Advent is Upon Us

In 1696 published the hymnbook A Feast of Fat Things Full of Marrow (London: printed by Benjamin Harris, 1696). This work was formatted in two parts. First, Keach included eleven songs which he had taken from both the Old and New Testaments. These were songs of Moses, Zechariah, Isaiah, Simon, Hannah, and Mary. The second section comprised of 100 hymns. These hymns paralleled a number of Keach’s sermons preached between 1692-1696 and even, at times, indicated which tunes were most appropriate for the accompaniment – similar to Spiritual Melody (1691).

Two songs, one from each section, will be given below as they relate to our current advent season. Though Keach is often credited as a poor poet, these pieces provide a glimpse into the poetic growth he experienced in later years.

Scripture Songs: Part One

The Song of the Lamb

Stanzas 1-4, 6 (p. 12)

Break out ye Saints with joy and sing,

to the Eternal King;

The Angels do blest Tidings bring,

Hosannah in the highest.


In Bethlehem the Babe is born,

cease, cease, your bitter Mourn,

Your Sorrow now to Singing turn,

Hosannah in the highest.


He’s come, he’s come, O happy Day!

dark Shadows fly away,

The Substance’s come to Christ I say,

Hosannah in the highest.


See how the Cherubs clap their Wings,

the Glor’us Host now sings;

Th’ Eternal Day, see how it springs!

Hosannah in the highest.


He’s come, he’s come down from above,

full of Eternal Love;

And also sealed by the Dove,

Hosannah in the highest.


A Feast of Fat Things Full of Marrow: Part Two

HYMN 14. On the Birth of CHRIST. (Pp. 18-19)

A Wake my Soul, awake my Tongue,

my Glory ‘wake and sing,

And celebrate the holy Birth,

the Birth of Israels King!


O happy Night that brought forth Light,

which makes the Blind to see;

The day Spring from on high came down

to cheer and visit thee.


The careful Shepheards with their Flocks

were watching for the Moth,

But better News from Heav’n was brought;

your Saviour is now born!


In Bethlehem the Infant lies,

within a place obscure,

Your Saviours come, O sing Gods Praise!

O sing his Praise for ev’r.


The Second Part (Sung to 25th Psalm Tune)

Heaven is come down to Earth

Hither the Angels fly,

Hark how the Heavenly Quire doth sing,

Glory to God on high!


Blest News indeed, be glad;

Simeon O’ercome with joy,

Sings with the Infant in his Arms,

Now let thy Servant die!


Wise-men behold the Star,

Which was their stedfast Guide,

Until it pointed forth the Babe:

Let God be Glorify’d!


Heaven and Earth rejoice O Lord!

and shall not I?

Christ he is Born! Sinners sing Praise,

For you he came to Die!

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