The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This Is The Truth - Broadside Comparisons

Editor's Note: The earliest occurrences of this carol that I've found to date are from two Broadsides published in the early 1800s. The earliest publication in book form was the 1847 A Good Christmas Box. I performed a comparison of the lyrics given in these two broadsides with those in A Good Christmas Box, the results of which are printed on this page. Differences in the broadsides from A Good Christmas Box are in a yellow highlighter.

The Truth Sent From Above from A Good Christmas Box (1847)

1. This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from your door,
But hearken all both rich and poor.

2. The first thing that I will relate,
That God at first did man create
The next thing which to you I tell,
Woman was made with him to dwell.

3. Then after that, ‘twas God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free
Except they ate of such a tree.

4. But they did eat, which was a sin,
And then their ruin did begin —
Ruin'd themselves, both you and me,
And all of our posterity.

5. Thus we were heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose
For so a promise soon did run
That he’d redeem us with a Son.

6. And at this season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear
And here did live, and here did preach,
And many thousands he did teach.

7. Thus He in love to us behav'd,
To show us how we might be saved
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what he did say.

8. Go preach the Gospel now he said,
To all the nations that are made
And he that does believe on me,
From all his sins I’ll set him free.

9. If he believes and does obey,
I'll raise him up at the last day,
And now as sure as he does live,
Eternal life to him I'll give.

10. But he that wont believe in me,
Eternal life shall never see,
If he will still in sin remain,
I'll give him everlasting pain.

11. Now prove yourselves the teacher saith,
Examine if you've any faith,
And if you search and can't this see,
Then beg of God to give it thee.

12. For he is merciful and kind,
And bids you seek and you shall find,
Your danger's great, make no delay,
For without faith you can't him see.

13. O seek it now while life does last,
For death is coming very fast,
And if he finds thee void of this,
The wrath of God you cannot miss.

14. O seek! O seek! of God above,
That saving faith that works by love,
And if he's pleased to grant thee this,
Thou'rt sure to have eternal bliss.

15. For when by death he'll close thy eyes,
To be with Christ above the skies,
And there remain for ever bless'd,
With joys that cannot be expressed.

16. God grant to all within this place
True saving faith—that special grace,
Which to His people doth belong—
And thus I close my Christmas song.

T. Bloomer, Printer, 53, Edgbaston-street, Birmingham, between 1822 and 1827.

8 eight-line verses, with two small illustrations. Copy at Douce adds. 137(38)

Title: The truth Sent From Above ( First Line: "This is the truth sent from above ...")

Roud Number 210 at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (15 records for this title).

D. Wrighton, Printer, Snow-Hill, Birmingham between 1811-1813, as per Birmingham Ballad Printers, Part Four: V - W.

8 eight-line verses, with two small illustrations (top and bottom).

Copy at Douce adds. 137(62)

Title: A Carol For Christmas-Day; first line: This is the truth sent from above.

Douce adds. 137(38)-14966-Crop.jpg (394908 bytes)

Douce_adds_137(62)-14990-Crop.jpg (451116 bytes)

'A Carol for Christmas Day' from D. Wrighton, Printer, Birmingham.

1. This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from the door,
But hearken all, both rich and poor.
The first thing which I did relate,
That God at first did man create;
The next thing which to you I tell,
Woman was made with him to dwell.

2. Then after this, ‘twas God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free
Except they eat of such a tree.
But they did eat, which was a sin,
And thus their ruin did begin —
Ruin'd themselves, both you and me,
And all of their posterity.

3. Thus we are heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose
For so a promise soon did run
That he’d redeem us by a Son.
And at this season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear
And here did live, and here did preach,
And many thousands he did teach.

4. Thus He in love to us behav'd,
To show us how we might be sav'd;
And if you want to know the way,
Be pleas'd to hear what he did say:
Go preach the Gospel now, he said,
To all the nations that are made,
And he that does believe on me,
From all his sins I’ll set him free.

