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Christmas Commentary – No 5, Charles Wesley

12/12/2011

For an appraisal of the attitude of the Wesleys toward Christmas, we need look no further than the hymnody of Charles, who wrote the famous hymn, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. Deeply ingrained with redemptive language, the hymn shows that Wesley saw in the Christmas story the redemptive act of God. Reconciliation between God and man, the Virgin Birth, the New Birth, – all are in this hymn.
The words are below:

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

20111212-205826.jpg
Charles Wesley

From → Hymns and Praise

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