the reeds of Jordan quiver;
At the Baptist’s herald word,
Shake the shores of that old river.

Nearer comes the Preacher’s cry,
Deeper sounds his voice and deeper,
Telling that the Christ is nigh,
In a tone to rouse the sleeper.

By their Maker’s coming feet
Moved, the earth, the air, the ocean
Joyously His advent greet,
With a strangely yearning motion.

Cleanse the heart—a highway strew
For the Godhead hither faring;
Cleanse the home—a dwelling, due
To the mighty Guest, preparing.

Jesu, Thou our solace art,
Thou our strength and our salvation;
Withered grass, from Thee apart,
Fades away man’s feeble nation.

Lift the lost, with hand of health,
Whom the plague is fast consuming;
Lift the veil—in all its wealth,
Lo! the beauteous world is blooming.

Thou, who comest man to free,
Son, be Thine all praise for ever;
Thine with Sire and Spirit be
Laud through ages ending never.