Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
All ye that [who] love the Lord, rejoice. I. Watts. [Ps. cxlix.] First pub. in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "Praise God, all His saints; or, The Saints judging the World." To it he appended a note in explanation of his rendering of verses 6-9, "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth," &c.
“This Psalm seems to be written to encourage the Jews in the wars against the Heathen Princes of Canaan, who were divinely sentenced to Destruction: But the four last Verses of it have been too much abused in later Ages to promote Sedition and Disturbance in the State; so that I chose to refer this Honour, that is here given to all the Saints, to the day of Judgment, according to those Expressions in the New Testament, Mat. xix. 28, Ye shall sit on twelve Thrones, judging the Tribes, &c.; i. Cor. vi. 3, We shall judge Angels; Rev. ii. 27 and iii., 21, I will give him Power over the Nations, he shall rule them with a Rod of Iron" &c.
Notwithstanding this defence, the unsuitability of these stanzas for congregational use is emphasised by their omission in most collections in Great Britain and America.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)