PITTS THEOLOGY LIBRARY
ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS DEPT.
WATTS, ISAAC, 1674-1748.
MANUSCRIPT NUMBER 288
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Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Isaac Watts, hymn writer and author of devotional
poetry and prose, was born in Southampton in 1674. He was educated
at Southampton Grammar School until he chose to attend the non-conformist
academy of Stoke Newington from 1690 to 1694. Watts was almost a Unitarian
in his religious outlook. In 1699 he became an assistant pastor of an independent
chapel in London, where he became pastor in 1702. He retired in 1712
due to poor health. He received an honorary D.D. from the University
of Edinburgh in 1728. Isaac Watts died at Stoke Newington in 1748.
Watts is best known for his hymn writing. Some famous hymns include
“O God our help in ages past,” and “When I survey the wondrous cross.”
He is also known for writing “Divine Songs for Children.” Outside the
realm hymns and poetry, Watts’ prose work reflected his liberal social and
religious views by critiquing the civil establishment of a national church.
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Last Modified: 04/01/2005