Isaac Watts


Born: July 17, 1674, Southampton, England.

Died: November 25, 1748, Stoke Newington, England.

Buried: Bunhill Fields Cemetery, London, England.                                                                     

Watts’ father was Non­con­form­ist im­pris­oned twice for his re­li­gious views. Isaac learned Greek, Latin, and He­brew un­der Mr. Pin­horn, rec­tor of All Saints, and head­mas­ter of the Gram­mar School in South­amp­ton. Isaac’s taste for verse showed itself in ear­ly child­hood, and his prom­ise caused a lo­cal doc­tor and other friends to of­fer him a un­i­ver­si­ty ed­u­ca­tion, as­sum­ing he would be or­dained in the Church of Eng­land. How­ev­er, Isaac de­clined and instead en­tered a Non­con­for­mist Acad­e­my at Stoke New­ing­ton in 1690, un­der the care of Thomas Rowe, pas­tor of the In­de­pen­dent cong­re­ga­tion at Gir­dlers’ Hall; Isaac joined this con­gre­ga­tion in 1693.

Watts left the Acad­e­my at age 20 and spent two years at home; it was dur­ing this per­i­od that he wrote the bulk of his Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs. They were sung from man­uscripts in the South­ampton Cha­pel, and pub­lished 1707-1709.

The next six years of his life were again spent at Stoke New­ing­ton, work­ing as tu­tor to the son of em­i­nent Pur­i­tan John Har­topp. The in­tense stu­dy of these years is re­flect­ed in the the­o­log­ic­al and phil­o­soph­ic­al ma­ter­i­al he sub­se­quent­ly pub­lished.

Watts preached his first ser­mon at age 24. In the next three years, he preached fre­quent­ly, and in 1702 was or­dained as pas­tor of the In­de­pen­dent con­gre­ga­tion in Mark Lane. At that time he moved into the house of a Mr. Hollis in the Mi­nor­ies. His health be­gan to fail the next year, and Samuel Price was ap­point­ed as his as­sist­ant in the min­is­try. In 1712, a fe­ver shat­tered his con­sti­tu­tion, and Price became co-pas­tor of the con­gre­ga­tion, which had moved to a new cha­pel in Bury Street. It was at this time that Isaac be­came the guest of Sir Thom­as Ab­ney. He lived with Ab­ney (and lat­er Abney’s wi­dow) the rest of his life, main­ly at The­o­balds in Herts, then for 13 years at Stoke New­ing­ton.

In 1728, the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Ed­in­burgh awarded Watts a Doc­tor of Di­vin­i­ty de­gree. Watts’ works in­clude:


  1. Absent from Flesh! O Blissful Thought!
  2. Adam, Our Father and Our Head
  3. Adore and Tremble, for Our God
  4. Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed?
