Hymn Study: As With Gladness Men of Old

 William Dix is the author to this lovely Christmas Hymn. His father was a surgeon as well as a minor English Poet. He lived 1837-1898.

William Chatterton Dix, born in England,  was a marine insurance salesmen who loved to write hymns, writing more than 40 over the course of his life.   Some of his more well-known hymns include: What Child is This and Alleluia!  Sing to Jesus.

Mr. Dix wrote hymns for children, Christmas and Easter for the most part.  
It is said that he wrote this hymn on Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, while sick in bed.  (source)


"As with Gladness Men of Old"
1. 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!

2. As with joyful steps they sped,
Savior, to Thy lowly bed,
There to bend the knee before
Thee whom heaven and earth adore,
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat!

3. As they offered gifts most rare
At Thy cradle, rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin's alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King!

4. Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And when earthly things are past.
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

5. In the heavenly country bright
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down.
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!


  1. My father loves hymns and over the years I've bought him several books on them and the composers who wrote them. Maybe I should get them back to include a study in our own school day... What a great idea!

    1. Thank you Margaret. I love it when I can find the motivation behind a particular song OR a reason why the person wrote hymns... good life lessons sometimes. :)

    2. I couldn't agree more!

  2. This is such a great hymn. Thanks for reminding me of it. Did realize this was by the same person that wrote What Child is This, one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. Tawnee, thanks for stopping by. Glad I could teach you something new.

  3. This is a great hymn, and one we don't sing or hear that often. Thanks for the history lesson!

  4. I don't believe I have ever heard these words for this tune. I know the tune as "For the Beauty of the Earth." This is a neat hymn and one I have enjoyed hearing. Thanks! - Lori

    1. you know... that tune is similar isn't it? must be a common meter hymn. Never really thought about it. Glad I could introduce it to you. :)


Hi! thanks for stopping by. I love comments, it's good to talk with each other eh?