The text was first published in Divine and Moral Songs for Children by Isaac Watts in 1715. There it was entitled, “Praise for Creation and Providence.” It was a hymnbook written for children.
The common tune name for this hymn is “Ellacombe.” It was originally found in a collection published in 1784, and intended to be used by the Roman Catholic Chapel of the Duke of Wurttemberg. The collection however was mostly written by non-Roman Catholic writers. The tune was first called “Ellacombe” when it appeared in 1868 in an appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern, a hymnbook of the Anglican Church. “Ellacombe” is a village in Devonshire, England.
A second tune that is less used is “Forest Green,” a traditional English melody. Ralph Vaughan Williams took this tune and arranged it for this hymn in 1906.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), 333.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1982), p. 112.
Logos Hymnal, 1st edition. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995).
Unknown book scans, page 206.