  5. All Mortal Vanities, Begone
  6. All Ye That Love the Lord, Rejoice
  7. Almighty Ruler of the Skies
  8. Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
  9. Amidst Thy Wrath Remember Love
  10. Among th’Assemblies of the Great
  11. Among the Princes, Earthly Gods
  12. And Is This Life Prolonged to Me?
  13. And Will the God of Grace
  14. Are All the Foes of Sion Fools
  15. Are Sinners Now So Senseless Grown
  16. Arise, My Gracious God
  17. As When the Hebrew Pro­phet Raised
  18. Awake, My Heart; Arise, My Tongue
  19. Awake, My Zeal; Awake, My Love
  20. Awake, Our Souls, Away, Our Fears
  21. Awake Ye Saints; to Praise Your King
  22. Backward with Humble Shame We Look
  23. Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne
  24. Begin, My Tongue, Some Heavenly Theme
  25. Behold the Amazing Gift of Love
  26. Behold the Glories of the Lamb
  27. Behold, the Grace Appears!
  28. Behold, the Lofty Sky
  29. Behold the Love, the Generous Love
  30. Behold, the Morning Sun
  31. Behold the Rose of Sharon Here
  32. Behold the Sure Foundation Stone
  33. Behold Thy Waiting Servant, Lord
  34. Behold What Wondrous Grace
  35. Bless, O My Soul! the Living God
  36. Blessed Redeemer, How Divine
  37. Blest Are the Sons of Peace
  38. Blest Are the Souls That Hear and Know
  39. Blest Are the Undefiled in Heart
  40. Blest Be the Everlasting God
  41. Blest Is the Man, Forever Blest
  42. Blest Is the Man Who Shuns the Place
  43. Blest Is the Man Whose Bowels Move
  44. Blest Is the Nation Where the Lord
  45. Blest Morning, Whose Young Dawning Rays
  46. Broad Is the Road
  47. Children, in Years and Knowledge Young
  48. Come, Children, Learn to Fear the Lord
  49. Come, Dearest Lord
  50. Come, Gracious Lord, Descend and Dwell
  51. Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove
  52. Come, Let Our Voices Join to Raise
  53. Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs
  54. Come, Sound His Praise Abroad
  55. Consider All My Sorrows, Lord
  56. David Rejoiced in God His Strength
  57. Death May Dissolve My Body Now
  58. Deep in Our Hearts Let Us Record
  59. Do I Believe What Jesus Saith
  60. Early, My God, Without Delay
  61. Earth Forever is the Lord’s, The
  62. Ere the Blue Heav’ns Were Stretched Abroad
  63. Eternal Power, Whose High Abode
  64. Exalt the Lord Our God
  65. Far as Thy Name Is Known
  66. Father, How Wide Thy Glory Shines
  67. Father, I Bless Thy Gentle Hand
  68. Father, I Sing Thy Wondrous Grace
  69. Firm and Unmoved Are They
  70. Firm Was My Health, My Day Was Bright
  71. Fools in Their Heart Believe and Say
  72. Forever Blessèd Be the Lord
  73. Forever Shall My Song Record
  74. From Age to Age Exalt His Name
  75. From All That Dwell Below the Skies
  76. From Deep Distress and Troubled Thoughts
  77. Give Me the Wings of Faith
  78. Give Thanks to God, He Reigns Above
  79. Give Thanks to God, Invoke His Name
  80. Give Thanks to God Most High
  81. Give Thanks to God the Sovereign Lord
  82. Give to Our God Immortal Praise
  83. Give to the Lord, Ye Sons of Fame
  84. Go, Preach My Gospel
  85. God in His Earthly Temple Lays
  86. God Is the Name My Soul Adores
  87. God Is the Refuge of His Saints
  88. God Jehovah Reigns, The
  89. God, My Supporter and My Hope
  90. God of Eternal Love
  91. God of Glory Sends His Summons Forth, The
  92. God of My Childhood and My Youth
  93. God of My Life, Look Gently Down
  94. God of My Mercy and My Praise
  95. God of Our Salvation Hears, The
  96. God of the Morning, at Whose Voice
  97. God, Who in Various Methods Told
  98. Good Is the Lord, the Heav’nly King
  99. Great God! Attend while Zion Sings
  100. Great God, How Infinite Art Thou!
  101. Great God, How Oft Did Israel Prove
