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comparative peace. Mohammed having died before completing the conquest of Syria, the Moslem rule before whose advance Oriental Christianity was to lose its first field of triumph had not yet asserted its persecuting power in the north. This devout monk, in his meditations at St. Sabas, dwelt much upon the birth and the resurrection of Christ, and made hymns to celebrate them. It was probably four hundred years before Bonaventura (?) wrote the Christmas “Adeste Fideles" of the Latin West that John of Damascus composed his Greek “Adeste Fideles" for a Resurrection song in Jerusalem.

Come ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness.

'Tis the spring of souls today

Christ hath burst His prison;
From the frost and gloom of death

Light and life have risen. The nobler of the two hymns preserved to us, (or six stanzas of it) through eleven centuries is entitled “The Day of Resurrection."

The day of resurrection,

Earth, tell its joys abroad:
The Passover of gladness,

The Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,

From earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,

With hymns of victorv.

Our hearts be pure from evil,

That we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal

Of resurrection light;
And, listening to His accents,

May hear, so calm and plain,
His own, “All hail!" and hearing,

May raise the victor-strain.
Now let the heavens be joyful,

Let earth her song begin,
Let all the world keep triumph,

All that dwell therein.
In grateful exultation,

Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen,

joy that hath no end! Both these hymns of John of Damascus were translated by John Mason Neale.


“The ['ay of Resurrection” is sung in the modern hymnals to the tune of “Rotterdam,composed by Berthold of Tours, born in that city of the Netherlands, Dec. 17, 1838. He was educated at the conservatory in Leipsic, and later made London his permanent residence, writing both vocal and instrumental music. Died 1897. “Rotterdam” is a stately, sonorous piece and conveys the flavor of the ancient hymn.

“Come ye faithful" has for its modern interpremap Sir Arthur Sullivan, the celebrated compo of hard secular and sacred works, but best .

known in hymnody as author of the great Christian march,“Onward Christian Soldiers.”

Hymns are known to have been written by the earlier Greek Fathers, Ephrem Syrus of Mesopotamia (A. D. 307–373), Basil the Great, Bishop of Cappadocia (A. D. 329–379) Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople (A. D. 335-390) and others, but their fragments of song which have come down to us scarcely rank them among the great witnesses—with the possible exception of the last name. An English scholar, Rev. Allen W. Chatfield, has translated the hymns extant of Gregory Nazianzen. The following stanzas give an idea of their quality. The lines are from an address to the Deity:

How, Unapproached! shall mind of man

Descry Thy dazzling throne,
And pierce and find Thee out, and scan

Where Thou dost dwell alone ?
Unuttered Thou! all uttered things

Have had their birth from Thee;
The One Unknown, from Thee the spring

Of all we know and see.
And lol all things abide in Thee

And through the complex whole,
Thou spreadst Thine own divinity,

Thyself of all the Goal. This is reverent, but rather philosophical than evangelical, and reminds us of the Hymn of Aratus, more than two centuries before Christ was born.


This pious Greek monk, (734-794,) nephew of St. John of Damascus, spent his life, from the age of ten, in the monastery of St. Sabas. His sweet hymn, known in Neale's translation,

Art thou weary, art thou languid,

Art thou sore distrest?
Come to Me, saith One, and coming

Be at rest, -is still in the hymnals, with the tunes of Dykes, and Sir Henry W. Baker (1821–1877), Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire.


Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Robert the Second, surnamed “Robert the Sage" and “Robert the Devout,” succeeded Hugh Capet, his father, upon the throne of France, about the year 997. He has been called the gentlest monarch that ever sat upon a throne, and his amiability of character poorly prepared him to cope with his dangerous and wily adversaries. His last years were embittered by the opposition of his own sons, and the political agitations of the times. He died at Melun in 1031, and was buried at St. Denis.

Robert possessed a reflective mind, and was fond of learning and musical art. He was both a poet and a musician. He was deeply religious, and, from unselfish motives, was much devoted to the church.

Robert's hymn, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus,” is given below. He himself was a chorister; and there was no kingly service that he seemed to love so well. We are told that it was his custom to go to the church of St. Denis, and in his royal robes, with his crown upon his head, to direct the choir at matins and vespers, and join in the singing. Few kings have left a better legacy to the Christian church than his own hymn, which, after nearly a thousand years, is still an influence in the world:

Come, Thou Holy Spirit, come,
And from Thine eternal home

Shed the ray of light divine;
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come, Thou Source of all our store,

Come, within our bosoms shine.

Thou of Comforters the best,
Thou the soul's most welcome Guest,

Sweet Refreshment here below!
In our labor Rest most sweet,
Grateful Shadow from the heat,

Solace in the midst of woel

Oh, most blessed Light Divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,

And our inmost being fill;
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay,

All our good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds; our strength renew
On our dryness pour Thy dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away!
Bend the stubborn heart and will,

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