Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1
Words: Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book 1, 1709, number 64.
Behold, what wondrous grace. Paraphrased by William Cameron, 1781.
Music: St. Stephen William Jones, 1789 (🔊 pdf nwc).
Behold th’amazing gift of love
The Father hath bestowed
On us, the sinful sons of men,
To call us sons of God!
Concealed as yet this honor lies,
By this dark world unknown,
A world that knew not when He came,
Even God’s eternal Son.
High is the rank we now possess;
But higher we shall rise;
Though what we shall hereafter be
Is hid from mortal eyes.
Our souls, we know, when He appears,
Shall bear His image bright;
For all His glory, full disclosed,
Shall open to our sight.
A hope so great, and so divine,
May trials well endure;
And purge the soul from sense and sin,
As Christ Himself is pure.
This hymn has been much altered over the years. Here is Watts’ original version:
Behold what wondrous grace
The Father hath bestow’d
On sinners of a mortal race
To call them Sons of God!
’Tis no surprising thing,
That we should be unknown;
The Jewish world knew not their King,
God’s everlasting Son.
Nor doth it yet appear
How great we must be made;
But when we see our Saviour here,
We shall be like our Head.
A hope so much divine
May trials well endure,
May purge our souls from sense and sin
As Christ the Lord is pure.
If in my Father’s love
I share a filial part,
Send down Thy Spirit like a dove,
To rest upon my heart.
We would no longer lie
Like slaves beneath the throne;
My faith shall Abba, Father, cry,
And Thou the kindred own.