The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol XV. The Gentiles' Thanksgiving

 

O Thou, Who Bad'st Thy Star Display

For Christmas

Words: Anonymous.

Music: Handel

also Carey

Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 72-77.

 

THE GENTILES' THANKSGIVING.

" A light to lighten the Gentiles."óLuke ii. 32.

O Thou, who bad'st thy star display
O'er Bethlehem's hills its meteor ray,
To Gentile eyes a mystic sign
Of Judah's new-born King divine:
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That thy lov'd Son his Gospel shed 
On heathen nations dark and dead, 
And blest with his benignant smile 
O'er the broad sea our distant isle; 
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That thence we learn thy power to own, 
Renounc'd our gods of stock and stone ; 
Renounc'd each idol creature's claim, 
To bow at the Creator's name ; 
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That thence our shrines we stain no more 
With human, social, kindred gore, 
Celestial vengeance to allay, 
Taught by the Saviour how to pray; 
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That to thy temple we repair,
Thy house, O God, the house of pray'r,
And serve Thee, as thy word commands,
With humble hearts and holy hands;
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That nurs'd by thy paternal care,
Thy Spirit's promis'd aid we share,
And still for each defective deed
Thy Son's all-perfect offering plead ;
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That train'd no more to mortal fray,
Like savage beasts, each other's prey,
We learn in mutual peace to live,
And what we seek, to others give ;
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That from promiscuous passion free,
Thron'd in her hallow'd home we see
Connubial love, with all the ties
Of man's domestic sympathies;
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That a new world, succeeding this,
By faith we see, a world of bliss,
Not doubtful, transient, vain, impure,
But holy, true, perennial, sure ;
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise,
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

That to that world our way is shown, 
To us its portals open thrown, 
Where we our passport may proclaim, 
The Saviour's blood, the Saviour's name ; 
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

For these and thousand blessings more, 
From thy exhaustless bounty's store, 
Through Him, the Gentiles' light from far, 
Creation's " bright and morning star ;" 
To Thee, Great God, this hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise.

O grant that we in grace may grow, 
And better live as more we know; 
Still cast away the works of night, 
Still walk as children of the light; 
While still to Thee our hymn of praise, 
Releas'd from Gentile gloom, we raise. .

Till in bright scenes, to sight unveil'd 
And near with open face beheld, 
Which now our faith and hope employ, 
Thy glorious Godhead we enjoy ; 
And still to Thee our hymns of praise 
Sublim'd to songs of angels raise !

Sheet Music from Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 74-77.

Note: two settings of two pages each.

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