The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Teach Us By His Example

A Carol For St. John The Evangelist

Words: George Wither

Music: Cornish
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, Complete Edition, 1894), Carol #97

1. Teach us by his example, Lord,
For whom we honour Thee today,
And grant his witness of Thy Word
Thy Church enlighten ever may;
And, as beloved, O Christ, he was,
And therefore leaned on Thy Breast;
So let us also in Thy grace,
And on Thy sacred Bosom rest!

2. Into us breathe that Life Divine,
Whose testimony he intends;
About us cause Thy Light to shine,
That which no darkness comprehends:
And let that Ever Blessed Word
Which all things did create of nought,
Anew create us now, O lord,
Whose ruin sin hath almost wrought.

3. Thy holy Faith we do profess,
Us to Thy Fellowship receive;
Our sins we heartily confess,
Thy Pardon therefore let us have;
And, as to us Thy Servant gives
Occasion thus to honour Thee;
So also let our words and lives
As lights and guides to others be.

Sheet Music from Chope


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.

Also found in George Wither, Hymns and Songs of the Church (London: Printed by the Assigns of George Wither, 1623, reprinted London: John Russell Smith, 1856), Song LXIV, pp. 226-227. The following note is from the text, p. 225.

This day is celebrated by the Church to praise God for his blessed Evangelist, and beloved Disciple, St. John, who hath been an admirable instrument of his glory, and the Church's instruction : for, the mystery of the sacred Trinity, and the Divinity of Christ, is by him most plainly expressed in his writings, among many other great mysteries and excellent doctrines concerning our redemption; for which we are bound particularly to honour God, and worthily stirred, up thereunto by this annual commemoration.

For additional hymns, see: George Wither's Hymns of the Christmas-tide.

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