Hark! the herald angels sing

if you do not hear the tune, click here.

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 the angelic host proclaim
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."..................Refrain:  Hark! the herald angels sing,
                                                                                "Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
hail the incarnate deity;
pleased with us in flesh to dwell;
Jesus, our Immanuel!...............................Refrain

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail, the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth......................Refrain

#201 in Hymnal: A Worship Book

Words:  Charles Wesley and others, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, alt.

   Tune:   Felix Mendelssohn, [in his cantata Festgesang an die Künstler, 1840 (second movement, Vaterland, in deinem Gauen); the cantata celebrated the 400th anniversary of Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press], adapted by William H. Cummings, 1855, Congregational Hymn and Tune Book, 1857.

          Wesley's original hymn consisted of ten four-line stanzas (see below). "Welkin" is an old English word for vault of heaven, or sky. The now-familiar opening lines first appeared in George Whitefield's Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1753). Over the years other text alterations have been made; the recent change in stanza 2:4, from "pleased as man with men to dwell" to "pleased with us in flesh to dwell," was made without changing the theology of the incarnation expressed in the hymn. The hymn is packed with theological substance, and some stanzas were especially useful in teaching John Wesley's Methodism classes.

  Wesley’s original version:

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Christ, by highest Heaven ador’d,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb!

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus! Our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen 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 conquering 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.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form'd in each believing heart.

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