The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Yon Ethereal Heavens

For Christmas

Words: Martin Luther, Vom Himmel Kam Der Engel Schar, 1543
See: Notes on Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar

Translation: Henrietta Joan Fry

Source: Henrietta Joan Fry, Hymns of the Reformation (London: Charles Gilpin, 1845), pp. 20-22.


And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude qfthe heavenly host praising
God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
toward men.
Luke ii. 13,14.

    From yon ethereal heavens
        A glittering host we see;
    Angelic forms appear in view—
        A shining company:
Revealed in beams of living light,
They break upon the enraptured sight.
    To shepherds on the plain,
        Who watch their peaceful fold,
    Oh, listen! how with melting strain,
        Their tale is told.

    Mark now a tender babe,
        An infant soft and fair;
    In yonder manger-bed he lies,
        Hard ia his pallet there.
    In Bethlehem's royal city,
        Where David dwelt of yore,
    As said the prophet Micah,
        When the joyful news he bore;
Jesus, your Lord, you there shall find,
The common Saviour of mankind.
    How shall your hearts rejoice
        To see that God
    Has deigned to put your nature on,
        Your flesh and blood;
In bonds of brotherhood, are ye
With Him who dwells in praise, from all eternity.
    What power have sin and death
        To work your woe ?
    The living God we find
        With men below:
Let devils rage, and hell devour,
With all their dark, malignant power;
The Son of God your Friend shall prove,
Companion of your joy, your guardian shield of love.
    He never will forsake you,—
        He can never
    From you, confiding souls,
        His goodness sever:—
Trust but in Him, to Him direct your eye,
And heavenward look with filial constancy;
Let foes assail, and malice work its will;—
Trust the Redeemer, He is with you still.

    You shall at length, be found
        By wisdom justified,
    And to the household of our God
        In fellowship, allied;
When, in the Saviour's perfect dress,
You stand, complete in righteousness.

    With patient, humble joy,
        Thanksgiving's theme pursue,
    And let your praise to God ascend
        For ever new:
Nor is eternity too long
To pour from lips of love,
Redemption's glorious song.


Recast as Let All Our Hearts Rejoice by Jonathan Whittemore, ed., A Supplement to all Hymn Books (London: Adams & King, 1850), Hymn #5, p. 3.

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