Isaac Watts: The Poetry of Hymns and Spiritual Songs

“When I survey the wondrous Cross on which the Prince of glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride. . .”

Isaac Watts was a gifted writer of poetry who published his hymns at a time in eighteenth-century England when congregations of the Church of England sang only psalms.

Watts loved the Psalms, but he said: “They ought to be translated in such a manner as we have reason to believe David would have composed them.” He reinterpreted the Psalms “in the language of the New Testament.”

The writer of more than 750 hymns, Isaac Watts has certainly earned the title, the “Father of English Hymnody!”

In 1707, he published one of his most popular, based on Galatians 6: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross!”

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