Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 7, 2008

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every Christian breast,
And furnished for so great a guest!
Yea, let us each our heart prepare
For Christ to come and enter there.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
and bid the fallen sinner stand;
shine forth and let thy light restore
earth’s own true loveliness once more.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent sets thy people free;
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Charles Coffin

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


ee 12.08.08 at 11:27 am

Wot no Wesley?


Kim 12.08.08 at 12:25 pm

John Wesley, it appears, introduced the hymn (written in Latin by a French Catholic, and translated by an English Anglican) into England. So there!


Richard 12.08.08 at 12:59 pm

Are you sure Wesley introduced this, Kim? I hadn’t heard that before, and according to my handy reference book Chandler’s translation didn’t appear until 1837 (in his collection Hymns of the Primitive Church), by which time Mr Wesley was already somewhat past his best.

I do think that it is a hymn that can properly be called Wesleyan, though.


Kim 12.08.08 at 4:27 pm

Oops - you’re right, Richard! I’ve re-consulted my source, which I misread. It’s not the hymn but the tune “Winchester New” (to which the hymn is often sung) that Wesley introduced into England, in his Foundry Tune Book of 1742.

I dare say that the hymn can properly be called Reformed too. Indeed, can there be any confessional scruple about it?

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