The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Christ Enter'd The World, And It Lay Still

On the Circumcision: At The Mattins.

Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.—Titus ii.

Latin Text: Noxium Christus simul introivit

Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 78-79.

When Christ enter'd the world, and it lay still, 
"Father," He said, " I come to do Thy will, 
"I come prepared, let Justice take her fill, 
    "'Tis written in Thy book, and I arise.

"Offering Thou would'st not, then said I, I come, 
"A body Thou preparest Me; from the womb 
"A dying Lamb, I take the sinner's doom, 
    "And am Myself the only sacrifice." 

He spake, and did Himself to God afford 
To bear the stern wounds of the legal sword, 
Fulfilling all the law,—the living Word, 
    He pays alone the forfeit penalties. 

Ah, vain the task to stop sin's mantling shoot, 
Man from the heart must weed the bitter root, 
While the new law engrafted puts forth fruit,     
    And drinks the blessing of the pitying skies. 

Not unto us, but Thee, Father of Heaven, 
Not unto us, but Thee, the Son, be given, 
Not unto us, but Thee, from morn till even, 
    Good Spirit, unto Thee our hymns arise.

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