A Poor Brother's Hymnal
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
  Behold the Great Greator Makes
“[He] took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7

Words: Thom­as Pes­tel (1584-1659), in Ser­mons and De­vo­tions Old and New, as stan­zas 5-9 of “A Psalm for Christ­mas Day Morn­ing” (start­ing “Fair­est of morn­ing lights ap­pear”).

Music: This End­ris Nyght, 15th Cen­tu­ry (MI­DI, score).

C G Am Em / F E / F C Dm Am / C G C

Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,
A robe of virgin flesh He takes
Which He will wear for ay.

Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!
In form of servant is the Lord,
And God in cradles lies.

This wonder struck the world amazed,
It shook the starry frame;
Squadrons of spirits stood and gazed,
Then down in troops they came.

Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
A choir of angels sings,
And eastern sages with delight
Adore this King of kings.

Join then, all hearts that are not stone,
And all our voices prove,
To celebrate this holy One
The God of peace and love.

This hymn is from a poem by Thomas Pestel[l] (c1586-1667), in Sermons and Devotions Old and New (1639). The above are stanzas 5-9 of A Psalm for Christmas Day Morning. The first 4 verses (printed in a book of his poems in 1940) are as follows:
Fairest of morning lights, appear,
Thou blest and gaudy day,
On which was born our Saviour dear;
Arise and come away.

See, see, our pensive breasts do pant,
Like gasping land we lie,
Thy holy dews our souls do want.
We faint, we pine, we die.

Let from the skies a joyful rain
Like mel or manna fall
Whose searching drops our sins may drain,
And quench our sorrows all.

This day prevents His day of doom;
His mercy now is nigh;
The mighty God of Love is come,
The dayspring from on high.

[Gaudy = feast; mel = honey; prevents = comes before; doom = judgment]

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