4. If he believes, and does obey,
I'll raise him up at the last day,
And now, as sure as he does live,
Eternal life to him I'll give.
But he that wont believe on me,
Eternal life shall never see,
If he will still in sin remain,
I'll give him to eternal pain.

6. Now prove yourselves the teacher saith,
Examine if you've any faith,
And if you search and can't this see,
Then beg of God to give it thee:
For he is merciful and kind,
And bids you seek and you shall find,
Your danger's great, make no delays,
For without faith you can't him please.

7. O! seek it now while life does last,
For DEATH is coming very fast,
And if he finds thee void of this,
The wrath of God you cannot miss:
O! Seek, O! Seek, of God above,
That saving faith that works by love,
And if he's pleased t' grant thee this,
Thour't sure to have eternal bliss.

8. For when by death he'll close thy eyes,
Thoul't be with CHRIST above the skies,
And there remain for ever bless'd,
With joys that cannot be expressed:
God grant to all within this place
True saving faith, that special grace,
Which to His people doth belong,
And thus I close my CHRISTMAS song.

'The Truth Sent From Above' from T. Bloomer, Printer, Birmingham.

1. This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God the God of love,
Therefore don’t turn me from the door,
But hearken all both rich and poor,
The first thing which I will relate,
That God at first did man create,
The next thing which to you I tell,
Woman was made with him to dwell.

2. Then after this ‘twas God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free,
Except they eat of such a tree.
But they did eat, which was a sin,
And then their ruin did begin —
Ruin'd themselves, both you and me,
And all of our posterity.

3. Thus we are heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose,
For so a promise soon did run,
That he’d redeem us by a Son,
And at the season of the year,
Our bless'd Redeemer did appear,
And here did live and here did preach,
And many thousands he did teach.

4. Thus He in love to us behaved,
To show us how we might be sav'd,
And if you want to know the way,
Be pleased to hear what he did say,
Go preach the Gospel now he said,
To all the nations that are made,
And he that does believe on me,
From all his sins I’ll set him free.

4. If he believes and does obey,
I'll raise him up at the last day,
And now as sure as he does live,
Eternal life to him I'll give,
But he that won't believe on me,
Eternal life shall never see,
If he will still in sin remain,
I'll give him eternal pain.

6. Now prove yourselves the teacher saith,
Examine if you've any faith,
And if you search and can't this see,
Then beg of God to give it thee,
For he is merciful and kind,
And bids you seek and you shall find,
Your danger's great make no delays,
For without faith you can't him please.

7. O seek it now while life does last,
For death is coming very fast,
And if he finds thee void of this,
The wrath of God you cannot miss,
O seek! O seek! of God above,
That saving faith that works by love,
And if he's pleased to grant thee this,
Thou'rt sure to have eternal bliss.

8. For when by death he'll close thy eyes,
To be with Christ above the skies,
And there remain for ever bless'd,
With joys that cannot be express'd,
God grant to all within this place
True saving faith that special grace,
Which to His people doth belong,
And thus I close my Christmas song.

See:

The sixteen verses in A Good Christmas Box (1847) are in this file, The Truth Sent From Above, which also contains the complete notes for this carol.

For the version by Cecil J. Sharp from English Folk-Carols (1911), see: The Truth Sent From Above.

For the version from Herefordshire printed in the JFSS (1910), and used by R. Vaughan Williams in Eight Traditional English Carols (1919), see: The Truth Sent From Above - R. Vaughan Williams.

There is another version, consisting of five verses, which appeared in the Oxford Book of Carols, and was later incorporated into 100 Carols for Choirs. The verses were 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 from A Good Christmas Box. There was an unfortunate juxtaposition of the last line of the second verse and the first line of the third verse (the original fifth verse). See: The Truth from Above - Oxford Book of Carols.

For a discussion of similar tunes, see The Truth Sent From Above - JFSS Update.

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