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Wa tt s ’ Li f e a n d L egac y

Thy hand unseen sustains the poles On which this huge creation rolls. . . . Beyond the golden morning-star! Fain would I trace th’immortal way, That leads to courts of endless day, Where the Creator stands confess’d, In His own fairest glories dress’d. Some shining spirit help me rise, Come waft a stranger through the skies; Bless’d Jesus, meet me on the road, First offspring of th’eternal God, Thy hand shall lead a younger son, Clothe me with vestures yet unknown, And place me near my Father’s throne.44 These two years were, no doubt, a critical time in Watts’ young life: re-entering family life, re-establishing his relationship with his father, grappling and wrestling with Enlightenment ideas, sorting out what the Scriptures taught on many subjects, contemplating what he was to do with his life, and praying for divine guidance in the next stages. Unknown to Watts, on the eve of the eighteenth century, the great age of doubt and skepticism, he was being readied by God to be the father of the great age of hymnody. As he worshiped with his family at Above Bar Congregational Chapel and grimaced at the singing of the awkward versions of the psalms, perhaps the following lines began forming in his mind: 23

The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts  

Read a sample chapter of Douglas Bond's The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts.