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Fairest Lord Jesus

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Muster Gesangbuch
Richard S. Willis

Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown!

Fair are the meadows, Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heav'n can boast.

Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations!

Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!


There are several accounts as to the origin of the beautiful hymn "Fairest Lord Jesus." The best known legend is that it was sung by the twelfth century German Crusaders, as they made their long, weary way to the Holy Land. Another, more credible account is that it was sung by the followers of John Hus, who were driven out of Bohemia in 1620 in the anti-Reformation purge, who settled in Silesia, now part of Poland. They had to keep their faith secret, yet had a strong tradition of hymn singing.

It is listed as attributed to the German Jesuits, who first published it in their Munster Gesangbuch in 1677. The words date back at least 15 years earlier, having been found in a manuscript dating back to 1662.


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