On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry

This Advent hymn was written in Latin by Charles Coffin (1676-1749) as "Jordanis oras praevia". It was translated to English by John Chandler (1806-1876).

With meter (LM), tunes it is set to include:
  • WINCHESTER NEW - from Musikalisches Handbook (1690), adapted by William H. Havergal (1793-1870)
  • PUER NOBIS NASCITUR - a 15th century tune
  • ALSTONE - by Christopher Edwin Willing (1868)

As with many hymns of this age, various versions of the verses have been published over the years, including both modern and traditional English, and changes in emphasis in some verses.



Massed choir and orchestra, tune

Solo singer self-accompanied on guitar, tune WINCHESTER NEW

Choir and congregation with organ, tune WINCHESTER NEW

Instrumental - organ. Tune: PUER NOBIS NASCITUR


Traditional language

1. On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Awake, and hearken, for he brings1
Glad tidings of the King of kings!2

2. Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
Make straight the way for God within;
Prepare we in our hearts a home
Where such a mighty Guest may come.

For Thou art our Salvation, Lord,
Our Refuge, and our great Reward.
Without Thy grace we waste away,
Like flowers that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out Thine hand,
And bid the fallen sinner stand;
Shine forth, and let Thy light restore
Earth's own true lovliness once more.

Stretch forth thine hand, to heal our sore,
And make us rise to fall no more;
Once more upon thy people shine,
And fill the world with love divine.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee
Whose advent sets Thy people free,
Whom, with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Ghost, forevermore.

Modern English

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!

Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

We hail you as our Saviour, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.

All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.

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