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7/17/13 at 06:03 PM 0 Comments

Church History: Isaac Watts Born on This Day

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Isaac Watts the famous hymn writer was born on July 17, 1674. Watts wrote more than 700 hymns, pastored a church and wrote books on the topics of theology and logic.

According to Wikipedia, "Watts' introduction of extra-Biblical poetry opened up a new era of Protestant hymnody as other poets followed in his path."

Tim Challies write that Watts showed bravery in writing his hymns:

It was a daring move when, in 1707, Isaac Watts published his first book of hymns. At that time it was the practice of almost every congregation of the Church of England to sing only Old Testament psalms in their public worship. However, Watts had grown to dislike this because it restricted the Christian from being able to explicitly celebrate in song all those aspects of the gospel that are fulfilled and illuminated in the New Testament.

Two of Watts most famous songs are When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and Joy to the World.

The latter song was inspired by Psalm 98 and unintentionally became a Christmas song, according to Robert D Kalis.

Fernando Ortega singing When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Other Christians musicians born on this day include Susan Ashton and Margaret Becker. Both singers were popular on Christian radio in the 1990s.

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