Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see. Matthew 13:17
Words: Paul B. Henkel, Church Hymn Book (New Market, Virginia: Solomon Henkel, 1816), number 16, alt. Note: The 1816 edition of this hymnal does not name the author. Paul Henkel’s son, Ambrose Henkel, identifies his father as the author by a double dagger symbol (‡) in the 1838 edition, page 34.
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Long did both kings and prophets wait
To see the Lord of glory great
Appear, to answer that great end,
To prove the fallen sinner’s friend.
Of Him the prophets long foretold,
The fathers wished him to behold;
Him all the nations did desire
And angels wished Him to admire.
Their prophecies are now fulfilled;
The glorious mystery revealed:
The Child is born, the Son is giv’n,
The Prince of life is come from Heav’n.
His name is Jesus Christ the Lord,
The great and everlasting Word:
He came to execute the plan,
To save the fallen race of man.
He is the Lord from Heaven come,
Our human nature to assume,
Our sins to bear, His blood to shed,
And bruise and crush the serpent’s head.
He left His glorious throne above,
And comes with pity, grace, and love:
He comes to call the sons of men,
And turn them to their God again.
We praise Thee, O Thou King of peace!
Who art our life and righteousness;
Thou virgin’s Son, Thou David’s Star:
No creature can Thy love declare.
All such are truly dead in sin,
Who feel themselves not moved within,
To join with Christians here on earth,
To show and praise the Savior’s birth.
Let all who dwell with hosts on high!
Engage His praise to magnify;
With all the efforts they can raise,
Thus join to sing the Savior’s praise.