The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Wisdom, Who O'er Earth Below

For Advent

Words: Veni, Veni, Emanuel (the "O" Antiphons),
Authorship Unknown, 8th Century Latin;
Published As A Hymn in Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, 7th Edition, Köln, 1710.

Translator: William Cooke (1821-1894), 1853, from the Latin Veni, Veni, Emanuel,
relying heavily on Neale's 1851 translation in Medieval Hymns, excepting verse six which is new to this version.

Music: Benison, German, 1707, and
Immanuel, J. W. Elliott
Meter:; 8.8.

See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Source: Edward Bannerman Ramsey, et al, eds., Hymnal for the Scottish Church recommended by the College of Bishops. (No name or place of publisher, 1857), pp. 260-261. Printed on the Title Page: "(14th April 1857.—Proof— Private Circulation.)"
The publisher was the Scottish Episcopal Church, one of seven major denominations in Scotland at that time. Place of publication was probably Edinburgh.

"In Wisdom hast Thou made them all." -- Ps. civ. 24.

For the days before Christmas, each day one, commencing 16th December.

1. O WISDOM, Who o'er earth below
Forth from the mouth of God didst flow,
Draw nigh and help us when we call,
And strongly, sweetly order all:
The path of prudence teach, that we
May dwell eternally with Thee. Amen.

2. RULER and Lord, draw nigh, draw nigh!
Who to Thy flock on Sinai
Didst give, of ancient times, Thy Law,
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Draw nigh, draw nigh, with us to dwell,
And save, O God, Thine Israel. Amen.

3. O ROD of Jesse's stem, arise,
And save us from our enemies;
And set us free from Satan's chains,
And from the pit with all its pains.
Draw nigh, draw nigh, with us to dwell,
In haste to save Thine Israel. Amen.

4. KEY of the house of David, come !
Reopen Thou our heavenly home,
Make safe the way that we must go,
And close the paths that lead below.
Draw nigh, draw nigh, with us to dwell,
And save us, Lord, from sin and hell. Amen.

5. O MORNING Star, arise, draw nigh,
To give us comfort from on high;
Drive Thou away the gloom of night,
And pierce the clouds, and bring us light.
Draw nigh, draw nigh, with us to dwell,
In mercy save Thine Israel. Amen.

6. SHEPHERD and Prince of David's fold,
Whose goings forth have been of old,
From days of God's eternity,
Who wert, and art, and aye shalt be.
O Draw nigh, draw nigh, to judge the right,
And stand and feed Thine own with might. Amen.

7. O THOU on Whom the Gentiles wait,
Who midst the nations shalt be great,
Thy Church's chief and Corner-stone,—
Who in Thyself hast made all one;
O, come and save, for Thine own sake,
Mankind whom Thou of dust didst make! Amen.

8. DRAW nigh, draw nigh, Emmanuel,
And loose Thy captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel
Comes now to thee, O Israel. Amen.

Sheet Music to "Benison," First Tune, and "Immanuel," Second Tune, from Sir Arthur Sullivan, ed., Church Hymns With Tunes (1885), pp. 54-55.

O_Wisdom_74_Church_Hymns.jpg (117293 bytes) O_Wisdom_74b_Church_Hymns.jpg (119987 bytes)

Editor's Notes:

In addition to this set of metrical anthems, this hymnal also contained a set of prose anthems, plus Biblical citations. See: O Wisdom, Which Camest Out-Scotland.

The “final” was issued in 1858, and was a gutted version of the Draft consisting of 137 pages; both sets of Advent Anthems had been sliced from the final version. The "final" hymnal was titled A Collection of Hymns To Be Sung in Churches Approved and Sanctioned by the Episcopal Synod of the Church in Scotland (Edinburgh: R. Grant and Son, 1858).

See additional notes under O Wisdom, Who O're Earth Below-Cooke (1853).

Also found in Norval Clyne, ed., Hymnal For Use In The Services of the Church (Aberdeen: D. Wyllie & Son, 1857), #10, pp. 9-11; this collection was also known as the Aberdeen Hymnal. Sanctioned by Thomas George Suther, Bishop of Aberdeen, it was based on the Draft 1857 Hymnal for the Scottish Church recommended by the College of Bishops. Although sanctioned by his Bishop, it was not an official publication of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

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