The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let All The Faith Rejoice With Pious Mirth

For Christmas

Words: Bishop Edward Singe (1659-1741), circa 1740

Music: Arthur H. Brown

Source: Arthur H. Brown, ed., In Excelsis Gloria-Carols for Christmastide (London: Thomas Bosworth & Co., 1885), Carol #6, pp. 12-13.

1. Let all the earth rejoice with pious mirth,
And celebrate our blessed Saviour's birth;
Who at this time left all the joys above
To visit sinners in eternal love.

Chorus:
Therefore let all the whole creation ring
With songs of praise to God and Christ our King;
The saints and Angels do it now in heav'n,
Let us unite because a Son is giv'n.

2. His Virgin Mother, though beloved of God,
Had neither Court nor Palace for abode;
But in a manger free from noise and strife,
She there brought forth the precious LORD of Life.
Mankind were strangers to these glorious things,
Till joyful Angels with expanded wings
Brought tidings to the shepherds in the field,
Who were with rapture and amazement filled.

3. They were surrounded with refulgent rays,
The Heavenly Host were singing songs of praise ;
Those pious kindly shepherds straight agree
To leave their flocks, this Blessed Babe to see.
Then by angelic voice they guided were
To pay their homage to the Heavenly Heir ;
He lay in manger, in an ox's stall,
He died and rose again to save us all.

Sheet Music from Arthur H. Brown, ed., In Excelsis Gloria-Carols for Christmastide (London: Thomas Bosworth & Co., 1885), Carol #6, pp. 12-13.

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Brown provided the following quotation at the top of the first page of the carol:

"Shall Angels sing, and shall men silent be?
Christ's birth was not for them, good man, but thee.
Let us then with intensest ardour sing,
Carols of Angels to this glorious King ;
And in joint Concert may both still aspire,
Till all make up one Hallelujah Quire."

Scintilla Altaris.

The Θνσιαστηριον; vel Scintilla Altaris was described as "Primitive Devotion in the Feasts and Fasts of the Church of England." It was compiled by Edward Sparke D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty. The Fifth edition was printed by T. Hodgkin for T. Basset and H. Brome in 1673. It is available at Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=sXpnAAAAcAAJ, and from the Early English Books Online, 1641-1700.

Notes:

This song also appeared in The Godspeller, Vol. XV., No. 180, December, 1882, (London and Oxford: A. R. Mowbray and Co., 1883), p. 7.

The original song was 40 four-line verses for a total of 160 lines. The song given by Brown represents original verses 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 (lines 1 & 2, alt.), and 33 (lines 3 & 4, alt.). The Christmas portion of the full song is verses 1-13. Verses 14-23 concern his ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. The first Apostles are the topic of verses 24-39, and verse 40 is a general conclusion.

The earliest publication that we've found is a Broadside printed circa 1740. The full text below was retrieved from the English Broadside Ballad Archive, University of California, Santa Barbara, EBBA_31250, accessed March 13, 2017. The original is in the British Library, Roxburghe Collection 3.549; note that this does not correspond with Volume 3 of the Ballad Society's Roxburghe Ballads (7 volumes), although it is mentioned in The Roxburghe Ballads, Volume 7, p. 333.

The original title was:

The GLORY of MAN's Redemption:
BEING
A new and lively Emblem of the BIRTH, LIVES, SUFFERINGS, RESURRECTION, and glorious
ASCENTION of our blessed Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, and his Holy Apostles: Written by the most Reverend
Father in God Edward, Lord Archbishop of Tewham. (Very necessary to be had in all Christian Families.)

The author was Bishop Edward Singe who became Bishop of Tuam, Galway, in 1716, and held the see until 1742.

1. Let all the Faith rejoice with pious Mirth,
And celebrate our blessed Saviours Birth,
Who at this Time left all the Joys above,
To visit Sinners in eternal Love.

2. Therefore let all the whole Creation ring,
With Songs of Praise, to God, and Christ our King,
The Saints and Angels do it now in Heaven:
Let us unite, because a Son is given.

3. How gracious was the Lord of Glory bright,
To send his Son in whom he took Delight,
To take our Nature, and be basely usd,
And yet alas! this Goodness still abusd.

4. No Pomp no Grandeur did our Lord require,
For great Ones to behold, or Rich admire:
To Poor and Low the great Messiah came,
Then let the Poor extol his glorious Name.

5. What Preparations and what vast Expence,
At bringing forth a Mortal earthly Prince;
Yet see the King of Kings is void of all,
And first drew Breath within an Oxs Stall.

6. His Virgin Mother, though belovd of God,
Had neither Court, or Palace for Abode;
But in a Manger free from Noise and Strife,
She there brought forth the precious Lord of Life.

7. Mankind were Strangers to those glorious Things,
Till joyful Angels with expanded Wings,
Brought Tidings to the Shepherds in the Field,
Who were with Rapture and Amazement filld.

8. They were surrounded with refulgent Rays,
The heavenly Host were singing Songs of Praise;
Those pious kindly Shepherds strait agree,
To leave their flocks, the blessed Babe to see.

9. Then by a glorious Star they guided were,
To pay their Homage to the heavenly Heir,
But cursed Herod Judas cruel King,
Did plot and strive to work a hellish Thing.

10. Sending the Wise men would not him inform,
Where Jesus Christ, the Son of God was born;
Three thousand infants strait he put to Death,
In Hopes that Christ with them might lose his Breath;

11. But God on high frustrated his Intent,
For why, his Parents into AEgypt went,
And kept our Saviour from the Tyrants Power,
Till odious mice, his Carcase did devour!

