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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Behold, what wondrous love and grace, by William Sanders (1821)

Behold, what wondrous love and grace!
When we were wretched and undone,
To save our ruined, helpless race,
The Father gave His only Son!
Of twice ten thousand gifts divine,
No gift like this could ever shine.

Jesus, to save us from our fall,
Was made incarnate here below;
This was the greatest gift of all—
Heaven could no greater gift bestow:
On Him alone our sins were laid;
He died, and now the ransom’s paid.

O gift of love unspeakable!
O gift of mercy all divine!
We once were slaves of death and hell,
But now we in His image shine.
For other gifts our songs we raise,
But this demands our highest praise.

Praise shall employ these tongues of ours
Till we, with all the hosts above,
Extol His Name with nobler powers,
Lost in the ocean of His love:
While angel choirs with wonder gaze,
We’ll fill the heavens with shouts of praise.

This hymn is about the greatest Christmas gift of all. See here for the Cyberhymnal page, which plays a tune for these words. However, they can also be sung to the tune for "Faith of our Fathers." The tune is named "St.Catherine." Another tune, probably less familiar, is "Selena." That tune is used for "O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done," by Charles Wesley.

I would recommend changing the 5th and 6th lines of the 1st stanza to this:

Of all the gifts that might have been,
This was the best to give to men.

Thanks for reading. God's blessings at this and all seasons.


FancyHorse said...

That was very nice! I don't remember hearing this hymn sung before.

Christmas blessings to you and yours, too!

Martin LaBar said...

Actually, I've never heard it sung. I found it by looking for "gift" in the CyberHymnal.

Thanks for the comment.