The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Came In Flesh The Incarnate Word

For Advent

Words: Joseph Anstice (1808-1836)

Music: "Walsall," attributed to Henry Purcell (1658-1695)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

1. When came in flesh the incarnate Word,
The heedless world slept on,
And only simple shepherds heard
That God had sent His Son.

2. When comes the Savior at the last,
From east to west shall shine1
The awful pomp, and earth aghast
Shall tremble at the sign.

3. Then shall the pure of heart be blest;
As mild He comes to them,
As when upon the virgin’s breast
He lay at Bethlehem.

4. As mild to meek eyed love and faith,
Only more strong to save;
Strengthened by having bowed to death,
By having burst the grave.

5. Lord, who could dare see Thee descend
In state, unless he knew
Thou art the sorrowing sinner’s Friend,
The gracious and the true?

6. Dwell in our hearts, O Savior blest;
So shall Thine advent’s dawn2
’Twixt us and Thee, our bosom Guest,
Be but the veil withdrawn.


1. From west to east shall shine. Return

2. So shall Thine advent dawn. Return

Also found in Roundell Palmer, ed., The Book of Praise. Boston: Sever, Francis, & Co., 1870, # 13, pp. 463-464.

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