329. Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

1 Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

2 Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

3 Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4 By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Text Information
First Line: Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Title: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Author: Charles Wesley (1744)
Meter: 87 87
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ;
Topic: King, God/Christ as; Advent; Christmas (4 more...)
Tune Information
Adapter: Henry J. Gauntlett (1861)
Composer (desc.): John Willson (1983)
Meter: 87 87
Key: F Major
Source: Psalmodia Sacra, Gotha, 1715
Copyright: Descant © 1983, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1=2 Cor. 4:14, Rev. 3:21
st. 3-4 =Isa. 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19, Rom. 6:22

Charles Wesley (PHH 267) wrote this Advent hymn and printed it in his Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744). Like so many of Wesley's texts, "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus" alludes to one or more Scripture passages in virtually every phrase. The double nature of Advent is reflected in this text, in which we remember Christ's first coming even while praying for his return. Stanzas 1 and 2 recall Advent prophecies in the Old Testament; stanza 3 speaks of Christ's birth and kingdom, and stanza 4 is a prayer for Christ's rule in our hearts.

Liturgical Use:
Advent; Christmas and Christmas carol/lesson worship services; worship that stresses the second coming.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

STUTTGART was included in Psalmodia Sacra (1715), one of the most significant hymnals of the early sixteenth century [sic: eighteenth century]. Christian F. Witt (b. Altenburg, Germany, e. 1660; d. Altenburg, 1716) was an editor and compiler of that collection; about 100 (of the 774) tunes in that collection are considered to be composed by him, including STUTTGART, which was set to the text "Sollt' es gleich." Witt was chamber organist and later Kapellmeister at the Gotha court. He composed vocal and instrumental music, including some sixty-five cantatas.

The tune title STUTTGART relates to a story about Rev. C. A. Dann's banishment from his pulpit at St. Leonard's Church in Stuttgart in the early nineteenth century. When Dann was eventually invited back to his church, his congregation greeted him with the singing of "Sollt' es gleich." Henry J. Gauntlett (PHH 104) put the tune into its present isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) form for Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).

A simple tune of two long lines and a number of repeated tones, STUTTGART has true congregational appeal. This tune has been traditionally used for "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus." Sing the hymn in harmony in a broad tempo. Or try singing stanza 3 unaccompanied and in parts, and stanza 4 in unison with alternate harmonization or with the descant (1983) by John Wilson (278). Use clear articulation on the organ with cheerful stops.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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