Tuesday, 15 December 2015


This is a less known Advent hymn but filled with rich meaning. I have never heard the second verse sung. 

It was written by William Chalmers Smith who also wrote Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise.

EARTH was waiting, spent and restless,
  With a mingled hope and fear;
And the faithful few were sighing,
  “Surely, Lord, the day is near;
The desire of all the nations,
  It is time He should appear.”

Still the gods were in their temples,
  But the ancient faith had fled;
And the priests stood by their altars
  Only for a piece of bread;
And the Oracles were silent,
  And the Prophets all were dead.

In the sacred courts of Zion,
  Where the Lord had His abode,
There the money-changers trafficked,
And the sheep and oxen trod;
  And the world, because of wisdom,
Knew not either Lord or God.

Then the spirit of the Highest
  On a virgin meek came down,
And He burdened her with blessing,
  And He pained her with renown;
For she bare the Lord’s Anointed
  For His cross and for His crown.

Earth for Him had groaned and travailed, 
  Since the ages first began;
For in Him was hid the secret
  That through all the ages ran—
Son of Mary, Son of David,
  Son of God, and Son of Man.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful hymn! I'd never heard of it, but am very glad to be acquainted with this rich text. I especially appreciate the final two stanzas.

    1. Thank you, Anne. It is a lovely hymn and probably should be better known.