The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What The Shepherds Found

For Christmas

Words: Rev. Horatius Bonar, 'Until the Day Break' And Other Hymns and Poems Left Behind (Hodder and Stoughton, 1890), pp. 159-160.

"Dum servant oves, invenerunt Agnum Dei."- Jerome.

Feeding their sheep, they found the Lamb [of] God,
The Lamb without a blemish or a stain,
The altar Lamb, the Lamb of sacrifice,
The Lamb from everlasting ages slain.

Feeding their sheep, they found the Shepherd good,
Who gave His life a ransom for the sheep;
The Shepherd Who in love His scattered flock
Came down from heaven to gather and to keep.

Feeding their sheep, they found the fold of heaven,
Which whoso enters shall go out no more,
The living water there, the pastures green,
The soft, fresh air of the celestial shore.

Bonar gives us his translation of the line from Jerome: "Dum servant oves, invenerunt Agnum Dei" in his The Land of Promise  at p. 113, he writes: "While feeding their sheep, they found the Lamb of God." This same essay is also found in Bonar's Days and nights in the East; or, Illustrations of Bible Scenes (1866). Bonar places the same quotation from Jerome over another of his hymns, Blessed Night, When First That Plain.

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