Friday, June 13, 2014

"As With Gladness Men of Old"

      "Another very popular Christmas hymn is that entitled "As With Gladness Men of Old." It is remarkable that this cheerful hymn was written at a time of great depression. (The same melody is used in the Christian hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth.") The author, William Chatterton Dix, who died in 1900, had been seriously ill for a long time, and he was feeling ill for a long time, and he was feeling disconsolate and miserable.
      One evening, after he had been some weeks in bed, he felt a great deal better, and while in this improved state he conceived the idea of writing a Christmas hymn, and as a result of this we get "As With Gladness Men of Old."" from How We Got Our Christmas Hymns, 1913

"As with Gladness Men of Old"
by William C. Dix, 1837-1898

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led by Thee!

As with joyful steps they sped,
Savior, to Thy lowly bed,
There to bend the knee before
Thee whom heaven and earth adore,
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat!

As they offered gifts most rare
At Thy cradle, rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin's alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King!

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And when earthly things are past.
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down.
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

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