Thursday, December 07, 2006

St. Ambrose, His Hymn

Today is the Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church. On this date in 374 he became bishop by popular acclaim.

A hymn of his is a favorite of mine, "Savior of the Nations, Come." We know a version of it via translation into English from the German by Martin Luther, who translated it (or received its translation) from the Latin. It contains the core elements of the twin-mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, which is the focus of Advent/Christmas season.

The Project Wittenberg has made it available in the public domain. Enjoy!

By St. Ambrose
Translated into German by Dr. Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Text From:
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1942), p. 78

1. Savior of the nations, come,
Virgin's Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

2. Not by human flesh and blood,
By the Spirit of our God,
Was the Word of God made flesh--
Woman's Offspring, pure and fresh.

3. Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

4. From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell--
High the song of triumph swell!

5. Thou, the Father's only Son,
Hast o'er sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

6. Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o'ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

7. Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eteranally.

TLH #95
Text: John 1: 14
Author: St. Ambrose, +397 (German version, Martin Luther)
Translated by: William M. Reynolds, 1860, alt.
Titled: Veni, Redemptor gentium
Tune: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
1st Published in: Geistliches
Gesangbuchlein Town: Wittenberg, 1524, ad.


This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg
by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may
freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any
comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther
Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.

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