Isaac Watts: Father of English Hymnology

Isaac Watts: Father of English Hymnology

Journal of Mercies for the Year

Journal of Mercies for the Year

The Nickel That Laughed & Other Stories

The Nickel That Laughed & Other Stories

Isaac Watts: Father of English Hymnology

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By N. A. Woychuk

Paperback, 92 pages

Dr. Woychuk tells the story of the life of Isaac Watts, the Father of English Hymnology credited with authoring some 750 hymns.

Isaac Watts showed literary ambitions early in his life. Before he could speak with perfect plainness, he would say, when any money was given to him, "A book, a book - buy a book." His strong desire for learning in his early years was gratifying to his father. On one occasion, however, the father was quite provoked with all his versemaking and was about to discipline the boy because of it when young Isaac turned to this father imploringly and came up with this couplet,

"Father, do some mercy take
And I will no more verses make."

This spontaneous bit of rhyme startled the father into relaxing the threat of discipline.

On another occasion, young Isaac laughed out loud during family prayers. When asked reprimandingly why he did it, he confessed that on seeing a mouse run up the bell rope that hung by the fireplace, he made up this rhyme,

"A mouse for want of better stairs
Ran up a rope to say his prayers."