  102. Great God, Indulge My Humble Claim
  103. Great God, the Heav’ns’ Well Ordered Frame
  104. Great God, Whose Universal Sway
  105. Great Is the Lord, Exalted High
  106. Great Is the Lord; His Works of Might
  107. Great Is the Lord Our God
  108. Great God, I Own Thy Sentence Just
  109. Great Shepherd of Thine Israel
  110. Had Not the Lord, May Israel Say
  111. Happy Is He That Fears the Lord
  112. Happy the City Where Their Sons
  113. Happy the Man to Whom His God
  114. Happy the Man Whose Cautious Feet
  115. Hark! from the Tombs a Doleful Sound
  116. Hark! The Redeemer from on High
  117. Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard
  118. He Dies! The Friend of Sinners Dies
  119. He Reigns! The Lord, the Savior, Reigns
  120. He That Hath Made His Refuge God
  121. Hear Me, O God, Nor Hide Thy Face
  122. Hear What the Lord in Vision Said
  123. Hear What the Voice from Heav’n Proclaims
  124. Heavens Declare Thy Glory, The
  125. Help, Lord, for Men of Virtue Fail
  126. High in the Heavens, Eternal God
  127. Hosannah to the Royal Son
  128. How Awful Is Thy Chastening Rod
  129. How Beauteous Are Their Feet
  130. How Did My Heart Rejoice to Hear
  131. How Fast Their Guilt and Sorrows Rise
  132. How Glorious Sion’s Courts Appear
  133. How Honorable Is the Place
  134. How is Our Nature Spoiled by Sin!
  135. How Long, O Lord, Shall I Complain
  136. How Long Wilt Thou Conceal Thy Face?
  137. How Pleasant, How Divinely Fair
  138. How Pleasant ’Tis to See
  139. How Pleased and Blest Was I
  140. How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts
  141. How Strong Thine Arm Is, Mighty God!
  142. How Sweet and Awesome Is This Place
  143. How Vast the Treasure We Possess!
  144. Hush, My Dear
  145. I Lift My Banner, Saith the Lord
  146. I Lift My Soul to God
  147. I Love the Lord; He Heard My Cries
  148. I Set the Lord Before My Face
  149. I Sing the Mighty Power of God
  150. I Waited Patient for the Lord
  151. I Will Extol Thee, Lord, on High
  152. If God Succeed Not, All the Cost
  153. If God to Build the House Deny
  154. I’ll Bless the Lord from Day to Day
  155. I’ll Praise My Maker
  156. I’ll Speak the Honors of My King
  157. I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord
  158. In All My Vast Concerns with Thee
  159. In Anger, Lord, Rebuke Me Not
  160. In Gabriel’s Hand a Mighty Stone
  161. In God’s Own House Pronounce His Praise
  162. In Judah God of Old Was Known
  163. In Thine Own Ways, O God of Love
  164. In Vain the Wealthy Mortals Toil
  165. In Vain We Lavish Out Our Lives
  166. Into Thine Hand, O God of Truth
  167. Is There Ambition in My Heart?
  168. It Is the Lord Our Savior’s Hand
  169. Jehovah Reigns; He Dwells in Light
  170. Jesus, in Thee Our Eyes Behold
  171. Jesus, Our Lord, Ascend Thy Throne
  172. Jesus, Our Savior and Our God
  173. Jesus Shall Reign
  174. Jesus, the Man of Constant Grief
  175. Jesus, Thou Everlasting King
  176. Jesus, Thy Blessings Are Not Few
  177. Jesus, We Bless Thy Father’s Name
  178. Join All the Glorious Names
  179. Joy to the World
  180. Judge Me, O Lord, and Prove My Ways
  181. Judges, Who Rule the World by Laws
  182. Just Are Thy Ways, and True Thy Word
  183. King, O Lord, with Songs of Praise, The
  184. King of Saints, How Fair His Face, The
  185. Laden with Guilt, and Full of Fears
  186. Lands That Long in Darkness Lay, The
  187. Law Commands and Makes Us Know, The
  188. Let All the Earth Their Voices Raise
  189. Let All the Heathen Writers Join
  190. Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds
  191. Let Everlasting Glories Crown
  192. Let Every Creature Join
  193. Let Every Mortal Ear Attend
  194. Let Every Tongue Thy Goodness Speak
