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Posts Tagged ‘“O Little Town of Bethlehem.”’

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Phillips Brooks was born 12/13/1835 at Boston.  Through his father he was related to the famous Cotton family, while through his mother to the Phillips (Phillips Academy, Andover, MA).  He taught school briefly (was fired) and after that graduated from Virginian Theological Seminary.  He pastored in Philadelphia first, then at Trinity Episcopal Church (Boston), until he was elected bishop. 

Brooks never married but loved children and though six foot, four was known to keep toys in his office and was seen sitting on the floor playing with young visitors.  It is said that upon hearing of his death one child said, “O Mother won’t the angels be happy” (meaning that Brooks was now with them in heaven).  He penned “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” for his Sunday School children; based on his 1865 visit there.

The lesser known 4th stanza:

Where children pure and happy pray to the blessèd Child,

Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild;

Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,

The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.

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“The Sky Can Still Remember”  (stanza 3)

O angels sweet and splendid, throng in our hearts and sing
The wonders which attended the coming of the King;
Till we too, boldly pressing where once the shepherds trod,
Climb Bethlehem’s Hill of Blessing, and find the Son of God.

Phillips Brooks born 12/13/1835 in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was a minister whose people sent him abroad for a year.  His schedule brought him to the Holy Land and on Christmas Eve, brought him to Bethlehem.  The little town (seen in 19th century “lighting”) helped him produced his simple but so loved Carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”   Brooks, who never married, loved children and they him.  After his death a story was told of a litttle girl’s reponce to her pastor being in heaven.  She is said to have said to her mother, “Oh mama, how happy the angels will be.”

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