Rejoice, rejoice, with heart and
For Christ his birth this day rejoice.
From Virgin’s womb to us
this day did spring
The precious seed that only saved man;
This day let man rejoice and sweetly sing,
Since on this day salvation first began.
This day did Christ man’s soul from death remove,
With glorious saints to dwell in heaven above.
This day to man came pledge of
This day to man came love and unity,
This day man’s grief began for to surcease,
This day did man receive a remedy
For each offence, and every deadly sin,
With guilt of heart that erst he wander’d in.
In Christ his flock let love be
From Christ his flock let concord hate expel,
In Christ his flock let love be so embraced,
As we in Christ, and Christ in us, may dwell.
Christ is the author of all unity,
From whence proceedeth all felicity.
O sing unto this glittering glorious
And praise His name let every living thing;
Let heart and voice, let bells of silver, ring,
The comfort that this day to us did bring;
Let lute, let shawm, with sound of sweet delight,
The joy of Christ his birth this day recite.
In order that all good little boys who take an interest in the “NOTES AND QUERIES” may know how much more lucky it is for them to be little boys now, than it was in the ancient times, I would wish them to be informed of the cruel manner in which even good little boys were liable to be treated by the law of the Ripuarians. When a sale of land took place it was required that there should be twelve witnesses, and with these as many boys, in whose presence the price of the land should be paid, and its formal surrender take place; and then the boys were beaten, and their ears pulled, so that the pain thus inflicted upon them should make an impression upon their memory, and that they might, if necessary, be afterwards witnesses as to the sale and delivery of the land. (Lex Ripuarium LX., de Traditionibus et Testibus.) In a note of Balucius upon this passage he states:
“A practice somewhat similar to this prevails in our our times, for in some of the provinces, whenever a notorious criminal is condemned to death, parents bring their sons with them to the place of execution, and, at the moment that he is put to death, they whip their children with rods, so that being thus excited by their own sufferings, and by seeing the punishment inflicted on another for his sins, they may ever bear in mind how necessary it is for them, in their progress through life, to be prudent and virtuous.”—Rev. Gall. et Franc. Script., vol. iv. p. 277. n.e.