1 Behold, where, breathing love,
Our dying Master stands!
His weeping follow'rs, gath'ring round,
Receive his last commands.
2 From that mild Saviour's lips
What tender accents fell!
The gentle precept, which he gave,
Became its author well.
3 Blest is the man, whose heart
Feels all another's pain;
To whom the supplicating eye
Was never rais'd in vain;
4 Whose breast expands with warmth,
A stranger's woe to feel,
And bleeds in pity o'er the wound
He wants the pow'r to heal.
5 To offices of love
His feet are never slow;
He views through mercy's melting eye
A brother in a foe.
6 Peace from his Father God,
My peace to him I give;
And, when he kneels before the throne,
His trembling soul shall live.
7 To him shall grace be shewn;
And mercy from above
Descend on those, who thus fulfill
The perfect law of love.
Behold where breathing love divine. Anna L. Barbauld, née Aikin. [Charity.] Contributed to Dr. W. Enfield's Hymns for Public Worship, &c, Warrington, 1772, No. 117, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. In the following year it was republished in Mrs. Barbauld's (then Miss Aikin) Poems, London, J. Johnson, 1773, pp. 121-123. In this form it is not in extensive use, although included in Dr. Collyer's Collection, 1812, and repeated in Dr. Martineau's Hymns, 1840 & 1873. A cento from this hymn is given in the Church Sunday School Hymn Book, 1868, No. 364, and other collections, beginning, "Blest is the man whose softening heart.” It is composed of stanzas iii., iv., vii., viii., somewhat altered, and appeared in the 9th edition of Cotterill's Selection, 1820, No. 123. From thence it passed into various collections both in Great Britain and America. In Kennedy, 1863, No, 126, it begins, “Blest is the man whose tender heart." The full original text is given in Lyra Britannica, 1867, pp. 32-33.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)