The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

After Man Had Broken the Presepts of the Lord

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Ballads, With Other Short Poems, Chiefly of the Reign of Philip and Mary (London: J. B. Nichols, 1860), pp. 2-5.

AFTER man had broken the presepts of the Lord,
Forthewith he was banyshed clerly Godes syght ;
Yet God made hyme promys, as scrypture dothe reccord,
That a rnayd shold bere a sonne whose name Chryst shold hyght ;
Which agayne shold restore hyme to Godes favowr ryght,
And bryng hym to the state wher as he was fyrst grefft.
God therfore, to fullfyll the promys he had plyght,
Sei|t downe hys only sone to be ower new yers gyfft.

O why shold we be penssyff, sorowfull, or sad?
Or for to dyscornfort what thyng shold us compell?
We have a cawse rather to rejoyes and be glad,
The benyfyts of God yf we conseder well;
For of balefull branches and fyere brandes of hell
To be members of mersye he hathe us up lyfft,
By the means of hys sonne, callyd Emanuell,
Whom he sent among us for a new yeres gyfft.

What great lovyng kyndnes dyd God show in thys cace ?
We beyng slaves to Sathan, and thrall captyves vyle,
Abgect from hys presence, hys favower, and hys grace,
That yt so pleased hym to relet owr excyle ;
Whereyn we remaynyd a long season and while,
From which to come agayne we knewe no kynd of shyfft,
Had not hys only sonne come us to reconsyle,
Whom he sent among us for a newe yeres gyfft.

Of all the great benyfyts that God with hyme sent
Ther ys no tung able to make demonstracyon ;
For he brought with hyme peace, by the which stryffe dyd stent,
The key of delyvery frome deathe and dampnacyon,
The dore and the entry to hellthe and salvacyon,
The rawnsom for ower synns, wherby we ware relyfft,
And of Godes wrathfull chere the full mytygacyon,
All thys we reseyvyd by Chryst owr newe yeres gyfft.

He brought deathe with hyme suer deathe to devowr and kyll,
Owr ryghtyusnes and eternall resurectyon,
All veryte" and truthe, with the decay of yll,
The lantarne to lead us in the pathe of perfecttyon,
The redemptyon and ryght to owr fyrst electtyon,
With the food of owr soulls and everlastyng thryfft,
And agaynst Sathans chalenge allso owr protecttyon ;
He may therfor be callyd a noble newe yers gyfft.

By hyme we do reseyve all good and no badnes ;
By hyme the inherytors of joye we ware made;
He ys owr swete savyor and slaker of sadnes ;
The barer of ower synns, wherwithall we ware lade ;
He ys owr gracyus gyde, which dothe us styll perswade
To walke the wurthy wayes, and frame them not to wyfft,
By the flowr of vertewe that cawsyd vyce to fade ;
He ys therfore, I knowe, a noble newe yeres gyfft.

With Chryst came remyssyon and pardon of ower synns ;
With hyme came all mercy and God the fathers love ;
With hyme came grace, the rote that all goodnes begyns;
With hyme came all fredom, as the scrypture dothe prove;
With hyme came the lyght all darknes to remove ;
With hyme came the arowe of repentans full swyfft ;
With hyme came all holynes unto owr behove ;
He ys therfore, I trowe, a noble newe yeres gyfft.

Chryst ys the lovyng fowntayne and pure chrystall well,
Of whose stremes they that dryncke of death shall taste never.
He ys owr phycyssyon, which dothe clerly expell
All sycknes from owr soulls, and helpe them for ever.
The corne from the chaffe with hys fan he shall sever,
And eke the fyne flowr from the bran nerly syfft ;
To save the good allway he shall do hys indever;
For the which God sent hyme for a newe yeres gyffte.

In Chryst all fullness of power and myght dothe dwell ;
In hyme voyd was nothyng that was nydfull and fytt ;
In hyme was and ys the sprete of lovyng cownsell ;
In hyme ys our atonment and peace with God knyt;
In hyme ys owr wysdom and strengthe that shall not flytt ;
In hyme we are justyfyed from owr deadly dryfft;
In hyme ower preservacyon dothe rest every whytt ;
He ys therfore, I say, a plentyus newe yeres gyfft.

Ower lyffe was hys deathe, hys deathe ower lyffe eternall ;
Hys ryghtyusnes ys owr, owr inequyte ys hys;
By hys obedyence he brake the gates infernall,
Wheryn ower primat parent had closyd us, I wys.
He ys owr medyator nowe in trone of blys,
The seate of grace and mercy, that nothyng shold beryfft;
Mankynd of Godes savowr of what a cause ys thys,
For us to be thanckefull for Chryst ower newe yeres gyfft.

Nothyng shall let us nowe to rejoys and be fayne,
Seyng all dolare, all sorowe, and all care,
All greffe, all angguyshe, all trubble, and all payne,
And fynally all thyngs agaynst ower wellfare,
Are clerly expellyd, that they shall us not dare.
Ower harts to the father therfore hye let us lyfft,
That we thus redemyd through Chryst hys sone are,
Whome he sent among us for a newe yers gyfft.

For as myche as thys ys the tyme of newe yere,
Callyd the feast of Chrysts syrcomsysyon indede,
Therfore I have declaryd thys song to yow here,
Your memory unto those benyfyts to lede,
Whyche we have reseyvyd by Chryst, as we rede ;
Consederyng wherof we can not be to swyfft,
To render thanckes to God for ower undeservyd mede,
And allway to remember ower gracyus newe yeres gyfft.

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