Isaac Watts

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Isaac Watts from Fact Monster:

  • Islington - Islington Islington , inner borough (1991 pop. 155,200) of Greater London, SE England. Islington, ...
  • Thomas Banks - Banks, Thomas Banks, Thomas, 1735–1805, English neoclassical sculptor, studied at the Royal ...
  • Psalms - Psalms Psalms or Psalter, book of the Bible, a collection of 150 hymnic pieces. Since the last ...
  • hymn - hymn hymn, song of praise, devotion, or thanksgiving, especially of a religious character (see also ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies