I heard the bells on Christmas Day Johnny Cash and June Carter

I heard the bells on Christmas Day Johnny Cash and June Carter

I heard the bells on Christmas day is a civil war hymn. Forgotten stanzas 4 and 5 refer to the despair of brother fighting brother and hate between Christians and those who should be friends. Read the lyrics, and make the application to our time today, when the enemy and his human minions are working overtime to divide us.

The answer always is faith which remembers the justice of God.

Dear Lord, you have told us, Vengeance is yours, you will repay. Protect us from those who would feed the hate which so easily tempts us. Make us your children indeed, light in this troubled world. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen

Johnny Cash and June Carter - I heard the bells on Christmas Day

More hymns here.

Lyrics

1864:

   1 I heard the bells on Christmas day
   Their old familiar carols play,
   And wild and sweet the words repeat
   Of peace on earth, good will to men.

   2 And thought how, as the day had come,
   The belfries of all Christendom
   Had rolled along the unbroken song
   Of peace on earth, good will to men.

   3 Till ringing, singing on its way
   The world revolved from night to day,
   A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
   Of peace on earth, good will to men.

   (Forgotten Stanza 4) Then from each black, accursed mouth 
   The cannon thundered in the South,
   And with the sound the carols drowned
   Of peace on earth, good will to men.

   (Forgotten Stanza 5) It was as if an earthquake rent
   The hearth-stones of a continent,
   And made forlorn, the households born
   Of peace on earth, good will to men.

   6 And in despair I bowed my head
   "There is no peace on earth," I said,
   "For hate is strong and mocks the song
   Of peace on earth, good will to men."

   7 Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
   "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
   The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
   With peace on earth, good will to men."

Historical Note: This hymn was writ­ten during the Amer­i­can civil war, as re­flected by the sense of des­pair in the next to last stan­za. Stan­zas 4-5 speak of the bat­tle, and are usual­ly omit­ted from hymn­als:

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Alec Satin
Comfort for Christians Editor
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