Love, Love and Love: "Behold The Amazing Gift Of Love"
"Behold The Amazing Gift Of Love" is one of numerous works from the prolific English hymn maker Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748). Isaac Watts is the brain and hands behind many popular hymns, and this hymn is not an exception. This hymn first appeared in Watts' Sacred Songs and Hymns (1709). There is a paraphrased version, written by William Cameron in 1781.
Sharing the limelight for this hymn is the composer William Jones (1726-1800), who provided the melody for this hymn. His melody is called "St. Stephen", which he created in 1789. This melody is Jones' only known work.
Meanwhile, other tunes were also attributed to this hymn. Another tune is called "Abridge," composed by Isaac Watts in 1770. It can be assumed that this is the first tune the hymn was set into. This tune is set in D minor and first appeared in Isaac Smith's A Collection of Psalm Tunes. The next popular tune is "Rodmell" in G Major and “Codblenz” by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). The least popular tune is "Burgate" by Mary A. Sidebotham (1833–1913).
The meter of the hymn is 18.104.22.168. The original lyrics have six stanzas with four lines while modern hymnals only have five verses and retaining the four lines.
William Jones was a former clergyman. After his education at Charterhouse and University College in Oxford, he became a clergyman and served many parishes. Jones became Vicar of Bethersden, Kent (1764) and Pluckley, Kent as well as Paston, Northamptonshire. He also held the position of perpetual Curate of Nayland, Suffolk (1777); and served as Rector of Hollingbourne, Kent (1798).
Like many hymns, this hymn is no exemption to the rule of drawing inspiration from the Scripture. For this particular piece, the hymn has parts of John 1:10-13, John 16:3, Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 1 John 1:1-3, 1 John 3:1-4 and Galatians 4:5-7.