Scripture Verse

[He] made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:7

Introduction

portrait
Charles Wesley
(1707–1788)

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns for the Na­ti­vi­ty of Our Lord (Lon­don: Will­iam Stra­han, 1745), num­ber 16, alt.

Music: Cra­dle Song Will­iam J. Kirk­pat­rick, in his 1895 pamph­let Around the World with Christ­mas (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William J. Kirkpatrick
(1838–1921)

Lyrics

O mercy divine,
O couldst Thou incline,
My God, to become
Such an infant as mine?
What wonder of grace:
The Ancient of Days
Is found in the likeness
Of Adam’s frail race!

He comes from on high,
Who fashioned the sky,
And meekly vouchsafes
In a manger to lie;
Our God ever blest,
With oxen doth rest,
Is nursed by His creature
And hangs at the breast.

So heavenly-mild,
His innocence smiled,
No wonder the mother
Would worship the Child,
The angels she knew
Had worshipped Him, too,
And still they confess
Adoration His due.

On Jesus’ face,
With eager amaze,
And pleasure ecstatic
The cherubim gaze;
Their newly born King,
Transported they sing,
And Heaven and earth
With the triumph doth ring.

The shepherds behold Him,
The promised of old,
By angels attended,
By prophets foretold;
The wise men adore now,
And bring Him their store,
The rich are permitted
To follow the poor.

To the inn they repair,
To see the young Heir;
The inn is a palace,
For Jesus is there!
Who now would be great,
And not rather wait
On Jesus their Lord
In His humble estate?

Like Him would I be,
My Master I see
In a stable; a manger
Shall satisfy me;
And here will I lie,
Till raised up on high,
With Him on the cross
I recover the sky.