  195. Let God Arise in All His Might
  196. Let Him Embrace My Soul, and Prove
  197. Let Me but Hear My Savior Say
  198. Let Mortal Tongues Attempt to Sing
  199. Let Sinners Take Their Course
  200. Let the Seventh Angel Sound on High
  201. Let Those Who Bear the Christian Name
  202. Let Zion and Her Sons Rejoice
  203. Let Zion in Her King Rejoice
  204. Lo! What a Glorious Cornerstone
  205. Lo! What a Glorious Sight Appears
  206. Lo! What an Entertaining Sight
  207. Long as I Live I’ll Bless Thy Name
  208. Lord, All I Am Is Known to Thee
  209. Lord Appears My Helper Now, The
  210. Lord, at Thy Temple We Appear
  211. Lord, Hast Thou Cast the Nation Off?
  212. Lord, How Wondrous Are His Ways, The
  213. Lord, I Am Thine; But Thou Wilt Prove
  214. Lord, I Am Vile, Conceived in Sin
  215. Lord, I Can Suffer Thy Rebukes
  216. Lord, I Esteem Thy Judgments Right
  217. Lord, I Have Made Thy Word My Choice
  218. Lord, I Will Bless Thee All My Days
  219. Lord, I Would Spread My Sore Distress
  220. Lord, if Thine Eye Surveys Our Faults
  221. Lord, if Thou Dost Not Soon Appear
  222. Lord, in the Morning Thou Shalt Hear
  223. Lord Is Come, The
  224. Lord Jehovah Reigns, The
  225. Lord My Shepherd Is, The
  226. Lord of Glory Is My Light, The
  227. Lord of Glory Reigns, The
  228. Lord of the Worlds Above
  229. Lord, the Judge, Before His Throne, The
  230. Lord, the Judge, His Churches Warns, The
  231. Lord, the Sovereign King, The
  232. Lord, the Sovereign, Sends His Summons Forth, The
  233. Lord, Thou Hast Called Thy Grace to Mind
  234. Lord, Thou Hast Heard Thy Servant Cry
  235. Lord, Thou Hast Searched and Seen Me Through
  236. Lord, Thou Hast Seen My Soul Sincere
  237. Lord, Thou Wilt Hear Me When I Pray
  238. Lord, ’Tis a Pleasant Thing to Stand
  239. Lord, We Are Blind
  240. Lord, We Have Heard Thy Works of Old
  241. Lord, What a Feeble Piece
  242. Lord, What a Thoughtless Wretch Was I
  243. Lord, What Is Man, Poor Feeble Man
  244. Lord, What Was Man, When Made at First
  245. Lord, When I Count Thy Mercies O’er
  246. Lord, When Thou Didst Ascend on High
  247. Loud Hallelujahs to the Lord
  248. Maker and Sov’reign Lord
  249. Man Is Ever Bless’d, The
  250. Marching to Zion
  251. Mercy and Judgment Are My Song
  252. Mighty Frame of Glorious Grace, The
  253. Mine Eyes and My Desire
  254. Must All the Charms of Nature, Then
  255. Must Friends and Kindred Droop and Die
  256. My Dear Redeemer and My Lord
  257. My God, Accept My Early Vows
  258. My God, Consider My Distress
  259. My God, How Endless Is Thy Love
  260. My God, How Many Are My Fears
  261. My God, in Whom Are All the Springs
  262. My God, My Everlasting Hope
  263. My God, My King, Thy Various Praise
  264. My God, My Portion, and My Love
  265. My God! Permit My Tongue
  266. My God, the Spring of All My Joys
  267. My God, the Steps of Pious Men
  268. My God, What Inward Grief I Feel
  269. My Heart Rejoices in Thy Name
  270. My Never Ceasing Songs Shall Show
  271. My Refuge Is the God of Love
  272. My Righteous Judge, My Gracious God
  273. My Savior and My King
  274. My Savior, My Almighty Friend
  275. My Shepherd Is the Living Lord
  276. My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
  277. My Soul, How Lovely Is the Place
  278. My Soul Lies Cleaving to the Dust
  279. My Soul, Repeat His Praise
  280. My Soul, Thy Great Creator Praise
  281. My Spirit Looks to God Alone
  282. My Spirit Sinks Within Me, Lord
  283. My Trust Is in My Heavenly Friend
  284. Naked as from the Earth We Came
  285. Nature with Open Volume Stands
  286. No Sleep Nor Slumber to His Eyes
  287. Not All the Blood of Beasts
  288. Not by the Laws of Innocence
