Isaac Watts

How is this for a lullaby?

Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed,
Heav’nly blessings without number,
Gently falling on they head.
How much better thou’rt attended,
Than the Son of God could be,
When from Heaven He descended,
And became a child like thee!

Soft and easy is thy cradle,
Coarse and hard thy Savior lay:
When His birthplace was a stable,
And His softest bed was hay.
Oh, to tell the wondrous story,
How His foes abused their King;
How they killed the Lord of glory,
Makes me angry while I sing.

Hush, my child, I did not chide thee,
Though my song may seem so hard;
‘Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
And her arms shall be thy guard.
May’st thou learn to know and fear Him,
Love and serve Him all thy days;
Then to dwell forever near Him,
Tell His love and sing His praise.

Today is the birthday of Isaac Watts (b. 1674), author of this lullaby/hymn and many other more familiar hymns, such as:

Alas, And Did My Saviour Bleed
Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
I SIng the Mighty Power of God
Jesus Shall Reign Where E’er the Sun
Joy to the World
Marching to Zion
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

What a legacy of hope and encouragement for one man to leave behind (d. 1748) after having gone to be with the Lord! Isaac Watts is buried at Bunhill Fields near the final resting place of fellow non-conformist John Bunyan. You can find pictures and information on a recent visit to Bunfield Fields by blogger Phil Johnson here, but no mention of Isaac Watts. Which of these hymns do you know and love? Are there others by Isaac Watts I’ve left off the list?

4 thoughts on “Isaac Watts

  1. Love those songs! 🙂

  2. You inspired me to get out my book, “Then Sings My Soul – Book 2” by Robert J. Morgan. There are many of Watt’s tunes listed in the book with stories that accompany them. He was an amazing man. According to Robert Morgan, Isaac started learning Latin at age 4, and shortly afterwards, Greek and Hebrew. His family was persecuted for starting independent congregations instead of conforming to the State Church. His father spent time in jail for this. It was amazing to me that Isaac, who’s song “We’re Marching to Zion” is one of my all-time favorite hymns, composed most of his hymns only two years after he graduated college.

    Thanks for sharing the lulliby. I’m going to save it!

    You asked for other songs you missed, and here are a few, although they are nowhere near as recognized as the ones you listed:

    Give to Our God Immortal Praise
    The Lord My Shepherd Is
    How Shall the Young Secure their Hearts?
    I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord
    Early My God, Without Delay
    Lo! What a Glorious Sight
    Angels from the Realms of Glory

  3. Chris

    Hi there, anybody know a tune that goes with these great words?

    Thanks in advance,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *