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From far in the great aions of eternity,
From space unlimited, unmeasured by the steps
Of worlds, from silence broken only by the voice
Of him, the self-existent One, whose skilful word
Created him,* came forth the glorious Son of God!
O sacred moment! which with shaded eyes we dare
With holy boldness to approach; not with a vain
Desire to see and know what God has hid, but drawn
Thereto by that blest Spirit which in reverence
Delights to search the deep and precious things revealed.+
O glad Beginning of Creation's early morn!
O glorious Finish of Creation's noon and night!
O blessed Son, begotten of the Father's speech,
Thou only Well-Beloved, in whom all fulness dwells!
Silence and space alone were found to worship thee!
But deep within the counsels of th' Eternal One
Lay countless hosts whose praise should celebrate the Son;
And to the Son was giv'n prerogative++ to call
Them to existence, in abodes of him prepared,
And crown with happiness each creature in its sphere.
Rich in insignia of his high rank, he still
Delighted in the emblems of humility;
And wore upon his heart the gem obedience,
And clothed his arm with zeal, his feet with haste, to do
The holy will of him who loved and cherished him.
And now reign silence, solemn, still, as that which on
His natal day received him; for the angels watch,
With awe constrained, while he divests himself of all
His wealth and glory, and becomes a babe; then loud
Hosannas sing, "On earth be peace, good will to men."
And lovingly they watch him as the perfect man's
Estate he magnifies with like obedience,
Unflinching loyalty and firm humility;
Till, daunted not by Calv'ry's cross and shame, he gives
His life a ransom for a helpless, dying race.
That awful day the darkened sun and quaking earth
Creation's anguish voiced; but One yet reigned supreme,
Who loved him with the power of infinite strength,
And in his master hand the mighty issues held
The matchless Son had won the title to a throne!
Could all the boundless universe produce
A worthy coronet for his escutcheon which
Nor honor, glory, shame nor death could mar? Behold,
The heav'nly myriads worship, while the Father crowns
The risen Sondivine,* immortal,+ Lord of all.++
O hail, Immanuel!
Prince of life and glory, hail!
Let earth with heaven unite in adoration, praise,
Thanksgiving to thy God, whose attributes thou hast
Exalted, and to thee, whose love and sacrifice
Constrain to endless gratitude a race redeemed!
R. B. Henninges.