  289. Not to Our Names, Thou Only Just and True
  290. Not to Ourselves, Who Are But Dust
  291. Now Be My Heart Inspired to Sing
  292. Now Be the God of Israel Blessed
  293. Now from the Roaring Lion’s Rage
  294. Now I’m Convinced the Lord Is Kind
  295. Now Let Our Lips with Holy Fear
  296. Now Let Our Mournful Songs Record
  297. Now May the God of Power and Grace
  298. Now Plead My Cause, Almighty God
  299. Now Shall My Inward Joys Arise
  300. Now Shall My Solemn Vows Be Paid
  301. Now to the Lord a Noble Song
  302. Now to the Lord, Who Makes Us Know
  303. O All Ye Nations, Praise the Lord
  304. O Bless the Lord, My Soul
  305. O Blessed Souls Are They
  306. O Britain, Praise Thy Mighty God
  307. O for a Shout of Sacred Joy
  308. O for an Overcoming Faith
  309. O God, My Refuge, Hear My Cries
  310. O God of Grace and Righteousness
  311. O God of Mercy, Hear My Call
  312. O God, to Whom Revenge Belongs
  313. O Happy Man, Whose Soul Is Filled
  314. O Happy Nation, Where the Lord
  315. O Happy Soul That Lives on High
  316. O How I Love Thy Holy Law
  317. O Lord, How Many Are My Foes
  318. O Lord, Our Heavenly King
  319. O Lord, Our Lord, How Wondrous Great
  320. O That I Knew the Secret Place
  321. O That the Lord Would Guide My Ways
  322. O That Thy Statues Every Hour
  323. O Thou That Hear’st When Sinners Cry
  324. O Thou Whose Grace and Justice Reign
  325. O Thou Whose Justice Reigns on High
  326. O ’Tis a Lovely Thing to See
  327. O What a Stiff Rebellious House
  328. Of Justice and of Grace I Sing
  329. Often I Seek My Lord by Night
  330. Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
  331. Our Souls Shall Magnify the Lord
  332. Out of the Deeps of Long Distress
  333. Praise of Zion Waits for Thee, The
  334. Praise Waits in Zion, Lord, for Thee
  335. Praise Ye the Lord, Exalt His Name
  336. Praise Ye the Lord, My Heart Shall Join
  337. Praise Ye the Lord, ’Tis Good to Raise
  338. Preserve Me, Lord, in Time of Need
  339. Questions and Doubts Be Heard No More
  340. Rejoice, Ye Righteous, in the Lord
  341. Remember, Lord, Our Mortal State
  342. Return, O God of Love, Return
  343. Salvation Is Forever Nigh
  344. Salvation! O the Joyful Sound!
  345. Save Me, O God, the Swelling Floods
  346. Save Me, O Lord, from Every Foe
  347. See What a Living Stone
  348. See Where the Great Incarnate God
  349. Shall Atheists Dare Insult the Cross
  350. Shepherds, Rejoice! Lift Up Your Eyes
  351. Shine, Mighty God, on Britain Shine
  352. Show Pity, Lord, O Lord, Forgive
  353. Sing, All Ye Nations, to the Lord
  354. Sing to the Lord Aloud
  355. Sing to the Lord Jehovah’s Name
  356. Sing to the Lord with Joyful Voice
  357. Sing to the Lord, Ye Distant Lands
  358. So Let Our Lips and Lives Express
  359. Songs of Immortal Praise Belong
  360. Soon as I Heard My Father Say
  361. Stand Up, My Soul
  362. Sure There’s a Righteous God
  363. Sweet Is the Memory of Thy Grace
  364. Sweet Is the Work, My God, My King
  365. Teach Me the Measure of My Days
  366. Th’Almighty Reigns Exalted High
  367. That Awful Day Will Surely Come
  368. That Man Is Bless’d Who Stands in Awe
  369. Thee Will I Love, O Lord, My Strength
  370. There Is a Land of Pure Delight
  371. There Was an Hour When Christ Rejoiced
  372. These Glorious Minds, How Bright They Shine
  373. Think, Mighty God, on Feeble Man
  374. This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made
  375. This Spacious earth is all the Lord’s
  376. Thou Art My Portion, O My God
  377. Thou God of Love, Thou Ever Blest
  378. Thou Whom My Soul Admires Above
  379. Thrice Happy Man Who Fears the Lord
  380. Through Every Age, Eternal God
  381. Thus Far the Lord Hath Led Me On
