Scripture Verse

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13


Words: Jean B. de San­teüil (1630–1697) (Fac, Chris­te, Nos­tri Gra­tia). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ro­bert Camp­bell (1814–1868). Pub­lished in An­nus Sanc­tus, Vol­ume 1, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don & New York: Burns & Oates, 1884), pag­es 43–44.

Music: Pax, John Kin­ross, 1887 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Camp­bell or Kin­ross (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Jean B. de Santeüil


Thou from the cradle to the grave
For us to pain condemned,
A grateful heart Thy people give
To praise their suffering friend—
That Friend who longed for man to die,
While yet in Mary’s womb;
That God who took humanity,
To lay it in the tomb.

He comes a babe, though Lord of all,
In cold and want to lie;
His cradle is the oxen’s stall,
The straw His drapery:
’Tis love that makes the Innocent
The pains of guilt to bear,
The Giver of the law content
Its penalty to share.

That precious blood which gently flows
And speaks the law obeyed,
Foreshadoweth His dying woes
A little while delayed.
The sword that slays the sucklings now
Unsheathèd must remain,
To pierce His heart and lay Him low
With those already slain.

His chosen race their God expel—
An exile poor He flies;
In heathen lands He seeks to dwell
Who made the earth and skies.
O King of suffering, King of love,
All praise be paid to Thee,
With Father, Spirit, God above,
Eternal Trinity.