Christmas Hymns by Phillip Brooks and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

American Minute with Bill Federer

Phillips Brooks was born DECEMBER 13, 1835. The bishop of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts, Brooks is probably best remembered for a song he wrote two years after the Civil War, which goes:

O little town of Bethlehem! How still we see thee lie; Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, The silent stars go by; Yet in thy dark streets shineth, The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight.

At Harvard, Phillips Brooks was taught by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. President Jimmy Carter, seeking U.N. sanctions against Iran, December 21, 1979, stated:

Henry Longfellow wrote a Christmas carol in a time of crisis, the War Between the States, in 1864. Two verses of that carol particularly express my thoughts and prayers and, I’m sure, those of our Nation in this time of challenge … I would like to quote from that poem ‘And in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth, I said. For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men. Then pealed the bells, more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor does he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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