The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

I Come From Heaven, To Declare

For Christmas Eve

Words: Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her, by Martin Luther
From Joseph Klug's Gesangsbuch, 1535
Notes and Translations: Notes for Vom Himmel Hoch Da Komm Ich Her

Text based on Luke 2: 1-18

Translation: Unknown

Source: A Collection of Hymns of the Children of God in All Ages, From the Beginning Till Now. In Two Parts. Designed for the Use of the Congregations in Union With The Brethren's Church. (London: The Brethren's Chapels, 1754), #300, pp. 179-180.

1. I come from heaven, to declare
Good News to mankind far and near
(Said th' Angel) weigh these tidings well,
Which I come purposely to tell.

2. A little Child is born for you,
Of a pure Virgin chaste and true;
And this Almighty, weakly Boy,
Shall be the Cause of all your joy.

3. It is Christ Jesus, God the Lord,
Who will to sinners help afford ;
Your Saviour, who will make you free
From all your sin and misery.

4. He brings along salvation's store,
Which God the Father did before
Appoint for all, that to him cleave,
To life, since they on Him, believe.

5. And now observe the signs with care,
The signs, poor rags and manger are;
There you will find the Infant King,
Whose pow'r upholdeth ev'ry thing.

6. Let us rejoice with all our heart,
And with the Shepherds soon depart,
To look what Presents from above
God gives with this his Son of love.

7. Awake, my heart, my soul and eyes!
Look what in yonder Manger lies!
Whose is that little lovely Child!
'Tis Christ, by whom we're reconcil'd.

8. Welcome, O welcome, noble Guest,
Who sinners not despised hast,
But com'st into our misery!
How shall I pay due thanks to thee?

9. O Lord, Creator, without end!
How could'st thou ever condescend
To lodge and sleep on wither'd grass,
Provider of the Ox and Ass.

10. If this one world did thousands hold,
Adorn'd with precious stones and gold,
Yet all these Worlds by far would be
A Cradle still too mean for thee.

11. Thy Silk and velvet's rich array
Are swadling cloths and coarsest hay,
Wherein thou ly'st great Potentate,
As under Canopy of state.

12. Thus it was pleasing unto thee!
To manifest this truth to me,
That all this World is empty froth,
And all its honour good for nought.

13. O most beloved Jesus dear!
For thee a pure soft
Bed prepare
to rest for ever in my Heart;
And I from thee will never part.

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