  382. Thus I Resolved Before the Lord
  383. Thus Saith the Lord, “The Spacious Fields”
  384. Thus Saith the Lord, “Your Work Is Vain”
  385. Thus the Eternal Father Spake
  386. Thus the Great Lord of Earth and Sea
  387. Thy Mercies Fill the Earth, O Lord
  388. Thy Name, Almighty Lord
  389. Thy Works of Glory, Mighty Lord
  390. ’Tis by Thy Strength the Mountains Stand
  391. To God I Cried with Mournful Voice
  392. To God I Made My Sorrows Known
  393. To God the Great, the Ever Blest
  394. To God the Only Wise
  395. To Heav’n I Lift My Waiting Eyes
  396. To Our Almighty Maker, God
  397. To Thee, Before the Dawning Light
  398. To Thee, Most Holy and Most high
  399. To Thine Almighty Arm We Owe
  400. ’Twas from Thy Hand, My God, I Came
  401. ’Twas in the Watches of the Night
  402. ’Twas for Thy Sake, Eternal God
  403. ’Twas the Commission of Our Lord
  404. Unshaken as the Sacred Hill
  405. Up from My Youth, May Israel Say
  406. Up to the Hills I Lift Mine Eyes
  407. Upward I Lift Mine Eyes
  408. Vain Man, on Foolish Pleasures Bent
  409. Voice of My Beloved Sounds, The
  410. We Are a Garden Walled Around
  411. We Bless the Lord, the Just, the Good
  412. We Love Thee, Lord, and We Adore
  413. We Sing the Glories of Thy Love
  414. Welcome, Sweet Day of Rest
  415. What Equal Honors Shall We Bring
  416. What Happy Men, or Angels, These
  417. What Mighty Man, or Mighty God
  418. What Shall I Render to My God
  419. What Shall the Dying Sinner Do
  420. What Vain Desires and Passions Vain
  421. When Christ to Judgment Shall Descend
  422. When God Is Nigh, My Faith Is Strong
  423. When God, Provoked with Daring Crimes
  424. When God Restored Our Captive State
  425. When God Revealed His Gracious Name
  426. When I Can Read My Title Clear
  427. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
  428. When I with Pleasing Wonder Stand
  429. When Israel, Freed from Pharaoh’s Hand
  430. When Israel’s Sins, the Lord Reproves
  431. When Man Grows Bold in Sin
  432. When, Overwhelmed with Grief
  433. When Pain and Anguish Seize Me Lord,
  434. When the Eternal Bows the Skies
  435. When the Great Judge, Supreme and Just
  436. When We Are Raised from Deep Distress
  437. Whence Do Our Mournful Thoughts Arise
  438. Where Shall the Man Be Found
  439. Where Shall We Go to Seek and Find
  440. While I Keep Silence, and Conceal
  441. While Men Grow Bold in Wicked Ways
  442. Who Shall Ascend Thy Heav’nly Place?
  443. Who Shall Inhabit in Thy Hill
  444. Who Shall the Lord’s Elect Condemn?
  445. Who Will Arise and Plead My Right
  446. Why Did the Jews Proclaim Their Rage?
  447. Why Did the Nations Join to Slay
  448. Why Do the Proud Insult the Poor
  449. Why Do the Wealthy Wicked Boast
  450. Why Do We Mourn Departing Friends?
  451. Why Doth the Lord Stand Off So Far?
  452. Why Doth the Man of Riches Grow
  453. Why Has My God My Soul Forsook
  454. Why Should I Vex My Soul?
  455. Will God Forever Cast Us Off?
  456. With All My Powers of Heart and Tongue
  457. With Earnest Longings of the Mind
  458. With Joy We Meditate the Grace
  459. With My Whole Heart I’ll Raise My Song
  460. With My Whole Heart I’ve Sought Thy Face
  461. With Reverence Let the Saints Appear
  462. With Songs and Honors Sounding Loud
  463. Wonders, Lord, Thy Love Has Wrought, The
  464. Would You Behold the Works of God
  465. Ye Holy Souls, in God Rejoice
  466. Ye Islands of the Northern Sea
  467. Ye Nations Round the Earth, Rejoice
  468. Ye Servants of th’Almighty King
  469. Ye Sons of Men, a Feeble Race
  470. Ye Sons of Pride, That Hate the Just
  471. Ye That Delight to Serve the Lord
  472. Ye That Obey th’Immortal King
  473. Ye Tribes of Adam, Join
  474. “Yet,” Saith the Lord