And Heaven and Nature Sang!

Today, July 17, marks the birthday of one the greatest hymn writers in Christian history – Isaac Watts. Born to parents who disagreed with the Anglican church, Isaac was born when his father was imprisoned for his beliefs and nursed by his mother outside the prison walls. Isaac was very gifted from an early age, writing this poem (an acronym of his name) when only seven years old:

“I” – I am a vile, polluted lump of earth
“S” – So I’ve continued ever since my birth
“A” – Although Jehovah, grace doth daily give me
“A” – As sure this monster, Satan, will deceive me
“C” – Come therefore, Lord, from Satan’s claws relieve me.

“W” – Wash me in Thy blood, O Christ
“A” – And grace divine impart
“T” – Then search and try the corners of my heart
“T” – That I in all things may be fit to do
“S” – Service to Thee, and Thy praise too.

His hymn writing was very controversial during his day as many accused him of forsaking the inspired hymnbook of the Psalms in exchange for his hymns. Some of those hymns include At the Cross, Alas and Did My Savior Bleed, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, We’re Marching to Zion, I Sing the Mighty Power of God and Joy to the World.

Photo by clogsilk

Whenever you’re in London, visit the Dissenter’s Graveyard at Bunhill Fields near the Wesley Chapel. Here, due to their dissenting views, are the buried remains of those not allowed in the traditional church cemeteries. Graves that are hundreds of years old lie peacefully; among them are those of John Bunyan, Susannah Wesley, John Rippon and Isaac Watts.

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