Christians, awake, salute the happy morn.
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born,
Rise to adore the mystery of love.
Which hosts of angels chanted from above.
With them the joyful tidings first begun,
Of God incarnate and the Virgin’s Son.
Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
Who heard the angelic herald’s voice: “Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Saviour’s birth.
To you and all the nations upon earth,
This day hath God fulfilled His promised word;
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”
He spake, and straightaway the celestial choir,
In hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire.
The praises of redeeming love they sang,
And heaven’s whole orb with alleluias rang.
God’s highest glory was their anthem still,
Peace upon earth and unto men goodwill.
To Bethlehem straight the shepherds ran,
To see the wonder God had wrought for man.
And found, with Joseph and the blessed Maid,
Her Son, the Saviour, in a manger laid.
Amazed, the wondrous story they proclaim,
The earliest heralds of the Saviour’s name.
Let us, like these good shepherds, them employ,
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy.
Trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
From His poor manger to His bitter cross.
Treading His steps, assisted by His grace,
Till man’s first heavenly state again takes place.
Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among,
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song.
He that was born upon this joyful day,
Around us all His glory shall display.
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing,
Of angels and of angel-men the King.
This song was written as a poem by Englishman John Byron as a gift for his daughter Dorothy, which means gift of God, by the way. Originally, entitled Christmas for Dolly, it was sung and called Christians Awake and set to music by J. Wainright
While there were no Christians per se, at His birth we should be awake to His birth and it is a mystery of the Spirit how He came to be born of a virgin, it takes faith to believe God could do such a miracle or that Jesus would come of His own volition to die for us. Gabriel’s words had been fulfilled.
God’s own Son on earth incarnate, He had appeared in the Old testament as the Angel of the Lord on several occasions but was now the Word made flesh and dwelling among us. John 1:1 What a sight to behold heavens orb lit with angels, ringing alleluias, celestial choirs, conspiring with hymns, peace on earth and good will toward. men.
I never thought about the shepherds running to town but the may have made a dash for Bethlehem to see the child of the Maid, in the manger of stone, where He laid. They certainly heralded the name of Christ the Lord. Like the shepherds we should be able to trace the babe who retrieved our loss, to a bitter cross, His grace allows us to trace His steps, and He was the second Adam redeeming our authority, He desires the world to be in it’s original state. A heavenly state.
Maybe, he, John Byron, thought we would hope to sing with the angels in heaven, but I think we can now, glad songs, for He triumphed on our behalf. We are saved only by His love and of Him incessantly we and the angels will sing. I wonder what a little girl would have though pf this gift. It was 1745, 273 years later, we are blessed to read it and even be glad it exists, as many carols were lost when they were outlawed by Protestant Oliver Cromwell, they were reinstated in Victorian times as England celebrated Christmas.
Rebecca Jones / Victor, Picjumbo, thanks