The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This Day Thy Flesh, Oh Christ, Did Bleed

For The Circumcision, or New Year's Day

Words: George Wither

Music: Not Stated

'Sing this as the Forty-fourth Song.'

Source: George Wither, Hymns and Songs of the Church (London: Printed by the Assigns of George Wither, 1623, reprinted London: John Russell Smith, 1856), Song XLVIII, pp. 184-185.

See: George Wither's Hymns of the Christmas-tide

1. This day thy flesh, oh Christ, did bleed,
Mark'd by the circumcision-knife ;
Because the law, for man's misdeed,
Requir'd that earnest of thy life :
Those drops divin'd that shower of blood,
Which in thine agony began :
And that great shower foreshew'd the flood,
Which from thy side the next day ran.

2. Then, through that milder sacrament,
Succeeding this, thy grace inspire ;
Yea, let thy smart make us repent,
And circumcised hearts desire.
For he that either is baptiz'd,
Or circumciz'd in flesh alone,
Is but as an uncircumciz'd,
Or as an unbaptized one.

3. The years anew we now begin,
And outward gifts receiv'd have we;
Renew us also, Lord, within,
And make us new year's gifts for thee :
Yea, let us, with the passed year,
Our old affections cast away ;
That we new creatures may appear,
And to redeem the time essay.

Note from the text, pp. 184-185.

The Church solemnizeth this day, commonly called New Year's Day, in memorial of our Saviour's Circumcision ; that remembering how, when he was but eight days old, he began to smart and shed his blood for us, we might praise him for the same; and that with due thankfulness, considering how easy a sacrament he hath left us (instead of that bloody one, which the law enjoined) we might be provoked to bring forth the fruits of regeneration.

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