How Vain Was Impious Herod's Dread

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1 How vain was impious Herod’s dread
To see the crown on Jesus’ head!
His hand no earthly good denies
Who gives the kingdom of the skies.

2 The wise men by His star are brought
To Him whom saints and prophets sought;
Their offerings Him their God confess,
Their eyes the light eternal bless.

3 O meek and holy Lamb, to Thee
Let men and angels bow the knee;
Our race to sanctify and save,
Thou dost descend to Jordan’s wave.

4 Lo, in her pure and gladsome hour
Cana beheld, O Christ, Thy power!
The water changed to wine doth show
That Thou art God with us below.

5 Again, O Jesu, let Thy might
Appear in all the heathen’s sight;
In Thee alone be all our boast,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Translator: Arthur T. Russell

Arthur Tozer Russell was born at Northampton, March 20, 1806. He entered S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1824, took the Hulsean Prize in 1825, and was afterwards elected to a scholarship. He was ordained Deacon in 1829, Priest in 1830, and the same year was appointed Vicar of Caxton. In 1852, he was preferred to the vicarage of Whaddon. In 1863, he removed to S. Thomas', Toxteth Park, near Liverpool, and in 1867, to Holy Trinity, Wellington, Salop. He is the editor and author of numerous publications, among them several volumes of hymns. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, 1872.… Go to person page >

Author: Caelius Sedulius

Sedulius, Coelius. The known facts concerning this poet, as contained in his two letters to Macedonius, are, that in early life, he devoted himself to heathen literature; that comparatively late in life he was converted to Christianity; and that amongst his friends were Gallieanus and Perpetua. The place of his birth is generally believed to have been Rome; and the date when he flourished 450. For this date the evidence is, that he referred to the Commentaries of Jerome, who died 420; is praised by Cassiodorus, who d. 575, and by Gelasius, who was pope from 492 to 496. His works were collected, after his death, by Asterius, who was consul in 494. They are (1) Carmen Paschale, a poem which treats of the whole Gospel story; (2) Opus Paschale,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How vain was impious Herod’s dread
Title: How Vain Was Impious Herod's Dread
Latin Title: Hostis Herodes impie
Author: Caelius Sedulius (circa 450)
Translator: Arthur T. Russell
Source: Psalms and Hymns (Cambridge: England: John Deighton, 1851)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Also known as JENA, DAS NEUGEBORNE KINDELEIN was originally a chorale melody for Cyriacus Schneegass' text "Das neugeborne Kindelein." Composed by Melchior Vulpius (PHH 397) and published in his Ein Schön Geistlich Gesangbuch (Jena, 1609), the tune was introduced to English congregations primarily…

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The Cyber Hymnal #9619
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