Sunday, 27 December 2015

William Chatterton Dix's "As With Gladness Men of Old"

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led by Thee.

William Chatterbox Dix languished in bed, stricken by an illness.  Rather than feeling sorry for himself he took out a pen and paper and wrote a new hymn praising God.   Called As With Gladness Men of Old,  it would be accompanied by music composed by Konrad Kocher in 1838  This is the same tune as For the Beauty of the Earth, a hymn often sung at Thanksgiving.  As With Gladness Men of Old, which soon became known as a Christmas carol, was first published in Hymns of Love and Joy in 1867.  Only a year before the hymn was published, Dix was stricken with a near fatal illness, which triggered the onset of depression. However, from this tragedy came many new compositions, some of Dix's best hymns (

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