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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 25

A Hymn on the Nativity of My Saviour

By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

I SING the birth was born to-night,

The author both of life and light;

The angels so did sound it.

And like the ravish’d shepherds said,

Who saw the light, and were afraid,

Yet search’d, and true they found it.

The Son of God, the Eternal King,

That did us all salvation bring,

And freed the soul from danger;

He whom the whole world could not take,

The Word, which heaven and earth did make,

Was now laid in a manger.

The Father’s wisdom will’d it so,

The Son’s obedience knew no No,

Both wills were in one stature;

And as that wisdom had decreed,

The Word was now made Flesh indeed,

And took on Him our nature.

What comfort by Him do we win,

Who made Himself the price of sin,

To make us heirs of glory!

To see this Babe, all innocence

A martyr born in our defence;

Can man forget this story?