12. Consider Christians how this Prince of Peace,
Was forcd to wander thus from Place to Place;
And though a guiltless Lamb, yet doomd to die,
O then rejoice in your Adversity.

13. And envy not the Great, the High and Rich,
Whom Bags of Gold do oftentimes bewitch;
For those that follow Christ have Crosses here,
But shall be crownd hereafter, never fear.

14. Our Saviour then returned Home again,
And wrought for his own Bread with Sweat and Pain;

Until in Age to Thirty he did reach,
Then went about the Gospel for to preach.

15. He heal'd the Sick, gave Sight unto the Blind,
Lame got their Feet, the Deaf their Hearing find;
The Dead he rais'd, but did no Physic use,
All this and more he did among the Jews.

16. Thus doing Good three Years and Half, went he,
The wicked Jews then held Conspiracy,
To take his Life, whilst Judas doth him sell
For Thirty Pence, poor Soul, and went to Hell.

17. And when the cruel bloody minded Jews,
Found out our Lord, they did him basely use;
Mock, flout and scoff, and set him all at Scorn,
Spit on his Face, and crownd his Head with Thorns.

18. Betwixt two Thieves he surely was to die,
Upon a Cross that was mounted on high;
Unto the same they naild his Hands and Feet,
Where for our Sins he shed his Blood most sweet.

19. Most barbarous were they in every Part,
One took a Spear and piercd his tender Heart:
From whence both Blood and Water strait did flow,
All this, and more, the Lamb did undergo.

20. And to compleat this woful Tragedy,
They laughd and jeerd, as he hung on a Tree;
What savage Tygers, and far worse were they,
To butcher such a harmless Lamb that Way.

21. The Earth did tremble underneath their Feet,
The Sun grew dark, went back, and seemd to weep;
The Rocks they rent, and all Things grievd and mourn,
Yet this would not the Jews Hearts melt to turn.

22. Thus dyd the Lord of Life for sinful Men,
But the third Day he rose to Life again;
Triumphing oer the Devils, and the Grave,
We shed his Blood, and yet that Blood doth save.

23. For forty Days on Earth he did converse,
With his Disciples, as themselves rehearse;
Then was he taken up by Angels bright,
To heavenly Joys, in his Apostles Sight.

24. St. Matthew did our Saviours Actions write,
And most of his wise Sayings did indite,
At last he was in AEthiopia slain,
Whose Soul with Christ in Heaven doth remain.

25. St. Thomas had an unbelieving Heart,
Touching his Masters Side did him convert,
This Saint was murderd by a bloody Crew,
For with a Spear they piercd his Body through.

26. In Hierapolis, as some do report,
St. Philip martyrd was in barbrous Sort;
St. James a Bishop in Jerusalem,
Who for his Faith was martyrd by them.

27. St. Peter was a Fisherman at first,
And he in Rome the Gospel did rehearse;
By Tyrant Herod he was crucifyd,
With his Head downward, so this Martyr dyd.

28. St. Andrew, that Apostle of great Fame,
Brother to Simon, Peter calld by Name,
He to the Cross was naild and crucifyd,
And so this Martyr for the Gospel died.

29. St. John upon our Saviours Breast did rest,
And by the King of Glory was lovd best;
His Life was sought, but Christ did it defend,
St. John at Ephesus his Life did end.

30. St. John outlivd his Master but nine Years,
As by the Holy Scripture it appears;
But cruel Herod then cut off his Head,
For which by Worms he was devoured.

31. Blessed St. Mark who did the Gospel preach,
And did vast Multitudes in AEgypt teach;
He martyrd was, ands Flesh in Pieces tore,
But now with Christ doth reign for evermore.

32. Let every Christian bear this in his Mind,
The Love of Christ, the Saviour of Mankind,
Who dyd for us, or else we know right well,
All must have perishd in the Lake of Hell.

33. Behold our Saviour, Lord, and King of Bliss,
By wicked Jews thus crucifyd he is:
He lay in a Manger, in an Ox's Stall;
He dyd and rose again to save us all.

34. St. Luke his Gospel wrote, the Acts likewise,
His Faith in Christ let every Christian prize:
He on an Olive-tree was hangd in Greece,
His Soul doth rest now in eternal Peace.

35. St. Paul converted was by dazling Light,
Thirteen most learnd Epistles he did write;
For many Years he through great Dangers past,
And was at Rome beheaded at the last.

36. St. Jude he was the Virgin Marys Brother,
He and St. Simon loved one another;
St. Simon dyd the Gospel to maintain,
St, Jude by Herod cruelly was slain.

37. St. Barnabas was stoned barbrously,
By wicked Jews who did our Lord deny;
For which he now enjoys e[t]ernal Love,
In holy Mansions there with Christ above.

38. St. Bartholmew for Martyrdom did strive,
And was by cruel Heathens flead alive:
He in his Torture cryd, I come to thee;
Dear Christ, who once was crucifyd for me.

39. The good Mathias as the Scripture shows,
Was in the Room of faithless Judas choose;
In Hierapolis Christs Words did reveal,
The which his glorious Martyrdom did feel.

40. Now Christian Neighbours mind what here is pennd,
If that you hope that Christ will stand your Friend:
Let all your Words and Actions be discreet,
And deck your Chambers with this godly Sheet,

FINIS.

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Notes:

It was also found in Sabine Baring-Gould's collection of broadsides which is contained in two volumes at the British Library (shelf location: LR 31.b.19).

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