Friday, July 17, 2009


Isaac Watts (the "Father of English Hymnody") was born on this day in 1674.

In addition to being a hymnist, he was also a theologian and a logician.



SEChapman said...

Should we even be celebrating him at all, he isn't Jesus. Does not the mere mention of his accomplishment take away from the Lord Jesus , who is to be at the center of all our worship and praise.We should forget anything he has done, for it is fading away.You know?..... Like not remembering Calvin's birth or accomplishments. Of course I say this in jest, knowing that God's use of men to accomplish His purposes is most honorably to the honor of the Great King who gives gifts to men....I hope you get the point .

Jade said...

With all do respect SEChapman, I don't see a call for celebration here, do you? There's no harm in acknowledging the work Watts has done in honor of the Lord. In fact does not Paul state, "Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern"? Was not Watts one of those who walked that example? So should we not recall the life he has lived? And such a life he lived! How many of us would have the courage to even stand up against the traditions then and the church of England? It was a traitorous offense to do so. Praise God that his hymns survived and are still being sung in the churches today, reminding us the deep doctrinal truths of God's Word.

It's interesting how the Regulatory Principle can be interpreted differently among the non-conformists. In fact some Puritans ban singing altogether and it was Keach who reintroduced the singing of hymns to the baptist churches. The earliest Puritans got rid of everything that the RCC did (more so in an over reaction) and then slowly added things back. They were revolutionaries and radical in what they subtracted. But don't forget that many of the earliest Puritans had not yet fully worked everything out. They were very much in the process. This is why they go by the motto "Semper Reformanda" --- "always reforming" to the Scriptures. As fallen men, we don't always get it right the first time around, but that the goal is to always reform closer and closer to God's Word, continuously testing traditions (that might otherwise be created by men), against Scriptures. These men have gone before us and have paved the way for many of us. Let us do so continue that work and preserve the truth.

SEChapman said...

My point....let me make this clear....It is to be celebrated that God does His work through "men".He could have chosen another way, but he chose "sinful men". My point that there is no conflict in celebrating what God does through "men", His glory is not stolen. Trying to steal God's glory is like striking a match on the surface of the sun and trying to see it's effect with the naked eye from the Earth on a cloudy day.

I simply say...CELEBRATE all the good God does through His chosen instrument "men".

This refers back to the discussion on Calvin's birhtday.

R W S said...

Well put SEChapman. When we look to the many men and women who have gone on before us and have left a body of admirable work, we honor them not worship them . Watts gift to the church is amazing . Every time I sing or listen to many of his hymns I'm drawn towards the Savior .

aj said...

Hi Steve thks for the clip !! Its amazing that i've learnt more about Isaac Watts from a clip on an American blog , then i have living my all life (43) in Southampton UK...
Theres precious little info about him that i know of here,other then a statue in one of our main city parks..

Anyhow thks for the thread