The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Saint John, Saint John, Was Christ's Disciple

For Saint John The Evangelist

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)

1. Saint John, Saint John was Christ's disciple,
    and Evangelist also;
He for the sake of Jesus Christ
    Much pains did undergo,
Because he loved our Saviour Christ,
    As Holy Scriptures say,
And was belov'd of him also,
    And in his bosom lay.

Saint John for love of our Saviour
    Did undergo much pain
And never ceased during life
    To preach Christ Jesus' name.

2. Saint John, he at Jerusalem
    Did preach God's holy word,
And for the same the spiteful Jews
    They did him cruel scourge.
Then did he for the same rejoice,
    That he was counted worthy
To suffer for the sake of Christ,
    And would him not deny. Chorus

3. To Patmos banish'd was Saint John,
    As Scripture doth record,
For the testimony of Christ,
    And his most holy word.
And as he was in the Spirit
    On the Lord's blessed day,
Our Saviour by an Angel spake,
    and unto him did say, Chorus

4. I am Alpha and Omega,
    Which was and is to come;
And what thou seest write in a book --
    Thus said he to Saint John --
And send it to the Churches then,
    Which are in Asia seven.
And said the Angel to Saint John,
    Which came to him from Heaven. Chorus

5. Then John turn'd him about to see,
    And was astonished
At the sight of the Angel bright,
    Who said, Be comforted,
For I was alive, and also dead,
    Now I live for evermore,
And have the keys of death and hell;
    Take comfort now therefore. Chorus

6. Then wretched Caesar, as 'tis said,
    The Emperor Domitian,
Into a tub of boiling oil
    At Rome he thrust Saint John.
Therein received he no harm,
    But safely from thence came,
And died at last at Ephesus --
    Writing declares the same. Chorus


The feast day of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, occurs on December 27, within the traditional 12 days of Christmas. For more information, see Hymns To St. John The Evangelist.

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