Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Isaac Watts
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Title: Hymns and Spiritual Songs
Author: Isaac Watts
Release Date: August 31, 2004 [EBook #13341]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
Produced by Lewis Jones.
In Three Books.
0. Collected from the Scriptures.
0. Composed on Divine Subjects.
0. Prepared for the Lord's Supper.
By I. Watts, D.D.
Revelation 5, 9.
_And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy,
&c. for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us, &c._
Soliti essent (i.e. Christiani) convenire, carmenque Christo quasi Deo
Plin. In Epist.
Transcriber's Note.

There are significant differences in the numerous reprints of Isaac
Watts' "Hymns and Spiritual Songs." The first generation of this Project
Gutenberg file was from an 1818 printing by C. Corrall of 38 Charing
Cross, London.
The "Index" and the "Table of the Scriptures that are Turned into
Verse" are retained, and can be found at the end of the text. The "Table
to find any Hymn by the first Line," however, has been omitted for the
following reasons:
1. It refers to page numbers that are here expunged;
2. In this electronic version first lines can be easily
located via
There are 3 books of hymns, and numbers have been added to indicate
in which of these the hymns are placed. For example, "2:38" refers to
"Book 2, Hymn Number 38," and so on.
Throughout, modern numerals have been substituted for their Roman
The following extracts from the Doctor's preface contain the substance
of his plan in the three different parts into which the Hymns are divided;
the whole would have exceeded the limits of a small book.
"Far be it from my thoughts to lay aside the Book of Psalms in public
worship; few can pretend so great a value for them as myself: it is the
most noble, most devotional and divine collection of poesy; and
nothing can be supposed more proper to raise a pious soul to heaven
than some parts of that book; never was a piece of experimental
divinity so nobly written, and so justly reverenced and admired. But it
must be acknowledged still, that there are a thousand lines in it which
were not made for a church in our days to assume as its own. There are
also many deficiencies of light and glory which our Lord Jesus and his
apostles have supplied in the writings of the New Testament: and with
this advantage I have composed these Spiritual Songs, which are now
presented to the World. Nor is the attempt vainglorious or presuming;
for in respect of clear evangelical knowledge, 'The least in the kingdom

of heaven is greater than all the Jewish Prophets.' Matt. xi. 11.
"Now let me give a short account of the following composures.
"The greatest part of them are suited to the general state of the gospel,
and the most common affairs of Christians: I hope there will be very
few found but what may properly be used in a religious assembly, and
not one of them but may well be adapted to some seasons either of
private or public worship. The most frequent tempers and changes of
our spirit, and conditions of our life, are here copied, and the breathings
of our piety expressed according to the variety of our passions, our love,
our fear, our hope, our desire, our sorrow, our wonder and our joy, as
they are refined into devotion, and act under the influence and conduct
of the blessed Spirit; all conversing with God the Father 'by the new
and living Way' of access to the throne, even the person and the
mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ. To him also, even 'to the Lamb that
was slain and now lives,' I have addressed many a song; for thus doth
the holy Scripture instruct and teach us to worship in the various
patterns of Christian psalmody described in the Revelation.
"I have aimed at ease of numbers, and smoothness of sound, and
endeavoured to make the sense plain and obvious. If the verse appears
so gentle and flowing as to incur the censure of feebleness, I may
honestly affirm, that sometimes it cost me labour to make it so.
"In the first part I have borrowed the sense and much of the form of the
song from some particular portions of scripture, and have paraphrased
most of the doxologies in the New Testament, that contain any thing
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