21. Christians, awake, salute the happy morn

1 Christians, awake, salute the happy morn,
Whereon the Saviour of mankind 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.

2 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 fulfill'd his promised word,
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord."

3 He spake; and straightway the celestial choir
In hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire:
The praises of redeeming love they sang,
And heaven's whole arch with alleluias rang:
God's highest glory was their anthem still,
Peace upon earth, and unto men good-will.

4 To Bethlehem straight the happy shepherds ran,
To see the wonder God had wrought for man:
And found, with Joseph and the bless├Ęd maid,
Her Son, the Saviour, in a manger laid;
Amazed the wondrous story they proclaim,
The earliest heralds of the Saviour's name.

5 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.

6 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 heaven's Almighty King.

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