Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Advent Not Christmas (but it's getting there!), Day 10

Charles Coffin was a French educator who wrote Latin poetry and hymns; most of his hymns were published in a collection in 1736. This hymn wasn't translated into English for another hundred years, and it's not one we often sing now, even in a church where four-part hymn singing is common. I think Douglas Bond's "Mr. Pipes" would approve of it, though; it goes beyond the "baby in a manger" imagery and manages to work in redemption, Christ's return, and even a doxology in the last verse.

Unfortunately, Charles Coffin ran into trouble with church authority. Hymntime.com says that "Due to his per­sist­ence in ap­peal­ing against the pa­pal Con­sti­tu­tion Un­i­gen­i­tus of 1713, the par­ish rec­tor of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont re­fused to ad­min­is­ter last rites to him, or give him a Chris­tian bur­i­al." I am imagining him finally meeting Jesus "on His road with hymns of holy joy," one of the "scattered saints" united in Heaven.

The advent of our God
Our prayers must now employ,
And we must meet Him on His road
With hymns of holy joy.

The everlasting Son
Incarnate deigns to be;
Himself a servant’s form puts on
To set His people free.

Daughter of Zion, rise
To meet thy lowly king,
Nor let thy faithless heart despise
 The peace He comes to bring.

As judge, on clouds of light,
He soon will come again,
And all His scattered saints unite
With Him in Heaven to reign.

Before the dawning day
Let sin’s dark deeds be gone;
The old man all be put away,
The new man all put on.

All glory to the Son
Who comes to set us free,
With Father, Spirit, ever One,
Through all eternity.

From Hymntime.com.

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