LOVE:  “What Child is This?”

William Dix, a lay Scottish hymn writer, in 1865 wrote a poem,”The Manger Throne.”

LIKE silver lamps in a distant shrine,
    The stars are sparkling bright
The bells of the city of God ring out,
    For the Son of Mary is born to-night.
The gloom is past and the morn at last
    Is coming with orient light.

Never fell melodies half so sweet
    As those which are filling the skies,
And never a palace shone half so fair
    As the manger bed where our Saviour lies;
No night in the year is half so dear
    As this which has ended our sighs.

Now a new Power has come on the earth,
    A match for the armies of Hell:
A Child is born who shall conquer the foe,
    And all the spirits of wickedness quell:
For Mary’s Son is the Mighty One
    Whom the prophets of God fortell.

The stars of heaven still shine as at first
    They gleamed on this wonderful night;
The bells of the city of God peal out
    And the angels’ song still rings in the height;
And love still turns where the Godhead burns
    Hid in flesh from fleshly sight.

Faith sees no longer the stable floor,
    The pavement of sapphire is there
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world
    And the angels of God are crowding the air,
And heaven and earth, through the spotless birth
    Are at peace on this night so fair.

At age 29 Dix had been stricken with a sudden illness that confined him to bed and left him depressed. God met him in his depths and from that experience he wrote this popular Christmas hymn based on the poem.  Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, God incarnate.  What child is this to you this Christmas?  

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