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Christians, Awake! Salute the Happy Morn

John Byrom
(1691-1763)

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn
Whereon the Savior 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 Savior’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 blessèd Maid,
Her Son, the Savior, in a manger laid.
Amazed, the wondrous story they proclaim—
The earliest heralds of the Savior’s name.

Let us, like these good shepherds, then 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
Eternal praise to Heav’n’s almighty King.

 

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