Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus"

"I remember no one who was born a king except Jesus..."

These words from Charles Spurgeon jumped out at me earlier this week as I read about "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" in Robert J. Morgan's  "Near to the Heart of God - Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns."

"On December 23, 1855, London's new preaching sensation, twenty-one-year-old Charles Spurgeon, wove this carol by Charles Wesley into his Christmas sermon as skillfully as a weaver braids a golden thread into a tapestry; 'A very unique singular thing is this, that Jesus Christ was said to have been born 'king of the Jews.'

"'Very few have ever been 'born king.' Men are born princes, but they are seldom born kings. I do not think you can find an instance in history where any infant was born king. He was the Prince of Wales, perhaps, until he had to wait a number of years, till his father died, and then they manufactured him into a king, but putting a crown on his head; and a sacred chrism, and other silly things; but he was not born a king.

"'I remember no one who was born a king except Jesus; and there is emphatic meaning in that verse that we sing, 'Born thy people to deliver; Born a child, and yet a king.' The moment that He came on earth He was a king.'"

Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee

Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart

Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring

By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

(For the previous two posts in this series, see here and here.)

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