This is the Truth Sent from Above
The carol “This is the Truth Sent from Above” is a traditional carol whose text originates from words that first appeared in the 19th century. It is regrettable that many choirs leave many of the verses out (although it is impractical to sing all 16 verses that have been discovered). Still, the carol needs several stanzas to convey the fullness of the good news summarized in this great carol.
I have set eight of the nine verses below to the traditional carol tune known as Herefordshire. The English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams promoted this tune for this text. I have adapted it from this source. Feel free to use the sheet music below.
The original hymn reminds us that the truth of Jesus Christ is divinely revealed truth, and a truth that shines its holy glory. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come to save sinners.
1. This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from your door,
But hearken all, both rich and poor.
2. The first thing, which I do relate,
That God at first did man create
The next thing, which to you I tell,
Woman was made with him to dwell.
3. Then after this, ‘twas God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free
Except they ate of such a tree.
4. But they did eat, which was a sin,
And thus their ruin did begin;
Ruined themselves, both you and me,
And all of their posterity.
5. Thus we were heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose
For so a promise soon did run
That He’d redeem us with a Son.
6. And at this season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear
He here did live, and here did preach,
And many thousands He did teach.
7. Thus He in love to us behaved,
To show us how we must be saved
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what He did say.
8. Go preach the Gospel new, He said,
To all the nations that are made
And he that does believe in me,
From all his sins I’ll set him free.
9. God grant to all within this place
True saving faith—that special grace,
Which to His people doth belong—
And thus I close my Christmas song.
About Ryan Martin
Ryan Martin is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013). He was ordained in 2009 at Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minn. (now Otsego, Minn.). He has a wife and children too. Ryan is the associate editor of Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). He contributed to the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 2017) and is the author of Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: "The High Exercises of Divine Love" (T&T Clark, 2018).