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And as he boldly spake thy word,
And joyed to hear the Bridegroom's voice ; Thus may thy pastors teach, O Lord,
And thus thy hearing Church rejoice.
YE servants of the Lord,
Each in his office wait, Observant of his heavenly word,
And watchful at his gate.
Let all your lamps be bright,
And trim the golden flame: Gird up your loins as in his sight,
For awful is his name.
Watch, 'tis the Lord's command ;
And while we speak He's near :
Mark the first signal of his hand,
And ready all appear.
O happy servant he
In such a posture found :
He shall his Lord with rapture see,
And be with honour crowned.
Christ shall the banquet spread
With his own royal hand;
And raise that faithful servant's head
Amidst the angelic band.
In patient faith, till Christ shall come
To call his duteous servants home,
Our hearts and minds we keep;
Still looking for that glorious day,
When heaven and earth shall melt away,
And saints awake from sleep. And still, as years roll swiftly by, And signs fulfilled of prophecy
Declare Christ's coming near :
All heav'n and earth our spirits range,
Noting if signs of coming change
And brighter days appear.
We know that fearful darkness soon
Shall veil the face of sun and moon,
The stars forsake their spheres ;
The powers of heav'n with fear aghast,
Tremble and quake, until at last
Christ's sign in heav'n appears. Then earth's rebellious tribes shall wail, And sinful hearts with terror fail,
While Saints, despised so long,
From east and west and south and north,
By angel-trumpets summoned forth,
Raise one triumphant song.
Christians, awake; salute the happy morn
Whereon the Saviour of mankind was born ;
Rise to adore the mystery of love,
Which hosts of angels chanted from above :
With them the joyful tidings first begun,
Of God Incarnate and the Virgin's Son.
Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
Who heard th' angelic herald's voice, “Behold,
I bring glad tidings of a Saviour's birth
To you and all the nations upon earth :
This day hath God fulfill'd his promis'd word,
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”
Artless and watchful as these favour'd swains,
While virgin meekness in the heart remains,
Trace we the Babe who has retriev'd our loss,
From his poor manger to his bitter cross :
Tread in his steps, assisted by his grace,
Till man's first heav'nly state again takes place.
Then may we hope, th' angelic thrones among,
To sing in heav'n a glad triumphant song ;
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all his glory shall display :
Saved by his love, for ever we shall sing
Glory to God on high, our heav'nly King.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
Fear not, said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind; Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.
To you in David's town this day
Is born, of David's line,
A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign;
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapt in swaddling bands,
And in a manger laid.
Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a heavenly throng
Of angels, praising God, and thus
Address’d their joyful song :
All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace ;
Good-will henceforth from heaven to men
Begin, and never cease.
Hark, the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born king,
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies ;
With the angelic hosts proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness !
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing on his wings.