Wonderful Counsellor

Representative Text

Bright and joyful is the morn,
For to us a child is born;
From the highest realms of heaven
Unto us a Son is given,

On His shoulder He shall bear
Power and majesty, and wear
On His vesture and His thigh
Names most awful, names most high.

Wonderful in counsel, He,
The incarnate Deity,
Sire of ages ne'er to cease,
King of kings, and Prince of Peace.

Come and worship at His feet,
Yield to Christ the homage meet;
From His manger to His throne,
Homage due to God alone.

Source: Sacred Poems and Hymns #17

Author: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Bright and joyful is the morn
Title: Wonderful Counsellor
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Bright and joyful is the morn. J. Montgomery. [Christmas.] This popular hymn was contributed to the 8th edition of Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 213, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and repeated in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 489, and his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 17. Its use is somewhat extensive, both in Great Britain and America. The original text is usually given; but sometimes stanza iii., line 2, reads, “Christ, th’Incarnate Deity," for "The Incarnate Deity." It is sometimes dated 1825, in error.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)





The tune is from the second chorus of Felix Mendelssohn's (PHH 279) Festgesang (Op. 68) for male voices and brass; it was first performed in 1840 at the Gutenberg Festival in Leipzig, a festival celebrating the anniversary of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. Mendelssohn's tune is similar…

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The Cyber Hymnal #365
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Small Church Music #7446


The Cyber Hymnal #365

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