O Mercy Divine,
How couldst Thou incline,
My God, to become such an infant as mine?
What a wonder of grace,
The Ancient of Days
Is found in the likeness of Adam’s frail race!
He comes from on high,
Who fashion’d the sky,
And meekly vouchsafes in a manger to lie.
Our God, ever blest,
With oxen doth rest,
Is nursed by His creature, and hangs at the breast.
So heavenly mild
His innocence smiled,
No wonder the mother should worship the Child.
The angels she knew
Had worshipp’d Him too,
And still they confess adoration His due.
On Jesus’s face
With eager amaze,
And pleasures ecstatic, the cherubim gaze.
Their newly born King
Transported they sing,
And heaven and earth with the triumph doth ring.
The shepherds behold
Him promised of old
By angels attended, by prophets foretold.
The wise men adore,
And bring Him their store,
The rich are permitted to follow the poor.
To the inn they repair,
To see the young Heir;
The inn is a palace, for Jesus is there.
Who now would be great,
And not rather wait
On Jesus, their Lord, in His humble estate?
Like Him would I be,
My Master I see
In a stable; a stable shall satisfy me.
With Him I reside;
The manger shall hide
Mine honour, the manger shall bury my pride.
And here will I lie,
Till raised up on high,
With Him on the cross, I recover the sky.
–Charles Wesley (Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord, 1745)