The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Christ The Lord Would Come On Earth

For St. John the Baptist

Words: Dean Henry Alford, Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals throughout the Year, 1836

Source:  Church Hymns (SPCK, 1871), #178, p, 163

Meter: L.M

"He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."—St. Luke vii. 28.

1 When Christ the Lord would come on earth,
His messenger before Him went ;
The greatest born of mortal birth,
And charged with words of deep intent.

2 The least of all that here attend
Hath honour greater far than he ;
He was the Bridegroom's joyful friend,
His Body and His Spouse are we ;

3 A higher race, the sons of light,
Of water and the Spirit born ;
He the last star of parting night,
And we the children of the morn !

4 And, as he boldly spake Thy word,
And joyed to hear the Bridegroom's voice,
Thus may Thy pastors teach, O Lord ;
And thus Thy hearing Church rejoice. Amen.

Sheet Music from Thomas Helmore and Thomas Morley, eds., Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted. (Novello, Ewer & Co., No Date, ca. 1870), Tune #121.

Tune_121.jpg (45412 bytes)


This was the original hymn written by Dean Henry Alford, which he later changed into an Advent hymn. See: When Christ the Lord Would Come On Earth, with notes.

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