1 Behold what condescending love
Jesus on earth displays!
To babes and sucklings he extends
The riches of his grace!
2 He still the ancient promise keeps,
To our forefathers giv'n;
Young children in his arms he takes,
And calls them heirs of heav'n.
3 "Permit them to approach," he cries,
"Nor scorn their humble name;
For 'twas to bless such souls as these,
The Lord of angels came."
4 We bring them, Lord, with thankful hearts,
And yield them up to thee;
Joyful that we ourselves are thine,
Thine may our offspring be.
5 Kindly receive this tender branch,
And form his soul for God;
Baptize him with thy spirit, Lord,
And wash him with thy blood.
6 ["Thus to their parents and their seed
Let thy salvation come;
And num'rous households meet at last,
In one eternal home."]
Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #217
Behold what condescending love. J. Peacock. [Christ blessing Children.] First published in his Songs of Praise, compiled from the Holy Scriptures, 1776, p. 50, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. In the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849, No. 261; the Methodist Episcopal Hymnal, 1878, No. 828; and Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, No. 1142 (dated 1806 in error), is a cento thus composed:—stanzas i., ii., iii., Peacock as above; stanza iv., Doddridge from his "See Israel's gentle Shepherd stand," stanza iii.; but in both cases slightly altered. The cento has its origin in that which was given in Toplady's Psalms and Hymns, 1776, No. 120, in 6 stanzas of which (with alterations) stanzas i.-iv. are taken. [William T. Brooke]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)