How lovely shines the morning star

Representative Text

1 How lovely shines the Morning Star!
The nations see and hail afar
the light in Judah shining.
Thou David's Son of Jacob's race,
my bridegroom and my King of grace,
for thee my heart is pining.
Lowly, holy,
great and glorious,
thou victorious
Prince of graces,
filling all the heav'nly places.

2 Though circled by the hosts on high,
he deigned to cast a pitying eye
upon his helpless creature;
the whole creation's head and Lord,
by highest seraphim adored,
assumed our very nature.
Jesus, grant us,
through thy merit
to inherit
thy salvation;
hear, O hear our supplication.

3 Now richly to my waiting heart,
O thou, my God, deign to impart
the grace of love undying.
In thy blest body let me be,
e'en as the branch is in the tree,
thy life my life supplying.
Sighing, crying,
for the savor
of thy favor;
resting never
till I rest in thee forever.

4 Thou, mighty Father, in thy Son
didst love me ere thou hadst begun
this ancient world's foundation.
Thy Son hath made a friend of me,
and when in spirit him I see,
I joy in tribulation.
What bliss is this!
He that liveth
to me giveth
life forever;
nothing me from him can sever.

5 Rejoice, ye heav'ns; thou earth reply;
with praise, ye sinners, fill the sky,
for this his incarnation.
Incarnate God, put forth thy pow'r,
ride on, ride on, great conqueror
till all know thy salvation.
Amen, Amen!
Praise be given
evermore by earth and heaven.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #296

Translator: Henry Harbaugh

Harbaugh, Henry, D.D., born in Franklin Co., Pennsylvania, Oct. 24, 1817, was of Swiss descent. In early life he was a farmer, carpenter, and teacher; but in 1840 he entered Marshall College, Mercersburg. Entering the ministry of the German Reformed body, he became, in 1844, Pastor at Lewisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and in 1864 Professor in Theology at Mercersburg. He died Dec. 27, 1867. He was Editor of the Guardian and the Mercersburg Review, in which he advocated what was called "Mercersburg Theology." His published works include sundry books about Heaven; Poems, Philadelphia, 1860, and Hymns & Chants for Sunday Schools, Lebanon, 1861. This last includes his hymns. The best known and most widely used of his compositions a… Go to person page >

Author: Philipp Nicolai

Philipp Nicolai (b. Mengeringhausen, Waldeck, Germany, 1556; d. Hamburg, Germany, 1608) lived an eventful life–he fled from the Spanish army, sparred with Roman Catholic and Calvinist opponents, and ministered to plague-stricken congregations. Educated at Wittenberg University, he was ordained a Lutheran pastor in 1583 in the city of Herdecke. However, he was soon at odds with the Roman Catholic town council, and when Spanish troops arrived to reestablish Roman dominance, Nicolai fled. In 1588 he became chief pastor at Altwildungen and court preacher to Countess Argaretha of Waldeck. During that time Nicolai battled with Calvinists, who disagreed with him about the theology of the real presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. These doctri… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How lovely shines the morning star
German Title: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
Translator: Henry Harbaugh
Author: Philipp Nicolai
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Adapting a tune written for Psalm 100 found in Wolff Köphel's Psalter (1538), Nicolai composed WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET, which was published with the text in 1599. Although the tune was originally more varied rhythmically, the hymnal version here is isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) and set to the rich ha…

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