Isaac Watts


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Watts, Isaac,

1674–1748, English clergyman and hymn writer, b. Southampton. He was one of the most eminent Dissenting divines of his day. As a pastor in London he was known for his sermons, but beginning in 1712 poor health caused him to live in semiretirement. His several hundred hymns embody a stern Calvinism assuaged with a gentleness and sympathy. The few hymns that are included in present-day hymnals are among the finest examples of English metrical hymnody. Those beginning "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun," "When I survey the wondrous cross," "Joy to the world," and "O God, our help in ages past," appeared in his Psalms of David Imitated (1719).
References in periodicals archive ?
Two crucial hymns in Chapter XXXVIII affirm Tom's humanity: "Amazing Grace" by John Newton and "When I Can Read My Title Clear" by Isaac Watts.
In the following century the famous Nonconformist hymn-writer Isaac Watts offered a different version of this ode in "Strict Religion Very Rare," a poem that likewise begins with the poet's ascent into heaven: "I'm borne aloft, and leave the crowd, / I sail upon a morning cloud," surveying all the globe.
Allen featured hymns that were widely sung by African American Christians of the day, about a third of which were written by well-known white hymn writers, such as Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts.
He spoke of Americans bringing their concerns to God, "our help in ages past, our hope for years to come"--a line from the 1719 Isaac Watts hymn "O God, Our Help in Ages Past.
They got the attention of religious leaders such as Isaac Watts, John Guyse, and John Wesley, who saw to it that these writings were published there.
Also, as Elizabeth Clarke notes in her discussion of Palmer and Isaac Watts, Palmer's work is significant in the history of sacred lyric.
The British view of "the White Man's Burden" cites the poems of Rudyard Kipling, the hymns of Isaac Watts and the Wesleyan revival, the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, and the student movement, as depicting the sense of national providence.
Also on This Day: 1453: The 100 Years War ended after the defeat of the English at Castillon; 1674: Birth of hymn writer Isaac Watts, author of O God Our Help In Ages Past ; 1790: Death of political economist and writer Adam Smith; 1917: The British royal family changed its name from 'Saxe-Coburg-Gotha' to the decidedly more English 'Windsor'; 1955: Disneyland opened in California; 1959: Death of American jazz singer Billie Holiday; 1981: The Humber Estuary Bridge was opened.
By the Congregationalist Isaac Watts, one of the heroes of Watson's book, these anticipations were combined into a single, supreme achievement, an achievement whose experiential and enthusiastic bias both recalls the seventeenth century and anticipates Romanticism but whose sobriety is rooted in the eighteenth century.
As Vivian de Sola Pinto points out in "William Blake, Isaac Watts and Mrs.
The first is, of course, that knowledge which comes from a life devoted to the subject and immense reading in such works as are (nowadays) never read, not only Clarke and Hall, Tillotson, and Richard Steele's Christian Hero, but (in some measure) Wake, Warburton, Waterland, Waugh, Webster, Weemes, Wells, West, Henry Wharton, Whichcote, Whiston, Wilkins, Wilson, Woodward, and Samuel Wright, not to mention Isaac Watts and John Wesley, to peregrinate through one letter of the alphabet.